Smoke ‘em when you can get ‘em

Roll, roll, roll your joint: The big tobacco companies don’t seem interested, but the state is already taking applications from those who want to be certified to grow marijuana legally. The state has a year to develop a system of state-licensed growers, processors and retail stores.

It’s still not clear who will land the big contract. Washington State University is the state’s agricultural school, but The Evergreen State College has the deepest pool of potential workers with experience in production and marketing.

Shiny Happy People: A poll of nearly 150,000 people across the globe found that Latin America is home to seven of the top 10 countries with the world’s happiest people. Among the most upbeat countries were Panama and Paraguay. The United States ranked No. 33 of 148 countries polled.

Check back with us next year, once the pot stores are open in Washington state.

Jumping in with both feet: The Seattle Mariners traded pitcher Jason Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels for power hitter Kendrys Morales on Wednesday. Morales hit .273 with 22 home runs and 73 RBIs last year, after infamously missing all of the 2011 season when he broke his leg jumping on to home plate after a game-ending grand slam against the Mariners in a 2010 game.

The Mariners, who are already moving in the outfield fences to help their hitters, will also replace home plate with a beanbag chair.

—Jon Bauer, Herald staff

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