By Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) - Now that Sharon Foster is retiring as head of the Washington Liquor Control Board she is speaking freely about the big alcohol and marijuana decisions during her term.

On the privatization of liquor sales, “I think it’s the dumbest thing we ever did in our state,” Foster told KING ( ).

The voter-approved move led to higher prices and increased shoplifting of alcohol, especially by minors, she said.

“We’ve heard stories there may be alcohol brokers in every high school,” Foster said.

Another voter-approved initiative, the recreational sale of marijuana, needs amending, Foster said.

Lawmakers should lower marijuana taxes if the state wants to take business from the black market, she said. They also should take steps next year to regulate the medical marijuana system.

A former lobbyist from Olympia, Foster was appointed chair of the Liquor Control Board in 2009 by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

While Foster knows her term will be remembered for liquor privatization and marijuana legalization, she is most proud of helping ban caffeinated malt liquor drinks that were blamed for alcohol poisonings of minors in 2010.

“I’m very proud I was a part of that,” Foster said.


Information from: KING-TV,

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