Inslee: 'Federal gov't needs to stand aside and let us move forward'

SEATTLE -- Jay Inslee has been the governor-elect for only five days, but he's ready for a showdown with the feds on the state's new marijuana law.

Wednesday, he announced some members of his transition team, and he intends to hit the ground running when he takes office.

On the subject of marijuana, he says almost defiantly, "the voters of Washington have spoken."

"This is not a decision that will jeopardize national security, it is not a decision that will jeopardize national interstate commerce," Inslee said. "It is a local neighborhood decision made in our neighborhoods. We've made it, so now we need the federal government to stand aside and let us move forward."

And if they don't?

"Well, hopefully that's not going to happen. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.

I asked him about our Problem Solvers investigation that pointed out structural issues with the pontoons on the new 520 bridge. Inslee says he's paying attention.

"What I know largely, frankly, is what you've reported on, and I've been following that in the press reports," Inslee said. "In January, when I take the reins, I'll make sure we have a very systemic review to make sure they have long-term structural integrity."

In the next four years, there will be tough decisions, and certainly times of doubt. But right now, Inslee thinks Washington needs a dose of positivity, and he's already delivering that.

"I want to hew to the Washington spirit, which is unrelenting optimism, unrelenting innovation, and a thirst to entrepreneurship. That's who we are in this state," he said. "These are the kind of times sometimes where you can actually rock 'n roll and cause change. And I want to be a change agent."

Inslee says he's already called up 2/3 of the state legislature -- both Democrats and Republicans -- and asked them for input, ideas, and recommendations for his staff.

And his message to the 49 percent of Washington voters who didn't vote for him? He says he'll be looking for their ideas and, sometimes, even their criticisms.