State pot consultant eager to test legalization theories

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 8:06 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A Nobel Prize winning economist, Ivy League scholars and pot growers will help the state establish rules for regulating the production and sale of marijuana in Washington.

The Liquor Control Board announced it is hiring 30-plus consultants from BOTEC Analysis Corporation.

“For 30 years my colleagues and I have been telling the world we know how to do drug policies better. Now we get to find out for real,” said Dr. Thomas Kleiman, BOTEC’s CEO.

Kleiman, a professor at UCLA, said he does not know if his organization, or anyone, can truly establish a legal marijuana system that adequately protects public health and safety.

“That seems to be a question mark. I regard this as an opportunity to find out,” Kleiman told KING 5 News.

Initiative 502, passed by voters last November, requires the state to set up the rules for overseeing pot sales by December, 2013.

Kleiman said he does not know how the federal government will handle the state’s law. He would not say if he currently uses marijuana or has used it in the past.

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