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Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States, after California.
Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the state's highest elevation, at almost 14,411 feet (4,392 meters), and is the 2nd topographically prominent mountain in the continental United States, the first being Denali in Alaska. Its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar.
The state is the biggest producer of apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, dry edible peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes.
Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state's economy.
From north to south, these major volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Eastern Washington – the part of the state east of the Cascades – has a relatively dry climate, in distinct contrast to the west side.
It borders Idaho to the east, bounded mostly by the meridian running north from the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River (about 116°57' west), except for the southernmost section where the border follows the Snake River.
Oregon is to the south, with the Columbia River forming the western part and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the Oregon-Washington border. Its northern border lies mostly along the 49th parallel, and then via marine boundaries through the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, and Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north.
The state consistently ranks among the best for life expectancy and low unemployment.
Along with Colorado, Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis, was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage, doing so in 2012, and was one of only four U. states to have been providing legal abortions on request before the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Similarly, Washington voters approved a 2008 referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide, and is currently only one of five states, along with Oregon, California, Colorado and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia to have legalized the practice.
Confusion over the state of Washington and the city of Washington, D. C.'s, own statehood movement in the 21st century includes a proposal to use the name "State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth", which would conflict with the current state of Washington.