Sweet democracy on a stick. As of yesterday evening, every member of Seattle legislative delegation to Olympia—all ten representatives and all five senators from the 34th, 36th, 37th, 43rd, and 46th Districts—had gone on the record to say that they support taxing, regulating, and legalizing marijuana. They join every elected official at City Hall (the mayor, the city attorney, and all nine members of the city council) and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
The final holdout was 46th District Representative David Frockt (who had been opposed to legalization a couple weeks ago). However, after a little goading and he heard testimonies from former US attorney John McKay and a former Whatcom County judge on a bill to tax and regulate pot, Frockt called last night to say that he had come around. He wouldn't commit to any specific bill, but said, "I am okay with legalization, I am okay with regulation, and I am fine with taxation." Good job, Rep. Frockt.
Has any other major US city shown such widespread support among its elected leaders for legalizing marijuana? I don't know. I just called an office at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where a staffer told me that uniform support for legalization "is not the case in San Francisco," adding that his employer, Sean R. Elsbernd, "would have some concerns."
This seems significant, whether we're the first city or not: It appears that the safest position politically these days—the most mainstream position a politician can take in Seattle—is to replace the War on Pot with a government takeover the entire industry. Quashing the politically toxic drug war is a winning platform. A decade ago, before Seattle voters had deprioritized enforcement of pot possession, most local lawmakers wouldn't touch this issue with a ten-foot bong. A poll last year found that most people in Washington support legalizing pot. Now all the lawmakers and the media are on board, too.
Not to get too speculative, but... is this what it looks like approximately 18 months before the first state in the US legalizes marijuana?