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Friday, January 27, 2012

Pot Legalization Qualifies for WA Ballot

Posted by on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM

It's certified by the state elections division: Washington State voters will decide this fall whether they will approve Initiative 502 to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana.

"A signature-check by the State Elections Division, using a random sample, determined that sponsors had nearly 278,000 valid signatures," writes Secretary of State's office spokesman David Ammons, "well in excess of the 241,153 required."

This is going to be a huge national issue. The NYT has a new profile of a similar measure likely headed to voters in Colorado. With at least two states going to the polls, this will be national lightning rod—possibly more than California's Prop 19 was in 2010—that attracts presidential-race debate and national news cycles, to say nothing of the saturation it will have with local mainstream media.


Comments (18) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
There are initiatives in California,Colorado,and Missouri that are morally superior to I-502.
Posted by 5th Columnist on January 30, 2012 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Well, Jimmy T....since all you seem to be able to do is cut and paste NAW propaganda, here's one from John McKay that you should really enjoy. It certainly speaks to the NAW mindset regarding legalization.

"...we should give serious consideration to heavy regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry (an industry that is very real and dangerously underground).We should limit pot's content of the active ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), regulate its sale to adults who are dumb enough to want it and maintain criminal penalties for sales, possession or use by minors, drivers and boaters."

-John McKay, Sponsor of I-502
(Seattle Times & the NAW website)

Hey Jimmy....your buddy John McKay just dumped you into the category of "adults who are dumb enough to want it". I would also add "adults that are dumb enough to actually vote for this initiative". Gotta love his ideas though, right? Heavily tax it and, at the same time, reduce its potentcy, and then throw anyone who uses it in jail for DUID. Oh, and increase penalties for possession of over an ounce to a felony. Is this really your idea of "legalization"? Will you just vote for anything that has the word "legalization" attached to it? Maybe McKay is right and recreational stoners really are that stupid.

Posted by CannaCare on January 29, 2012 at 9:06 AM · Report this
Washington State Initiative Measure No. 502 (I-502)
" because marijuana prohibition has failed and Congress and the legislature must act to eliminate the danger to public safety posed by the enormous American black market. Unless states act to regulate, control and decriminalize most uses of marijuana, Congress will continue to ignore the law enforcement danger and assert federal criminal laws that ill serve the public."

I-501 Sponsor former United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Seattle University professor of National Security Law and Constitutional Law, John McKay.
He served as the chief federal law enforcement officer responsible for the prosecution of drug crimes, including marijuana smuggling, distribution and use. A past President of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C., he has served as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the F.B.I. Director, a Congressional Aide to the late Joel Pritchard (R-WA)
Posted by JimmyT on January 28, 2012 at 11:54 PM · Report this
Greg 15
Good. The feds won't look at marijuana reform until the states fight back hard enough to force them to.
Posted by Greg on January 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 14
@12 Which is why the people who complain about it not being perfect are completely wrong on the initiative. Can't see the forest for the trees, as it were...
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on January 27, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
Chef Thunder 13
I think someone on the #10 bus thinks this has passed already. It's skunky on here
Posted by Chef Thunder on January 27, 2012 at 5:41 PM · Report this
This is not just important nationally but internationally. Lots of folks in other countries will be paying very close attention.

The US is the biggest dog in the room when it comes to the UN convention on drugs and has argued vehemently against any support of harm reduction and any talk of drug policy reform. At every international health or drug related conference delegates from outside the US plead with US delegates to rebel. If we can get a couple of states to go into open revolt against the feds it can seriously undercut the US position against reform on the international stage.

This is important and we really need to win.
Posted by gnossos on January 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
@10, Indeed, Executive Order is a wonderful tool. POTUS can end this with a single executive order. It may indeed become polarized enough that the feds will count the tax dollars and we will see an extreme excise tax on social use which will maintain current prices. $150,000,.000,000 annually is actually enough of a cash flow to attract national attention...
Posted by pupuguru on January 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 10
@4: Rule of law folks are mind-bogglingly stupid. Obama can ensure that the Federal law isn't required to be enforced.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 9
@7: " I'd be very curious to see how the feds react if a number of states start breaking into open revolt on this."

They'll never move to legalize federally until the States revolt.
Posted by undead ayn rand on January 27, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
First of all it will take states legalizing weed long before the feds go forward on legalizing it nationally. I would guess that at a minimum about 5-10 states would have to completely legalize it before the feds would even consider a national change. As for it still being illegal federally, I would hope that the feds would take the same approach to a legalized weed state as they do to MMJ, were as long as you're in compliance of the states laws and not transporting it over state lines they will not pursue it.
Posted by Luckykid on January 27, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
@3 Given the current administration's "we won't prosecute if you don't break state law" policy (which is admittedly sometimes ignored in practice), I'd be very curious to see how the feds react if a number of states start breaking into open revolt on this.

I also can't wait to hear how supposedly "states' rights, 10th amendment" conservatives react; usually they turn into ardent federal supremacists the very moment any state starts doing anything they disapprove of (viz. gay marriage and the push for a federal marriage amendment)
Posted by Corydon on January 27, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
NaFun 6
@3 - and now we're gonna get to see how that plays out. Which is the point.
Posted by NaFun on January 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
smade 5
@3 My concern as well. As much as I think weed should be as legal as Doritos, arguing for states rights in this instance seems to weaken liberal arguments against states rights in other areas.
Posted by smade on January 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 4
@3) Then it's a good thing that 99 percent of pot cases are enforced by state officers and prosecuted under state law. Did they teach you that in civics class?
Posted by Dominic Holden on January 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
orino 3
Well, good for them, but it won't change the Federal law that makes possession, sale and distribution of marijuana illegal. Federal law trumps state law, which was the first thing they taught us in high school civics class (though I understand they don't teach civics in high school anymore)...
Posted by orino on January 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 2
Colorado's measure hasn't officially been certified, BTW. Although three times as many signatures as necessary were submitted, they're being disqualified at a high rate of speed. Fucking dopers.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on January 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Speaking as non-pot smoking Coloradan, I say it's about god-damned time for both of our states. Persecuting marijuana users, producers and sellers is such a huge waste of resources for nearly no return whatsoever.
Posted by Corydon on January 27, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this

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