WASHINGTON: After voters in Washington state and Colorado made history by legalizing marijuana in November 2012, Colorado hit the finish line first, opening its pot stores to big fanfare on Jan. 1 of this year.
By contrast, Washington state had a slow and messy rollout, waiting until July 8 to open its first retail outlets.
But while Colorado created the sizzle for pot legalization by acting quickly, Washington state may end up providing the steak, merely by sticking to a meticulous and cautious approach that in the long run will make it easier for the public to track outcomes.
That’s the gist of a study released Monday by the Brookings Institution, a center-left research center in Washington, D.C., that’s been busy tracking marijuana developments in both states.
“While Colorado is justifiably garnering headlines with its ambitiously rapid _ and in many respects, impressive _ legalization rollout, there is a case to be made that Washington is undertaking the more radical and far-reaching reform,” said Philip Wallach, a Brookings fellow in governance studies who’s the author of the study.