Recently, Washington legalized marijuana. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is responsible for implementing regulations by this December. Currently, Medbox has offered to help the State implement the regulations by installing inventory management systems and robotic dispensaries that comply with the maze of regulations which can be anticipated on a reasonable basis.
Currently, the medicinal use of marijuana is legal and it is implemented through marijuana vending machines which dispense the substance. The machinery in use would have patients scan their fingerprints onto a collection device that validates their online medical prescription for marijuana. The manufacturer, Medbox is currently working on adapting this device for recreational users.
From a practical standpoint, Washington must define recreational use and provide reasonable quantity limits for consumers . Potentially, legalization could be a huge revenue source for the states, if implemented with due care.
No matter what the state law says, employers will have an important say in defining just what constitutes reasonable usage in the workplace. Occasional marijuana usage can be detected within a 2 to 7 day window in standard urine tests. Regular marijuana users can be detected up to a month window and heavy pot users can be detected up to 3 months. Saliva tests can detect marijuana usage up to 24 hours. Hair tests can determine usage for up to 3 months.
Municipalities will need to define legal usage of pot for a number of critical services like police, fire, ambulance workers, emergency room personnel, airport controllers, pilots, subway conductors, taxis and a whole variety of personal services provided by people who are responsible for the safety of individual members of the public during the conduct of their daily work.
Public school teachers, para-professionals, administrators, custodians, school crossing guards, cafeteria personnel and the building maintenance people represent important strategic constituencies where clear regulations will be needed to keep pot usage within well defined legal limits just as is done with alcohol, tobacco and firearms. It is to be noted that politicians are still considering alternative ways to restrict guns in order to enhance the public safety.
Society will be on the road to fully implementing the legalization of pot for both medicinal and recreation purposes. Undoubtedly, the road will be bumpy. The stakes are high. The potential tax revenues could be a huge boom for state tax collections everywhere. Time will tell whether or not pot legalization can happen in an orderly fashion while still protecting the public from harm as is done imperfectly with alcohol, tobacco and firearms.