Eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and of those, only Washington does not allow people to grow their own pot plants. But that could be about to change.
The state's marijuana regulatory agency, the State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), has announced that it will consider allowing personal home grows. The impetus for the move comes from the state legislature, which passed a bill this year directing the agency to study options for allowing personal cultivation.
Currently, the only people who can grow their own marijuana in Washington are registered medical marijuana patients. But allowing home grows under the recreational marijuana law would potentially vastly increase the number of people able to grow their own supply.
While the state is moving toward allowing home cultivation, it is contemplating a more highly regulated approach than other legal states. In its presss release announcing an October 4 public hearing on the issue, the LCB laid out three options for moving forward:
Option 1: Tightly Regulated Recreational Marijuana Home Grows
Would allow up to four plants per household, but would require home growers to obtain a state permit and enter their plants with the state traceability system.
Option 2: Local Control of Recreational Marijuana Home Grows
Would allow up to four plants per household, but would require a local permit. Plants would not have to be entered in the state traceability system. Local authorities could limit home cultivation to fewer than four plants if they wished.
Option 3. Recreational Home Grows are Prohibited
That would be the status quo. Recreational marijuana consumers would be forced to rely on the state-regulated market to obtain their pot. Or the black market.
There is a fourth option, which the LCB didn't offer up, but which is the case in the other legal pot states: Allowing people to grow their own small number of pot plants without the necessity of obtaining a permit from either the state or local authorities. After all, we're talking about growing a plant in your house or yard here. When it comes to growing your own, the attitude of many Washington marijuana consumers is likely to be: "Permits? We don’t need no stinking permits!"
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.
It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.