Courtesy of Irvine Seed Company

Washington State University has long been known for its agricultural research. Now it’s expanding its emphasis on a crop that was once considered fringe, but is now becoming more mainstream. It has created a center that focuses on marijuana-related issues.

Courtesy of Green Star Cannabis

It is illegal to use, possess and grow marijuana and several other drugs in Idaho. Now, state lawmakers are a step closer to adding another drug-related prohibition.

Idaho Moves Closer To Allowing Industrial Hemp

Mar 11, 2021
Flickr Creative Commons/Marcia O'Connor

An Idaho Senate committee has approved a bill that would lead to a new industrial hemp industry in the Gem State. Idaho is the only state in the nation not to allow farmers to grow and companies to process industrial hemp, according to Global Hemp Industries.

But the Idaho Farm Bureau, represented at a Thursday hearing by Braden Jensen, is asking legislators to change that.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today on Inland Journal, we wade into the world of sports with two stories, one a visit to Cheney, where the U.S. Curling Association is holding its 2020 national championship. And correspondent Tom Banse tells us about the potential expansion of sports betting in Washington. We’ll also talk with Eastern Washington Democratic congressional candidate Chris Armitage.

But first, pregnant women and marijuana.

WSU Study Surveys Pregnant Women Who Smoke Marijuana

Feb 10, 2020
WSU College of Nursing

Washington State University researchers have tackled the issue of why pregnant women use marijuana. They’ve released a new study that explores the reasons. They also looked at the confusion among the women about how their marijuana use affects their babies.

Idaho Senate Approves Hemp Bill

Apr 1, 2019
State of Idaho

The Idaho Senate today [Monday] approved a bill that would require the state to create a plan to govern hemp in the Gem State. The vote was 32-to-three.

Hemp is now considered a legal product by the federal government. But there’s still confusion about hemp and its botanical cousin, marijuana.

Green Star Cannabis

A bill being proposed in the Washington legislature would outlaw advertising on billboards by marijuana stores.

Current state law allows outdoor billboards for marijuana stores, but retailers are prohibited from showing images of any product, or using movie or cartoon images that would appeal to children.


If you have a marijuana misdemeanor conviction on your record in Washington state, you can now have it removed.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has decided to pardon those with a single marijuana conviction on their record.

Forbes magazine


A Washington laboratory has been granted the first cannabis research license in the state.

Verda Bio Research in Seattle has been granted a license to produce marijuana for study.

Verda CEO Jessica Tonani says it’s a big deal, as very little research is done anywhere in the U.S. on different properties of cannabis.

Progress Made on Marijuana Intoxication Measurement Tool

Dec 14, 2017
Michael Milburn/Druid

The legalization of marijuana in Washington has been terrific for the state’s coffers. According to the Department of Revenue, marijuana retailers totaled $1.2 billion in sales during fiscal year 2017. That’s about $4.8 million a day. The state’s share of that, in taxes, was about $227 million for the fiscal year.

One of the downsides of legal pot is that law enforcement officers are having a hard time proving drivers are impaired by marijuana. They’re don’t have one simple, accurate method for testing people they suspect are high on pot, as they do for drunk drivers.

For several years, Washington State University Professor Emeritus Nick Lovrich has been part of a team trying to develop a tool to measure marijuana intoxication.

Inland Journal, Dec. 14, 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Inland Journal for December 14, 2017

This week on Inland Journal:

    ▪    Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart will talk about his campaign finance ordinance that would provide new rules for campaign contributions in city races.
    ▪    We’ll learn more about the development of a test for marijuana intoxication in drivers.
    ▪    We’ll talk with Temple Beth Shalom Rabbi Tamar Malino about Hanukkah and how it fits into the holiday season and the calendar of Jewish celebrations.

Liquor and Cannabis Board

In the states that have legalized marijuana, Washington is the only one that does not allow recreational users the freedom to grow their own cannabis. Now the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board is offering the legislature some home grow options.

Inland Journal, Dec. 7, 2017

Dec 7, 2017

Inland Journal for December 7, 2017

This week on Inland Journal:

    ▪    Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz talks about a health district resolution that would support a change in Washington’s minimum legal smoking age from 18 to 21.
    ▪    Steve Jackson reports on Washington state legislation to allow people to grow a small number of marijuana plants.
    ▪    We’ll talk with the founding dean of Idaho’s new medical school, which recently received permission to recruit students for its first class.
    ▪    And we’ll meet a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Spokane who served with the Dalai Lama at the Tibetan government in exile in India.

In the states that have legalized marijuana, Washington is the only one that does not allow recreational users the freedom to grow their own cannabis.

Now the Liquor and Cannabis Control Board is offering the legislature some home grow options.

Inland Journal, August 10, 2017

Aug 10, 2017

This week on Inland Journal...
    ▪    We talk with a Chelan state legislator about regulating marijuana in Washington. With Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sparring over the state's pot law enforcement, Republican Representative Cary Condotta says the state is actually doing a good job regulating reefer.
    ▪    We’ll report on a dilemma for liquor retailers in Washington that want to create their own ‘private labels’. Some retailers, such as Costco and Fred Meyer, have been selling their brands, but they’re technically illegal. We’ll look into the situation.
    ▪    We'll learn how new sensors installed on power poles around Spokane are helping researchers learn about air pollution, including wildfire smoke, in the city.
    ▪    And Austin Jenkins from the Northwest News Network will tell us about an upcoming rape trial involving a former top official from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, with allegations that the work culture in one part of the agency was toxic for women.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has released a letter sent by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In it, Sessions suggests Washington is not adequately regulating its legal marijuana market. He reiterates that Congress considers marijuana a dangerous drug and that it’s a federal crime to distribute it.

But at least one Washington legislator thinks Washington is defending how the state has regulated the drug.

Sales of recreational marijuana have blown past expectations in Nevada, threatening to leave some dispensaries with empty shelves. After Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed a statement of emergency in the first week of legal sales, regulators are looking to bolster the supply chain.

The Nevada Tax Commission is meeting Thursday to determine whether the state has enough wholesale marijuana distributors; it could also adopt emergency regulations.

City of Spokane to Check Signatures for Two Initiatives

Jun 27, 2017

The Spokane City Council voted Monday night to have city elections officials count the signatures submitted for two initiatives to see if they’re eligible for the ballot.

One measure would forbid marijuana retail shops from opening less than a thousand feet from certain entities, such as schools and churches. About a dozen people spoke in favor of sending the initiative to the ballot.

Much of the focus in Olympia is on K-12 education and satisfying a state Supreme Court mandate that Washington spend more money on public schools. That would take some of the burden for funding schools away from local property taxes.

But marijuana has been on the agenda too. The state is still making adjustments to the system for regulating and taxing it.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he’s “deeply disappointed” by comments President Trump’s spokesman made Thursday about legalized marijuana.

You won’t have to worry about unclear labels on any pot-infused sweets in Washington state after Valentine’s Day. A rule to help keep children from getting more than just a sugar high goes into full effect Tuesday.

Pot Bills Get Hearings in Washington Legislature

Jan 22, 2017

A Washington House committee approved two bills this week related to the state’s marijuana industry, which has steadily grown since the state’s voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.

In the first, the House Commerce and Gaming Committee voted for legislation aimed at getting counties and cities to act one way or another on marijuana retail license applications. Many cities have licensed new marijuana retail shops that are now doing business. Many have banned those shops within their borders. Some municipalities have done neither.  

A former member of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis control board wonders what Donald Trump’s appointment for US Attorney General will mean for legal marijuana in the state, both recreational and medical.  

California's decision to legalize marijuana was touted as a victory for those who had argued that the state needed a system to decriminalize, regulate and tax it.

But the new law, approved by voters on Nov. 8, also could be a boon to the tobacco industry at a time when cigarette smoking is down and cigarette companies are looking for ways to expand their market, according to researchers in Los Angeles County and around the state.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Friday that she plans to vote in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in California.

"I will vote for it, but I have not made a public statement about it until right this very second," Pelosi, who represents the district that serves San Francisco, told the editorial board and reporters at the Los Angeles Times.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


This story starts with a stay-at-home-mom from the Denver suburbs.

Her name is Abby McLean. She's 30 and lives in Northglenn, Colo. She was driving home from a late dinner with a friend two years ago when she came upon a DUI roadside checkpoint.

"I hadn't drank or smoked anything, so I was like, 'Let's go through the checkpoint,' " she recalls.

McLean is a regular marijuana user but she insists she never drives while high.

If pot laws were colors, a map of the U.S. map would resemble a tie-dye T-shirt.

In some states, marijuana is illegal. In others, it's legal for medical purposes. And still in others, it is even legal for recreational use.

Recreational pot has been legal in Oregon now for a year, but it was a long time coming. Voters approved medicinal pot 20 years ago. Arizona is voting on it this fall – along with California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. It was only six years ago that Arizona approved marijuana for medicinal use.