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Thursday, March 1, 2012

We're Not Anti-Legalization, We're Anti-Bad Policy

Posted by on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM

This guest post is by Anthony Martinelli, treasurer of a campaign to oppose Initiative 502, which would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. We've run previous pieces opposing I-502 here and here. — Eds

As an individual who has worked publicly to end cannabis prohibition, and as someone who fully understands how painfully archaic and dangerous prohibition is, it's quite difficult to find myself so adamantly opposed to our state's Initiative 502. However, when giving it an impartial look (especially from a legal and constitutional standpoint), it becomes quite clear, at the very least, that things are not what they're being presented as.

For one: It’s not legalization. Initiative 502 simply sets up a legal exception in our state code for individuals to possess one ounce of dried cannabis (and a small amount of other cannabis-infused products), and for certain individuals to be licensed through the state (for cultivation, distribution, and sales, to be regulated through the Liquor Control Board). The latter, and any possibility of a regulated legal market, will be rendered invalid almost instantaneously given the fact that the initiative is legally faulty, and is absolutely not designed to withstand a federal challenge (you simply cannot force a state to accept taxes from a federally illegal substance and expect it to stand ground in a court battle). This will lead to it being rapidly preempted, leaving us with possession-only decrim for designated amounts of cannabis, and a per se Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) which many in the reform movement (including NORML) have fought against for years, and in some instances decades.

For those who say that this DUID provision would leave us no worse off, or no less protected than we are currently: Under Washington State law, an individual can be prosecuted for driving under the influence of cannabis, IF an officer can prove impairment (a system that our elected officials and law enforcement has found no need to lobby against). Under Initiative 502, that law would be altered to be a per se (strict liability) law of 5 ng/ml of THC content in a persons blood (zero tolerance if you’re under 21, despite the fact you can possess medical cannabis under 21 in our state). These are numbers that have absolutely no scientific consensus attached to them and science has shown patients and cannabis consumers can fail hours and even days after they last consumed cannabis (visit our website for more information). This has nothing to do with impairment or impaired driving, and rather is an attempt to gain votes from the propaganda-filled mainstream voter.

Worst off, and one of the largest and specific reason most of us oppose I-502 so adamantly, is that the authors of this initiative refused to include rebuttable presumption in their strict liability policy. In layman's terms, this means that if you’re above their designated limit (which refuses to acknowledge that we all metabolize cannabis at different rates: women and those who are overweight will store active THC longer): you’re instantly guilty of a DUID, and you lose your right to a fair trial. This leads you to be given no opportunity to present a legal defense in court, completely ignoring the 6th amendment of our Constitution.

This simply isn’t ethical or scientifically sound policy.

Initiative 502, beyond the issues I cover here, is riddled with other faults and inconsistencies (passing a joint to a friend in a circle would still be considered "marijuana distribution" under state law if it passes, for example), but clearly what's been the sticking point for most patients, cannabis consumers and legalization advocates who oppose I-502 is the per se DUID limit mentioned above (and altering it after passage is highly unlikely as "drugged" driving penalties are essentially never decreased, and a recent attempt to protect patients from the per se limit failed out of committee). Beyond the dangers of this limit, many fear the negative precedent it has the potential to set (pushing other reform efforts to adopt a similarly unethical per se policy). For many people these are serious issues.

And to be honest, when even endorsements from organization's like NORML come with the caveat that the per se DUID provision is “arbitrary, unscientific, and unnecessary”, it's going to be increasingly hard for the supporters of this initiative to continue to marginalize the opposition and their points of contention.

 

Comments (208) RSS

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1
Howdy do - I am the perfect, enemy of the good.
Posted by gloomy gus on March 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
Baconcat 2
Why didn't you attempt to get the legislature to amend the measure? They could have done that right out.

And what percentage of your coalition would lose money if marijuana were accessible in an OTC way?

I'll leave the irony of proving our commitment to legal marijuana by killing efforts to legalize it as an aside for now
Posted by Baconcat on March 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM · Report this
3
Was this what trying to end alcohol prohibition was like? "We don't want expanded rights unless we can drive drunk?"
Posted by shaneleopard on March 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Cydney 4
There was recently an attempt made by one of the co-sponsors of I-502 (State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson) to provide protection for patients against the per se DUID limit proposed in I-502. It didn't even make it out of committee - so to assume we haven't tried, or that it could be done (once it passes it legally can't be changed for 2 years) is naive at best. Have you ever heard of DUI laws being relaxed? Come on now...

Do we really want unscientific, unfair, biased laws becoming our standard because we decided to settle for less than legalization? Do we really feel the need to exchange one innocent person incarcerated for another? Is this just? Do these ends really justify the means? Especially when a DUI charge is harsher on someone's record than a minor possession charge? I don't think so.

We need to avoid setting a bad example for the rest of the legalization movement, and institute science-based laws that our citizens respect and abide by.
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
5
howdy do ... i am regress, the enemy of progress.

howdy do ... i am a pig wearing lipstick, they've named me "reform" take ME to the prom.

howdy do ... i am law enforcement here to exchange your old prohibition with a a new updated version - prohibition502. oh.

howdy do ... the DUID will cost you $10,000 and five years probation where I can F you over again and again without cause.

howdy do ... here is your placstic cup. please don't pee on the floor.
Posted by ChronicKindness on March 1, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
6
If someone is high, whether they be an ailing cancer patient or a stoner student skipping class, they shouldn't be behind the wheel. You're not even supposed to drive on antihistamines, so why would it be OK to drive under the influence of psychoactive THC?
Posted by yourepretentious on March 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
approachingmidnight 7
Oh sweet, a message from the group of people that will more or less go out of business if this passes.

After all this struggle, lives ruined by being thrown in jail, and illegal activity around the underground trade during prohibition.....you're going to sell out for cash over conscious. I can't tell if you have deluded yourself, or are just pretending and playing a game for the cash here....but i consider this the ultimate sellout for the cause to finally start the repeal of this damaging prohibition.

I used to think your scene was about helping those in pain, now I just see you are protecting your wallets. Hey! But who cares, amirite!.....Let's just keep filling our jails with people chilling on this instead of a beer at the end of the day.
Posted by approachingmidnight http://www.google.com/search?q=don't+argue+with+me+buster on March 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
8
An attempt to get mainstream votes?! Say it ain't so! A measure that might actually pass?! Man, that's horrible, horrible stuff right there...
Posted by pheeeew!crack!boom! on March 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
Cydney 9
When alcohol prohibition was repealed it took years to establish regulatory laws. It certainly wasn't done the way I-502 is proposing we handle cannabis prohibition. We repealed alcohol prohibition - I-502 does not repeal anything, nor does it address the issue of prohibition - in fact, it perpetuates prohibition with the addition of new laws to persecute and prosecute cannabis consumers.

I don't think the people opposing I-502 support impaired driving...They just don't support innocent people being arrested - for any reason.

Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM · Report this
pfffter 10
@5 fear doesn't work for most of us. We have critical thinking skills. Try a Republican blog.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
pfffter 11
Legal possession is a great first start in my opinion, and it is common sense to put in a per se restriction. In my opinion, there should be a per se restriction on any medication that causes impairment. Legal possession is no small feat.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 12
"(which refuses to acknowledge that we all metabolize cannabis at different rates: women and those who are overweight will store active THC longer)"

And with this statement, Mr. Martinelli, you demonstrate that you do not understand the pharmacokinetics of THC.

THC is stored longer in these people, in their fat tissues. Fat concentration =/= blood concentration. THC is slowly released over time into the bloodstream, at very low concentrations, where it is rapidly metabolized into other cannabinoids. All of the primary, peer-reviewed investigations of THC blood levels that have been discussed on this blog in the last week (including those which you yourself have cited) show that the only time people have whole blood levels of THC in excess of the proposed legal limit is within a couple of hours of smoking.

Look at the data. Don't infer from an abstract, or a summary. It is all there.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 13
THC *stored in fat tissues* is slowly released...
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 1, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
approachingmidnight 14
Hey @5 and crew (and to any late to this ongoing discussion and are thinking these guys might be arguing honestly)....

Dominic already found that the study they cite actually proves the _opposite_ of the scare tactics they are using.

Those against 502 are just protecting their bank accounts, at the cost of innocent lives being thrown in jail and ruined. Disgusting.

Sorry, Medical Marijuana Activists, Your Study Doesn't Prove that I-502 Will Nab Sober Drivers for DUIs
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
Posted by approachingmidnight http://www.google.com/search?q=don't+argue+with+me+buster on March 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
NaFun 15
It legalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, or 16 ounces of hash or hash oil and 72 ounces of tincture, regardless of how obtained, for all adults in the state. No arrest, no fine, no civil infraction, not even a warning. LEGAL.

This is not nothing. This is 10,000 fewer Washington residents seeing a police station because they were caught with marijuana in their possession.

Can you name one patient who was arrested for driving with more than 5ng/ml of active THC in their blood that then got off without a DUID? Just one? If not, what is lost?

To quote Russ Bellville of NORML,
"if your objection to I-502 is some innocent toke-all-day patient who’s unimpaired is going to get a DUID, you should be counseling them to never drive NOW. The standard cops need to take a patient’s blood on suspicion of DUID is exactly the same now as it will be post I-502, so your patients are already taking that risk."

And your severability argument fails because you think we're not aware of it. We are, and are anticipating the feds trying something like that, making for the most epic marijuana court case in decades.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Dougsf 16
So, Washingtonians shouldn't support a state measure that's susceptible to Federal scrutiny until... what? Federal law coincides with what this bill is try to accomplish?

Baby steps, dude. You can't just start running.
Posted by Dougsf on March 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 17
@9: Sure, but they need to counter with better methodologies in order to sway opinion their way, not.

Effectively saying that it's "impossible" to determine impaired drivers by any means leads to the assumption that they don't give a shit about innocence or not.

The many supporters of I-502 believe that it will be part of an effort to REDUCE the number of innocent cannabis users. If more people must refrain from self-medicating and driving, so be it.

It's up to you to come up with a more scientific method, I guarantee that we'll sign on to that as well.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 12:38 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 18
@15: Yeah, that the anti-I502ers are lying about what's already on the books isn't helping anything as well.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM · Report this
19
Funny how he doesn't mention that I-502 will put the profitable, semi-legal "medical marijuana" purveyors out of business.

Most of the time, if you want to figure out what someone's opinion is, all you have to do is follow the money.

Posted by SLCamper on March 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
schmacky 20
What I don't understand is that Anthony and his ilk seem to think the DUID provisions included here are written in stone, completely impervious to future amendments and changes. If it proves to be overly restrictive and large amounts of unimpaired people are getting ticketed, IT CAN BE CHANGED.

To oppose the ENTIRE legalization bill, with so much official backing behind it and so much zeitgeist momentum because ONE aspect of it isn't perfect right this second is transparently bad strategy. Unless, of course, you've got a profitable monopoly to protect.
Posted by schmacky on March 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
NaFun 21
Cydney @9 - Funny, your avatar pic says Stop Arresting Cannabis Users, yet you are telling us to vote against an initiative that would do just that.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
AnthonyM 22
Hi approachingmidnight, I just wanted to make clear that our entire group is made up of volunteers, and many of us have been fighting for legalization for many years. However, we can't accept instituting a per se DUID policy, without scientific consensus and without a legal defense, in exchange for a distribution system that will be preempted (we're not the only ones adamantly against a strict liability policy, NORML and many other reform groups have been fighting against per se policies, very heavily, for years).

Also, the study that I quoted to Dominic was a study showing that individuals can fail the ZERO tolerance policy set in place for individuals who are under 21 (which the study in Dominic's article proves, as 24% of the individuals were above that limit 6 full days after having consumed cannabis, which clearly has nothing to do with impairment - check out a recent testimony from Dr. Gil Mobley who spoke in front of the House Judiciary Committee in favor of protecting patients against Initiative 502's per se DUID law: http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/medic…).

And undead ayn, we're not saying that it's impossible to prove impairment (which is currently our state law - an officer must prove impairment), we're saying that there is no scientific consensus on any particular per se limit, better yet 5 ng/ml, so to take away our legal defense in court for a designated limit decided by a few lawyers and politicians seems unacceptable.
Posted by AnthonyM on March 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM · Report this
Cydney 23
#15 you have to realize that a huge majority of cannabis arrests happen during traffic stops and in cars, so with a per se DUID limit cops will still be able to harass cannabis consumers non-stop, and you possessing your "legal" ounce will be enough cause for them to blood test you (and if you have that ounce, it likely means you're a smoker, and that means you'll almost surely be above the limit).

I think you guys need to look at the fact that NORML and most all other reform groups are AGAINST a per se limit VERY heavily...so to argue it's not wrong doesn't make sense.
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Cydney 24
@ 21 - Funny, I've spent years fighting for legalization - true legalization. I didn't realize ending cannabis prohibition included a mandatory law to incarcerate people in a new way, effectively extending prohibition. What experience do you have fighting for the end of prohibition? Or is your experience limited to reading and commenting on The Slog?

If you have spent any time fighting for repeal, you would know this is not legalization, and that per se DUID laws are unacceptable - The most prestigious of the cannabis reform movement have been fighting per se DUID laws for years, including NORML, and recently MPP has been waging a campaign against instituting a per se limit in Colorado.

So tell me - where do your efforts towards legalization stand in comparison of those that have been fighting for this for years, some even decades? And what credibility do you have to say this is legalization? What are you, a cop? Or just confused?
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 12:59 PM · Report this
25
The following smears have been made on these pages bby Dominic Holden, and are being faithfully parroted by the commenters above:

Smear: opponents just want to drive stoned.
Fact: heavy users will fail the test without being impaired, and lose their right in court to argue they were not.

Smear: opponents are driven by profit motive.
Fact: opponents are volunteers working to fight cannabis penalties, not create new ones.

Smear: opponents don't care about thousands of arrests annually.
Fact: arrests will not drop, but rather shift to the more onerous charges of DUI (most arrests occur at traffic stops) and trafficking (passing a joint remains illegal).

Smear: Martinelli tried to use the Karschner study to show patients would fail the test.
Fact: Martinelli cited the Karschner study to show how zero tolerance would unfairly convict the under-21 set for DUI.

Smear: opponents are anti-legalization.
Fact: opponents work every day trying to change the laws for the better, and have read the bill closely enough to see it as a step backward, or at best a wash.

I-502 is a poll-driven Frankenstein bill designed to dupe misinformed soccer moms for a headline that dupes the rest of the country into believing Washington State has legalized pot.
Posted by John Toker on March 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM · Report this
pfffter 26
@23 to argue it is not wrong doesn't make sense? Personally, I'm not going to put Anthony's or NORML's interests above my own in getting this law passed. I smoke, and I have enough bloody sense not to drive while impaired. What THEY (and you) are arguing doesn't make sense, scientifically or commonly speaking.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
NaFun 27
@23 - Unless I was smoking as I was driving, or right before I was driving, I likely would NOT be above the limit. I don't smoke 4 blunts a day. Also, I would happily fight the probable cause for a blood draw based on my legal possession of under an ounce of marijuana. Possession of a 24 pack of Coors is not probable cause for a Breathalyzer test.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:04 PM · Report this
pfffter 28
@25 sorry, to the normal pot-smoking citizen, it is most definitely not a wash. And I'll be fucked if I'm going to vote against an amendment because 18-21 year olds won't be able to smoke out and drive at all. Dude, whatever.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 1:07 PM · Report this
NaFun 29
@24 - Seriously, a dick-sizing contest to see who is the bigger, more dedicated drug reformer? I run dancesafe.org, am a member of the Seattle HempFest Core Committee, and have been involved in marijuana reform efforts in Washington State since moving here in 1999. I don't care about your creds, because IT DOESN'T MATTER.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 30
@25: "Fact: heavy users will fail the test without being impaired, and lose their right in court to argue they were not."

You have to prove that "fact" instead of regurgitating it as if it's objective "fact".
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Cydney 31
@ 26 - I put the interest of justice before convenience. I don't think innocent, unimpaired people should be arrested so you can have easier access to get yours. That is selfish, and wrong.

@27 - You obviously are probably not a patient or regular consumer, and therefore may have less of a risk of being caught over the limit, however; If you were to be driving over the arbitrary 5ng limit proposed in I-502, and a law enforcement officer were to pull you over to test you, you would have no way to refuse that test based on implied consent laws, and no way to defend your DUID conviction or level of impairment based on the per se law.

You people either aren't grasping the concept of being charged without impairment or proof of impairment, or you don't care if innocent people have their lives permanently damaged by unjust laws. What is wrong with you people? If you are against prohibition, why are you support the perpetuation of cannabis consumer persecution? Why are you giving away our rights, and giving the prohibitionists further ways to continue this war against our citizens? Replacing the old prohibition laws for new ones is not the way to solve our problems, as we saw when we ended prohibition the first time around and then ended up in this mess...
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Cydney 32
@ 29 - Vivian McPeak himself has denounced I-502. Where's your head at?

Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 33
Seriously, how many legitimate medical MJ patients do we have in WA under the age of 21? I'm sure it isn't zero, but I cannot imagine that this is a very high number. And for everyone else under 21, pot will still be illegal under 502. I agree that's a shitty age at which to draw the line (just as it is for alcohol) but it does make sense in the context of extant law. Perfect, good, etc.

I'm not trying to smear anyone. But I won't stand by while science I happen to know a thing or two about is being misquoted, misinterpreted, and generally misunderstood to oppose a policy change that I think we need very, very badly.

Mr. Martinelli says he cites Karschner because her work shows people will test over the zero tolerance level for persons under 21. Fine. It does show that. But it (and the Toennes study cited by Dr. Mobley) also show (rather convincingly) that it is exceedingly unlikely for even heavy users to have blood levels over 5.0 ng/ml, except when they have smoked within the last few hours.

Dr. Mobley cites his own research that indicates higher blood levels among medical cannabis patients, and further indicates that they are not impaired at those levels. This is an important counter-point, if accurate, and I will be willing to re-visit my assessment of the 5.0 cutoff in light of it...once that data set and the methodology used to obtain it has been scrutinized by the process of peer review, as have these other studies. Until then, we have Dr. Mobley's word that the data say what he says they say. That's not a knock on Dr. Mobley...that's how science works..
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 1, 2012 at 1:22 PM · Report this
NaFun 34
@32 - He doesn't speak for me on this issue, and doesn't dictate what I get to say. HempFest hasn't taken a position on the initiative and I'm not speaking on behalf of HempFest.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM · Report this
pfffter 35
@31 I would not be driving over the limit. Just like I wouldn't drive while intoxicated with alcohol. If someone is driving over the limit, they deserve to get arrested. Period. I'm not voting against this initiative when you haven't proven ONE IOTA that innocent people will be arrested.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 1:24 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 36
"You obviously are probably not a patient or regular consumer, and therefore may have less of a risk of being caught over the limit"

And? Your definition of "regular consumer" may be impaired.

"however; If you were to be driving over the arbitrary 5ng limit proposed in I-502, and a law enforcement officer were to pull you over to test you, you would have no way to refuse that test based on implied consent laws, and no way to defend your DUID conviction or level of impairment based on the per se law."

I believe that he was implying that you already have no way to refuse that test. This reiterates but does not supplant what's on the books.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 1:25 PM · Report this
37
The latest salvo from "Patients Against Pragmatism" comes in the form of this post from their Dr. Gil Mobley:

"During his testimony, Dr. Mobley provided the committee with data from patient blood samples showing higher than the 5ng/ml limit proposed by New Approach Washington and I-502. In the evidence provided by Dr. Mobley, each patient went through a series of tests including the Washington State Sobriety Test, as well as neuro-cognitive assessments and reflex reaction time tests. Each patient passed despite having THC levels higher than the 5ng/ml limit as proposed in I-502."

Hmm... so these patients who are above 5ng/mL demonstrate no impairment and are easily able to pass a field sobriety test. I see.

So, what exactly is the probable cause an officer is going to use to compel the taking of their blood? This is the key point the No on Ending Prohibition crowd is not telling you - an officer has to have reasonable cause to believe you are impaired in order to take your blood. They want you to think I-502's passage means roadside checkpoints and automatic blood tests for anyone who smells like weed, and it just ain't so. If you pass the field sobriety test - he's got no probable cause!

Plus, remember, possession of an ounce isn't a crime - it's not probable cause to be messing with you in the first place. Neither is a burned-out taillight, speeding, expired registration tags, or any of the various traffic infractions the We Want Perfect Legalization Now crowd will hypothesize the poor innocent patient being pulled over and blood tested for.

What I-502 will do is make it so that a person who smokes pot all day every day, and then either gets in a wreck or demonstrates impairment to a cop, eligible for a blood test which, if read at over 5ng/mL, will guarantee a DUID conviction. What they want you to ignore is the fact that RIGHT NOW if you either get in a wreck or demonstrate impairment to a cop, you're eligible for a blood test which, if read at ANY ng/mL, will be strong evidence to convict you of a DUID. (And, actually, having a 5ng = impaired standard may make it easier to get out of a conviction if you're below 5ng.)

Another thing they won't tell you: you can refuse a blood test. Yes, Washington has "implied consent", but what that means is you consented for a blood test OR your license is administratively suspended. If you refuse the blood test, they can still charge you with the DUID based on your demonstrated impairment and they could obtain a warrant to force the blood draw (which takes even more time and gives you a better chance to be below 5ng when it is taken).

The administrative suspension, if you don't appeal within 20 days (at a cost of $200), will take effect on 61st day after your arrest, and run for at least 90 days. That's separate from your criminal trial for DUID. However, that trial has to proceed with either no blood sample from you or a blood sample taken after the long wait for the warrant. You'd be no more guilty than if you volunteered the blood sample and you have a better shot at acquittal if they don't have the blood sample.

Now, when I was 17, I got a reckless driving ticket. I was found guilty at trial, spent two days in jail, and lost my license for two years. It sucked, but it wasn't the end of the world. And nowhere in society does anyone care that I got that conviction, aside from some higher insurance premiums shortly afterward. My father got at least two DUI convictions I can recall, and those, too, weren't the end of the world.

But marijuana convictions - being a drug criminal - those stick with you. A 21-year-old with a per se DUID doesn't lose his financial aid - but he does for possession a quarter-ounce of weed. A single mom on welfare doesn't lose her federal housing for a DUID - but she loses her home for possessing weed. And 27 million annual pot smokers in America don't take a step forward by defeating a bad DUID law - they do if we become the first state to legalize.

Per se DUID sucks - it is unscientific, unnecessary, and unjust. So is marijuana prohibition. However, as noted, it is a compromise to the scared soccer moms who fear runaway stoned drivers in the streets should they vote for I-502 (as was the "zero tolerance" for <21). That's politics. If that compromise gets legalization passed, then the next battles are to secure personal home cultivation and end per se DUID - both tasks which are easier when you are legal consumers fighting to expand your rights than when you are criminal potheads looking to drive while high.

"Legalization" is not a destination, it is a journey. No on I-502 says this isn't "legalization" because it is not their pie-in-the-sky All Pot Is Legal As Much As You Want Anywhere You Want Anytime You Want Initiative that they've never gotten to the ballot in multiple tries. And when you hear some medical marijuana doctor, clinic, or dispensary tell you to vote the same way as the Drug Czar on I-502, remember that when it passes, very few people will need to buy $200 permission slips to smoke pot and real licensed and regulated businessmen will be selling it to them.
More...
Posted by RadicalRuss on March 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Cydney 38
And remember guys....this per se DUID policy is exactly what the White House is calling for....supported by the DEA themselves!

Think twice before you question the motives of those of us against this...it's BAD, bad...bad policy, and it's exactly what law enforcement wants.

Also, to give you some perspective...This initiative in endorsed and sponsored by the very person who put cannabis reform icon Marc Emery behind bars for 5 years - and to this day, openly admits to having no feelings of guilt or remorse for doing so.

Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 39
All limits are "arbitrary". Relative accuracy is what we should strive for. And a minimum of harm for ALL people. If that means that some people should stay home or use public transportation or take more cabs, so be it.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
pfffter 40
@38 Translation: "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

Hahaha. Come back with more evidence, less alarmist bullshit.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
approachingmidnight 41
Seriously @23/24/25? Seriously??

Somebody alluded to it earlier in the comments, and I see they're right. This really *is* like arguing against the GOP house or something. You're just going to keep repeating irrelevant or false facts, ad nauseam.

There are so many lies, half (and misleading) truths, and hyperbole in your statements, it's hard to know where to start on any debate (while still getting some work done today).

It would be nice to have you fighting for, instead of against, the average voter on this measure. You know, the average Washington adult who just wants to chill, relax, and smile at home after a long day's work.
Posted by approachingmidnight http://www.google.com/search?q=don't+argue+with+me+buster on March 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
42
The latest salvo from "Patients Against Pragmatism" comes in the form of this post from their Dr. Gil Mobley:

"During his testimony, Dr. Mobley provided the committee with data from patient blood samples showing higher than the 5ng/ml limit proposed by New Approach Washington and I-502. In the evidence provided by Dr. Mobley, each patient went through a series of tests including the Washington State Sobriety Test, as well as neuro-cognitive assessments and reflex reaction time tests. Each patient passed despite having THC levels higher than the 5ng/ml limit as proposed in I-502."

Hmm... so these patients who are above 5ng/mL demonstrate no impairment and are easily able to pass a field sobriety test. I see.

So, what exactly is the probable cause an officer is going to use to compel the taking of their blood? This is the key point the No on Ending Prohibition crowd is not telling you - an officer has to have reasonable cause to believe you are impaired in order to take your blood. They want you to think I-502's passage means roadside checkpoints and automatic blood tests for anyone who smells like weed, and it just ain't so. If you pass the field sobriety test - he's got no probable cause!

Plus, remember, possession of an ounce isn't a crime - it's not probable cause to be messing with you in the first place. Neither is a burned-out taillight, speeding, expired registration tags, or any of the various traffic infractions the We Want Perfect Legalization Now crowd will hypothesize the poor innocent patient being pulled over and blood tested for.

What I-502 will do is make it so that a person who smokes pot all day every day, and then either gets in a wreck or demonstrates impairment to a cop, eligible for a blood test which, if read at over 5ng/mL, will guarantee a DUID conviction. What they want you to ignore is the fact that RIGHT NOW if you either get in a wreck or demonstrate impairment to a cop, you're eligible for a blood test which, if read at ANY ng/mL, will be strong evidence to convict you of a DUID. (And, actually, having a 5ng = impaired standard may make it easier to get out of a conviction if you're below 5ng.)

Another thing they won't tell you: you can refuse a blood test. Yes, Washington has "implied consent", but what that means is you consented for a blood test OR your license is administratively suspended. If you refuse the blood test, they can still charge you with the DUID based on your demonstrated impairment and they could obtain a warrant to force the blood draw (which takes even more time and gives you a better chance to be below 5ng when it is taken).

The administrative suspension, if you don't appeal within 20 days (at a cost of $200), will take effect on 61st day after your arrest, and run for at least 90 days. That's separate from your criminal trial for DUID. However, that trial has to proceed with either no blood sample from you or a blood sample taken after the long wait for the warrant. You'd be no more guilty than if you volunteered the blood sample and you have a better shot at acquittal if they don't have the blood sample.

Now, when I was 17, I got a reckless driving ticket. I was found guilty at trial, spent two days in jail, and lost my license for two years. It sucked, but it wasn't the end of the world. And nowhere in society does anyone care that I got that conviction, aside from some higher insurance premiums shortly afterward. My father got at least two DUI convictions I can recall, and those, too, weren't the end of the world.

But marijuana convictions - being a drug criminal - those stick with you. A 21-year-old with a per se DUID doesn't lose his financial aid - but he does for possession a quarter-ounce of weed. A single mom on welfare doesn't lose her federal housing for a DUID - but she loses her home for possessing weed. And 27 million annual pot smokers in America don't take a step forward by defeating a bad DUID law - they do if we become the first state to legalize.

Per se DUID sucks - it is unscientific, unnecessary, and unjust. So is marijuana prohibition. However, as noted, it is a compromise to the scared soccer moms who fear runaway stoned drivers in the streets should they vote for I-502 (as was the "zero tolerance" for <21). That's politics. If that compromise gets legalization passed, then the next battles are to secure personal home cultivation and end per se DUID - both tasks which are easier when you are legal consumers fighting to expand your rights than when you are criminal potheads looking to drive while high.

"Legalization" is not a destination, it is a journey. No on I-502 says this isn't "legalization" because it is not their pie-in-the-sky All Pot Is Legal As Much As You Want Anywhere You Want Anytime You Want Initiative that they've never gotten to the ballot in multiple tries. And when you hear some medical marijuana doctor, clinic, or dispensary tell you to vote the same way as the Drug Czar on I-502, remember that when it passes, very few people will need to buy $200 permission slips to smoke pot and real licensed and regulated businessmen will be selling it to them.
More...
Posted by Russ belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
NaFun 43
@31 - are you high? Stop trying to assume you know who I am when it is clear you do not. You do not know how much or how little I use marijuana.
Also, stop trying to appeal to authority (NORML, Viv, etc). It will do nothing to sway my opinion.

I do not believe that innocent, unimpaired marijuana users will be adversely persecuted under the DUID provision. I do not believe that medical marijuana patients or known users will be followed by law enforcement eager to arrest them for DUID. I do not believe that dispensaries (or STORES) will have stakeouts in front blood-testing every customer. I think these are fantasies ginned up by people who want to think of themselves as countercultural revolutionaries when in fact they're just stoners.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Baconcat 44
If you throw 10,000 yearly wrongful arrests under the canna-bus you will get a rude awakening if voters are needed to salvage or protect medical marijuana laws.

Don't assume voters won't shift in opinion against pot if we shoot down a reasonable and once-in-a-lifetime effort at voter-led legalization. And it really is our big chance. These advocates striking 502 have failed to get on the ballot and won't really succeed in the future, especially if their sour grapes obstruction succeeds in maintaining prison-feeding, community-destroying prohibition.
Posted by Baconcat on March 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM · Report this
Cydney 45
#41: And most of those individuals who are smiling at home smoking a joint won't realize that the next morning they can fail a DUID test while driving to work (sober). And don't even get into probable cause (maybe you have a Yes on I-502 shirt on): this is exactly why the White House is for this, because if you're above the limit you're instantly guilty of a DUID regardless of impairment (and I-502 doesn't even include rebuttable presumption, so you have NO defense or way to prove your innocence).

Also, you say that we're saying a lot of false information, tell me which of these are false:

1. There is absolutely no scientific consensus on a limit for THC that proves impairment.

2. Reform groups like NORML and MPP have been fighting per se laws for years.

3. The White House has called for a national per se policy.

4. I-502 does not include rebuttable presumption, voiding our 6th amendment right to a fair trial.

5. I-502 is sponsored by some of the very people who have spent years prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis consumers (and activists).
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
46
It is proof you didn't even read this whole article if you compare driving drunk to any part of it.

So... Stupid.
Why pass a bad bill that will probably get repealed and make legislation harder rather than just sacking this one and waiting another year for a better one that won't be repealed?
Posted by anal smith on March 1, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
Cydney 47
#44 I-502 passing is much more likely to regress the movement once people lose hope after it's preempted and they realize how dangerous and permanent the per se policy is.

Also, Prop 19 losing didn't seem to change opinion much, as for the first time ever the majority of Americans support legalizing cannabis almost a year after it failed (http://www.gallup.com/poll/150149/record…).
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 48
@45: "And most of those individuals who are smiling at home smoking a joint won't realize that the next morning they can fail a DUID test while driving to work"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moving_the_…

Most of the arguments against I-502 have been to defend habitual users, multiple times a day, and driving right after self-medicating.

You have not proven that the above is the case. It is not a fact. Your arguments, lacking supporting studies, center around FUD. And that's why your concerns are not being taken seriously.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
NaFun 49
@45 - You don't think we couldn't find a team of lawyers EAGER to defend a person who was forced to give a blood draw because of their stated political opinions? Bring that shit on.

And you are wrong, the person who toked up the night before would not be above the limit the next day. There are no studies that show this.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 50
@45: "1. There is absolutely no scientific consensus on a limit for THC that proves impairment."

And all attempts will be arbitrary BUT NECESSARY until this is decided. Put forth science-based alternatives and we will incorporate them and support them.

Until then...
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 51
OP is a dipshit.
Posted by Westlake, son! on March 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Cydney 52
Exactly Smith, if they would of removed it from the state's Controlled Substances List it couldn't have been preempted by the feds (they can't re-instate criminal sanctions on the state level)
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
NaFun 53
@46 - an initiative legalizing personal possession of marijuana, a gay marriage referendum, a gubernatorial election, and Obama re-election will all be on the ballot. This is the best year for a marijuana legalization initiative we'll see for quite some time. I-502 is perfectly timed.

I am not willing to let another 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 state residents spend nights in jail because some paranoid medical marijuana patient thinks the local sheriff is out to get them.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
NaFun 54
@52 - Never even got CLOSE to getting enough signatures for the ballot, so stop daydreaming.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
approachingmidnight 55
@45

No I won't worry about it while driving to work the next morning, because after 3 or 4 hours, I'll be under the limit. It's in the same damn study you linked too in Dominic's article.

"Likewise, Grotenhermen et al found in 2005: "The crash risk apparently begins to exceed that of sober drivers as THC concentrations in whole blood reach 5–10 ng/mL." But THC levels drop rapidly after smoking marijuana. "THC concentrations in serum typically drop to 1–4 ng/mL within 3–4 hours after consumption," the researchers reported (the concentrations in serum are equivalent of about 0.6 to 2.5 ng/mL of THC in blood, the report says, which is obviously even lower)."

And you *know* this. Which makes your scare mongering you're trying to do to me and the public...well it's frankly disgusting.
Posted by approachingmidnight http://www.google.com/search?q=don't+argue+with+me+buster on March 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
56
Tolerance is different between people, especially in regards to cannabis. This is accepted science as well as anecdotal experience. There seems to be a cannabis "ceiling" that isn't seen with alcohol or other drugs in regards to impairment.

There are better ways of measuring impairment rather than matching blood content levels, such as an actual field sobriety test! If the law was supposed to rate impairment, then let's rate it with a real test. I say that a combination of evidence to support intoxication ought to be presented. I say that a DUI conviction for cannabis ought to only accompany an accident or a major traffic violation, there has to be clear indication that cannabis was ingested within the confines of the car by the driver, and they fail a field sobriety test.

I would support the I502 provision if it took into account all the factors I've discussed. However, they won't be discussed because I suspect this is a way to fleece money from cannabis users who are already stigmatized enough as it is. Let's just set an arbitrary bar so state troopers can entrap us, then slap a heavy fine to fund their next unmarked interceptor.
Posted by slimb on March 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
57
a friend of mine - whose an older African American male and a patient - was recently pulled over and brought into custody in the Bremerton area last week. He was pulled out for having a broken turn signal, and when pulled over was asked if he had 'anything in the car'. This patient, being honest, confessed to the officer that he had some medicine in the trunk, at which point he was arrested for possession. As you know, there is no arrest protection for patients in this state.

Back at the holding facility the officer asked if he could draw the patients blood because he believed the patient was 'stoned'. The patient refused, at which point the officer told him; 'I can't wait until 502 passes, then all of you are fucked'.

He was eventually cited for 'possession', which will be reversed once the patient brings his authorization to the hearing. If 502 passed he would have been given a DUI on the spot, refusal to cooperate we lead to a suspended license. If 502 passes, people (especially minorities) are going to find themselves in a brand new world police control. If 502 passes, the states least respected and authoritarian agency WSLCB (ATF) is going to be handed the reigns to something they have sworn TO DESTROY (that's what the ATF does, when it comes to illegal drugs).

A story like this doesn't happen too often in King and even Pierce county, but that doesn't mean we should ignore it. 502 was written without the support of the true legalization community, there is a LONG LIST of reasons for it. If you care about this please pay attention.

Posted by doeberman on March 1, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Dr Gil Mobley, MD 58
Please review this presentation. It should help to understand my grave concerns about i502.

http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/medic…

Thanks

Gil Mobley, MD
No on i502 Officer and Spokesperson Coordinator
Posted by Dr Gil Mobley, MD on March 1, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
59
i will vote NO on this initiative!! My son is 20 and is a medical patient (and he NEEDS his medicine i promise you that) and drives every day to work and school, and the fact that this law would stop him from EVER driving is so not fair, and to have zero tolerance for someone that VOTERS said can possess medical cannabis is wrong.

What you all don't understand is that if this passes, it will give so much ammo to the national movement to get a per se policy, and then we're fucked. Please think twice about this initiative...please!
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:01 PM · Report this
60
One can only hope that these paranoid anti-502 fearmongers and medical marijauna profit beneficaries represent a very small portion of the voting population, because if their alliance with the right-wing reactionary prohibition and drug war zealots actually manages to shoot down I-502, and we end up with 10 more years of the drug war, I am going to be seriously pissed.
Posted by SLCamper on March 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 61
@59: If we can't sell alcohol to "minors", there's no way we can currently legalize marijuana for those under 21, regardless of medicinal benefit. I hope that this will change soon.

From NORML's opinion:

"At NORML, we support these efforts, even when imperfect, because the greater good achieved by legalization proposals outweighs the imperfect language; and what flaws exist in individual initiatives can be amended in future legislation (or if necessary, via another voter initiative). But in the meantime, tens of thousands of marijuana arrests are avoided by the new law.

We fully recognize the per se DUI marijuana provisions in I-502 are arbitrary, unnecessary, and unscientific, and we argued strongly with the sponsors for provisions that would require proof of actual impairment to be shown before one could be charged with a traffic safety offense. NORML, arguably more so than any other drug law reform organization, has a long track record of opposing the imposition of arbitrary and discriminatory per se traffic safety laws for responsible cannabis consumers. But we failed to persuade the sponsors of I-502, and now we must decide whether to support the initiative despite those provisions. We believe the overall impact of this proposal, if approved by voters this fall and enacted, will be overwhelmingly helpful to the vast majority of cannabis consumers in the state, and will eliminate tens of thousands of cannabis arrests each year. Thus, NORML’s Board of Directors voted unanimously (including the two members from WA) to endorse the initiative, while maintaining our opposition to per se DUID provisions in principal."
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
62
To all Patients For Continuing 10,000 Marijuana Arrests:

Yes, NORML has been in the forefront of fighting against unscientific, unnecessary, and unjust per se THC DUID standards.

If Washington State were, like Colorado, arguing over a stand-alone per se DUID bill, we would be the first ones to loudly reject it.

But that's not the case. Washington State is arguing to LEGALIZE MARIJUANA and add a per se DUID.

We are NORML, not NORPSDUIDL. The Prime Directive is to end the arrest of marijuana consumers for consuming marijuana. There are secondary goals - end discriminatory practices against marijuana consumers, like per se DUIDs, are among them, as well as securing cultivation rights, sales rights, industrial hemp, etc.

There are thirteen states now that have some sort of per se DUID for marijuana. You'll be one of the lucky ones: most of those states have a zero tolerance for any THC in blood and some have a zero tolerance for metabolites in urine (which last wayyy longer). Four of those states have mandatory jail time when the test comes back positive raging from 24 to 72 hours.

And in all those per se DUID states, the activists fighting to change them are criminals. You'll be the only ones fighting it that will be legal consumers. And you'll get to fight it with new evidence uncovered by studies from UW and WSU, funded by pot tax money, tested on legal consumers of weed.

Now, as to this idea that the arrests will just "shift" from marijuana arrests to DUID arrests. Just do the math. There are 10,000 marijuana arrests below an ounce every year in Washington State. There were 34,594 DUID arrests in 2010... but the vast majority are for alcohol. For the Patients Supporting The Drug Czar to be right, next year over 2 in 7 DUIDs will have to be for cannabis alone to get 10,000 DUIDs. I can't get data yet on the ratio of cannabis-alone DUIDs to alcohol DUIDs, but as it stands now in Washington State, the ratio of monthly pot smokers (7.23%) to monthly drinkers (56.04%) is 1:7.75. If the cannabis:alcohol DUID ratio is similar to the monthly use ratio (doubtful, probably lower, as cannabis drivers don't demonstrate much impairment) at around 1:7.75, then DUID arrests for cannabis would have to double under I-502 for this scare to make any sense.

And again, these are the people telling you that cannabis drivers over 5ng aren't impaired, and inferring that the >5ng patients are driving around now. So if they're not suspected of impairment now, how is it we're going to suspect twice as many of them of impairment after I-502?

What we're witnessing here, as we did in California in 2010, is a confluence of factors. One is "I Gots Mine" - a condition where medical marijuana patients and profiteers are terrified that legalization somehow upsets their apple cart. Another is "Patient Entitlement Syndrome", the idea that since I'm sick, my marijuana use and everything I do on marijuana is legal and morally superior to the "stoners" who "just want to get high". Another is "Fuck the Police" syndrome, where people who've been harassed by cops for weed for so long they reflexively distrust anything coming from anyone perceived to be in authority (e.g. "This initiative in endorsed and sponsored by the very person who put cannabis reform icon Marc Emery behind bars for 5 years!"). Finally, there's good old fashioned weed paranoia and the tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists who exemplify it.

Yes, I-502 is poll-driven to pass, because legalization that passes is better than idealism that does not. Furthermore, I believe I-502 rightfully identified that there would be a fringe element of tokers who would oppose it and that the majority of on-the-fence voters would read their hyperbole and scaremongering and think, "Geez, the weed doctors, medical marijuana clinics, pseudo-legal dispensaries, and the long-haired, tattooed, pierced, dreadlocked people who throw that weed party in the park every August and throw out buckets of joints to crowds of 14-22-year-olds think this legalization is BAD? Well, there must be something going for it then..."
More...
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
Cydney 63
@45- If you are a regular cannabis consumer you may very well be very much over limit, even 12 hours after you ingest cannabis. I know very well that patients are particularly susceptible for persecution under I-502's DUID limits, regardless of impairment, because they often self-medicate regularly, and prolonged use of cannabis can result in higher than average residual THC levels in the blood (with no correlation to impairment).
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 2:11 PM · Report this
64
Cydney: you keep repeating that NORML has been fighting per se limits, but I note that you remain silent on their official position on 502. Hmmm...maybe because NORML has officially endorsed 502?

You also don't note that the majority of organizations and/or funders in the national movement endorse 502 and not a single person/organization of note nationally has come out against it.

Appeals to authority aren't helping you.
Posted by gnossos on March 1, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
Cydney 65
And to all of you who think that it is ok to pass an initiative that would incriminate innocent people, just so you can have your easy access- You are selfish.

To all of you who think it is justifiable to incriminate innocent people as a sacrifice to "save" the thousands who are currently being incriminated - Where are your morals?

If you could stop all cannabis-related arrests tomorrow, but had to shoot your grandma in the face to do it, would you do it?

I can't justify penalizing the grandmas of this state who use cannabis for their arthritis/glaucoma/cancer. A minor possession charge is smaller than a DUID, and who will drive grandma to the pharmacy to get her prescription pharmaceuticals once they take her license for medicating with a substance safer than pills?

Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 2:18 PM · Report this
NaFun 66
@57 - I will address your hypothetical friend's scenario:

After 502, if he is carrying less than an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of hash oil (!), or 72 ounces of tincture (!), REGARDLESS OF HIS STATUS AS A PATIENT, he will not be arrested for possession.

The rest of it becomes academic after this point, but let's carry on for shits and giggles.

If, after being wrongfully arrested for possessing a legal substance, he is taken to the 'holding facility' and asked for a blood draw, and if he were to agree even though the only probable cause at this point would be possession of a legal substance, an hour after being pulled over, and he was found to have less than 5ng/ml of active THC in his blood, he would be free to go. He would then also have grounds to sue for wrongful arrest. If he has more than an ounce or 16 ounces of hash oil or 72 ounces of tincture because he was a patient he would still retain his affirmative defense in court.

If he were over the limit of 5ng/ml of active THC in his blood, he would be charged with DUID, and at court would have the ability to argue his wrongful arrest and lack of probable cause, as well as give his status as a patient if he was arrested for having more than ounce.

So, after I-502, in your hypothetical scenario, your friend would be MORE protected and have MORE rights than he does now, before I-502.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
67
"a friend of mine - whose an older African American male and a patient - was recently pulled over and brought into custody in the Bremerton area last week. He was pulled out for having a broken turn signal, and when pulled over was asked if he had 'anything in the car'. This patient, being honest, confessed to the officer that he had some medicine in the trunk, at which point he was arrested for possession. As you know, there is no arrest protection for patients in this state. "

First off, tell your friend to STFU - Stop Talking in Front of Uniforms. When the cop asks "do you have anything in the car?" you say, "Why do you ask?" When he says, "I'm just wondering if you have any drugs or weapons in the car," you say, "Oh," and let that uncomfortable silence sit there. When he presses, "So, DO you?" you say, "Do I what?" He gets mad, "Do you have any drugs or weapons in the car?!?" and eventually you say, "I'm sorry, my lawyer told me not to answer cop questions unless he's present. I have him on the cell phone; would you like me to put him on speaker?"

Second, you're right, there is no arrest protection for patients in Washington... which they WILL HAVE FOR AN OUNCE if I-502 passes. If your friend had less than an ounce in the trunk, he'd never have been arrested and never been pressed for a blood test.

Third, if this guy wasn't a patient, he'd get a day in jail mandatory, a $250 fine minimum, and a "drug criminal" record for the rest of his life. So would 10,000 more of them next year if I-502 fails.

I just can't understand how some misguided people who are afraid that asshole cops will misuse a DUID statute to screw with tokers can't see that asshole cops are currently misusing marijuana possession to screw with tokers. Oh, maybe it is because these misguided people are protected from prosecution for their possession of 24 ounces and 15 plants and have been for thirteen years, and they've forgotten what it is like to tremble in fear for possessing a gram in their own homes.
More...
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
Cydney 68
NORML's official position on I-502 is that the per se DUID limits instituted by I-502 are “arbitrary, unscientific, and unnecessary”. The endorsement they gave is a bad decision on their part, and I sincerely hope they reconsider. Many people at NORML have reservations about I-502, and some (even Board members) are actively working against it. Many in the reform community have lost respect for NORML for their endorsement of I-502, and many more may feel the same if it passes and starts criminalizing cannabis consumers in a whole new way.
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 69
@65: "And to all of you who think that it is ok to pass an initiative that would incriminate innocent people, just so you can have your easy access- You are selfish."

You haven't indicated without a doubt that the users are "innocent", you tread in murky waters that you do not have definite answers to.

By your rhetorical logic, you are far more "selfish" for wanting to maintain this prohibition.

"Where are your morals?"
Siding with the far more numerous users that are objectively, not subjectively innocent.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
NaFun 70
@63 - The study you all are citing does not say this, it shows that even among heavy, regular users that levels dropped below 5ng/ml after only 1-4 hours.

As for your second point, you're basically saying that patients should be able to smoke and drive, and we're saying that no, they shouldn't.

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
71
I'm not saying that we should legalize for those under 21, I'm saying that it's already legal for those under for medical purposes, so how and why on earth would a "legalization" bill add a ZERO tolerance policy for this group when no one in our state is asking for a change? this makes no sense and seems to wrong and unethical to me.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 72
@71: "why on earth would a "legalization" bill add a ZERO tolerance policy for this group when no one in our state is asking for a change?"

Because it's going to be sold in stores.

" this makes no sense and seems to wrong and unethical to me."

Perhaps, work with MADD on that.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
73
NaFun that's just one study. please look at Dr. gils post, this article http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/04/pot…

Also, my son got tested to prove to his pro-502 friends and 12 hours after smoking he had 18 ng/ml. patients, and especially high medible patients will almost all be this high or way above 5 ng.ml
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
74
"And to all of you who think that it is ok to pass an initiative that would incriminate innocent people, just so you can have your easy access- You are selfish.

If you could stop all cannabis-related arrests tomorrow, but had to shoot your grandma in the face to do it, would you do it?"

And there we have it - "Patient Entitlement Syndrome". We're selfish, because we're just potheads getting high who don't want to be locked up.

As for your silly "shoot grandma" - I'll give you this: If I-502 said "Legalizes one ounce of marijuana, state-licensed production and distribution, and revokes Russ Belville's driver's license nationally for life", I would still vote for it. Because I recognize my driving PRIVILEGE is not as important as topping the first domino in ending American Prohibition II.

The selfish ones are the people who smoke pot all damn day, who are safe from prosecution for possession of 24 ounces and cultivation of 15 plants, who shop for weed at quasi-legal boutiques, telling 10,000 Washingtonians to remain criminals for an ounce because they fear a DUID most of them are never going to face.

Again, Cydney and every other Patient Against I-502 Legalization - medical marijuana has been legal for 13 years. There are now 100,000 patients estimated. They've driven million of miles. Find me the ONE who has (a) gotten arrested for DUID, (b) blood-tested at above 5ng/mL, and (c) was acquitted of DUID or convicted of a lesser charge - because THAT'S the only person this per se DUID will affect.

Right now, a cop who suspects you're DUI cannabis can compel a blood draw. Right now, a blood draw over 5ng/mL is very likely going to earn you a conviction. Right now, your slight chance of getting out of it will cost you about $10,000 in attorney fees. So if you're really so scared of this DUID, and you don't have $10,000 on hand, you shouldn't be driving right now.
More...
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM · Report this
75
undead that makes no sense....are you really saying that its not against the federal controlled substances act to make a state accept taxes on a substance on that list? and are you saying that it doesn't explicitly give authority for preemption? i have my law degree from the university of southern cal, with a heavy focus on federal law, and i can tell you that it does, and not one store will open.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
76
NaFun, you are slaying it this thread. So fun to see. Of course, it's secretly fun to read MicheleJohn's "phone typing so hrd i hav families who prove no meds until wrong science is unjustices".
Posted by gloomy gus on March 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
77
"Also, my son got tested to prove to his pro-502 friends and 12 hours after smoking he had 18 ng/ml. patients, and especially high medible patients will almost all be this high or way above 5 ng.ml"

How did your son get tested? Because if you're talking about one of those over-the-counter urine tests, you just lost the argument.
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 78
@75: That has absolutely nothing to do with the concern of under-21ers purchasing marijuana.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
79
Russ, it was a blood test, and it was a test of ACTIVE metabolites. You can do it at a number of locations for a fee.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:44 PM · Report this
NaFun 80
Doc Mobley @58 - If the hypothetical patient with blood THC levels above 5ng/ml had passed the Field Sobriety Test, then what grounds would the officer have to ask for a blood draw?
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
81
undead, you said "Because it's going to be sold in stores."

I responded. And for indviduals purchasing under 21, once again...they already can if they're a medical patient. Suddenly changing the law to be a defense-free per se policy is insane, and most consumers won't understand the implications intil its way to late.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Baconcat 82
If only all these tireless advocates were as motivated to get their own measures onto the ballot and passed as they are to kill this one.
Posted by Baconcat on March 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 83
@81: "most consumers won't understand the implications intil its way to late."

And that is an issue of education.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 84
@73-"NaFun that's just one study. please look at Dr. gils post, this article http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/04/pot…"

...and I read another comment like this, and feel compelled to respond, and I die a little more inside.

That's "one study" of 25 people, with a rigorous protocol that went through and IRB review before it even started, used rigorously standardized procedures, was subjected to peer review, was passed off on by disinterested professionals, and was published in a reputable scientific journal.

You linked to an article on the internet about an activist who got his blood tested at some indeterminate time after smoking who says he was sober.

Do you see the difference?
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on March 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 85
@82: Or lord help us coming up with any semi-objective, measurable standards to implement.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
86
"And that is an issue of education."

as should educating people against a per se policy which ignores our constitutions fair trial amendment...and the fact that people are willing to give this up for the pipe dream of buying an ounce in a store is outlandish in my eyes.

im working on a piece to publish that shows my son testing positive above 5 ng.ml 8, 12 and 24 hours after smoking. it may take a week or two to get all the info together and written but ill let you all know when i do.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 2:54 PM · Report this
87
ha! Pipe dream... Very clever.
Posted by wafflemaker on March 1, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
NaFun 88
@71 - Your over 18 but under 21yo son, who is a medical marijuana patient, can possess up to 24 ounces of dried cannabis or 15 plants, can purchase in quasi-legal stores with a large array of products, none of which his under 21yo friends without permission slips could do. All we're asking is that he take some responsibility to not drive recklessly while stoned. If he's not getting pulled over now for probable cause for DUID, then he won't after 502 either.

Or are you paranoid that a cop would invent probable cause to harass your son, and if so, why aren't you saying that, and why aren't you fighting to defend legal marijuana users from unjust profiling instead?
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 89
@86: "as should educating people against a per se policy which ignores our constitutions fair trial amendment..."

You mean like every US state has adopted already?

"im working on a piece to publish that shows my son testing positive above 5 ng.ml 8, 12 and 24 hours after smoking. it may take a week or two to get all the info together and written but ill let you all know when i do."

The where and why, how, and controls are much more important to us than the numbers you're offering.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 90
Rights outweigh Privilege. The RIGHTS of all citizens over 21 to possess an ounce is far greater than the PRIVILEGE of a few to drive while intoxicated, with or without per se THC limit.

-Washington NORML
www.wanorml.org
Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
NaFun 91
@86 - I guess I'll repost what I wrote in @15, since apparently you didn't read it (or the initiative I pulled it from):

"It legalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, or 16 ounces of hash or hash oil and 72 ounces of tincture, regardless of how obtained, for all adults in the state. No arrest, no fine, no civil infraction, not even a warning. LEGAL."

The store part will likely be fought over in court. Good. But nothing will change the legalization of possession of decent amounts of weed for personal use by adults.

Regardless of where you got it.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
92
undead what do you mean? only around a dozen states have per se laws and most of them have exclusions to protect cannabis consumers (even Arizona and Rhode Island have exclusions to their per se policy for patients).

even so, 502 will be one of the only ones in the country without rebuttable presumption which not having is what really hurts our right to a fair trial.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
NaFun 93
@92 - So medical marijuana patients who are pulled over for driving recklessly, fail a field sobriety test, and then get taken in for a blood draw over an hour later, who still test over the 5ng/ml limit. To reiterate the question that's already been asked twice in this thread: who out there is getting away with this NOW?
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:19 PM · Report this
94
Cydney @68

Many people at NORML have reservations about I-502, and some (even Board members) are actively working against it.


I call bullshit. Prove this. The Board vote at NORML was unanimous and I see no evidence that anyone is breaking ranks.
Posted by gnossos on March 1, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Cydney 95
#90: I'm not sure who is posting this, but I know for a fact that Kevin Oliver, the head of WA NORML, has stated that he doesn't support i-502 and is very much against the per se limit. If the position is switching because NORML took a stance...well...that's a shame.

And by the way WA NORML...when talking about rights, what about our supposedly inherent right to a fair trial?
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
97
to undead ayn, that will all be documented and is being done by a third party group.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM · Report this
98
As a physician, I am frustrated and insulated by the characterization that those of us who write cannabis recommendations are against I-502 for financial reasons. This may be true in some cases, I don't live anyone else's life. Now, to be honest, I'm not SURE that I'm even AGAINST I-502-- I'm just researching and considering and concerned by what I've found in the medical journals and in my conversations with patients/law enforcement-- I have til November to make up my mind. I just want to say that I won't lose my job if I-502 passes. My genuine patients will still need me, and I don't only work with cannabis. Please consider that not everyone has a financial reason for their opinion, and also that those of us with reasonable concerns about the long-term effects of I-502 may not deserve your ire. Thanks for reading this! Selena Eon, ND (Bellevue, WA)
Posted by DrEon on March 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
NaFun 99
@68/96 - Let Jeff come here and explain his vote to endorse the initiative then. Don't try to speak for him.

Since no one has been able to show that there are patients now who have been tested to have over 5ng/ml and not been convicted of DUID, the argument about a fair trial fails. You cannot reiterate it until you've shown a real-life case. 10,000 actual arrests a year trump your fantasy patient.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 3:34 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 101
@98: "Now, to be honest, I'm not SURE that I'm even AGAINST I-502-- I'm just researching and considering and concerned by what I've found in the medical journals and in my conversations with patients/law enforcement-- I have til November to make up my mind."

I don't think anyone would argue with this position. There's plenty of reason for concern, and I understand why people dissent. I think many supporters just don't find the reasons compelling, or the tradeoffs too severe in such a way that they can not be remedied in the near future.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Cydney 102
#98: well said!
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Cydney 103
#101: undead, I think that's one of the bigger disagreements that separates a lot of our opinions. If it was easily altered, this may be a different issue, but in reality, 1) our legislature legally can't alter it for two years, 2) DUI and DUID penalties are never reduced, and 3) a recent attempt to protect JUST patients from the per se limit (just like even Arizona has for their per se law!!) didn't even make it out of committee.
Posted by Cydney on March 1, 2012 at 3:39 PM · Report this
104
When I-502 qualified for the ballot, I was inclined to vote against it due to the DUI stuff. However, after reading the study that Dom posted the other week and then wading through this post - I am definitely going to vote for 502. The arguments against 502 conflate a bunch of secondary/tertiary scenarios into some form of disaster, and really amount to no substance.

MicheleJohn - you claim a legal education, but also insinuate that passage of 502 will remove your son's ability to drive. Not true. If arrested for DUI, any under 21 patient would simply need to refuse a blood test. The per se standard would then be moot.

Posted by Action Slacks on March 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
105
action that's completely not true, and denying the test could land him a number of legal penalties
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM · Report this
106
also it's not a tertiary scenario to say that it voids our 6th amendment right to a fair trial...once again, to give up something so valuable seems outlandish.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
NaFun 107
@103 - Please be clear that you are trying to protect those patients and users who get pulled over for driving recklessly, fail a subsequent field sobriety test, and test over 5ng/ml of active THC in their blood over an hour after that. They've already failed the field sobriety test and indicated that they are, indeed, impaired. You want to give those folks a pass.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM · Report this
NaFun 108
By the way, if you move the goalposts and declare that the field sobriety test isn't reliable either then you lose.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
109
nafun the field sobriety test is pointless when they have a per se policy. law enforcement will know this, and any sign that you're a cannabis consumer (maybe you smell like it from hours ago or have a pro-cannabis flier in your car) they can test you knowing that they can easily meet quotas as most cannabis consumers will fail the test. Also imagine if under 502 our state does roadside blood tests....every consumer in the state will be absolutely screwed and its likely that law enforcement could push for it knowing what it would mean in combination with a no-rebuttable presumption per se policy (and dont say it wont happen: http://ohmygov.com/blogs/general_news/ar…).
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM · Report this
NaFun 110
You lost.
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 111
Solution: Hire LEOs who can smell impairment.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 112
@#95. Regardless of my personal opinion on a 5ng limit, which echo's NORML's, or my personal experience with a conviction of a green dui last year without a 5ng limit.

The premise of my statement above, the axiom that an individual’s "rights outweigh privilege", is a categorical imperative, I believe, regardless of the variables.

The right to a fair trial is not dependent on whether or not you are guilty. But, today in Washington, if you are guilty of a green dui, with or without a per se THC limit, then a fair trial will convict you - and, you will still maintain the privilege to drive.

Both sides of this argument are seemingly based on fear. Fear of stoned drivers gives us a 5ng limit. And fear of a dui gives patients arguments against 502.

I believe that both fears are unfounded by any objective measure.

Vote on.

-Kevin Oliver, Executive Director, Washington NORML
Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
113
"arrests will not drop, but rather shift to the more onerous charges of DUI (most arrests occur at traffic stops) and trafficking (passing a joint remains illegal)."

You are high. No cop is going to haul in people for a blood test for no reason at all. No fan of DUI hysteria here but this whole controversy is completely bogus. Best chance to roll back the evil drug war, however feebly, in years, and you fools are going to shoot yourselves in the foot.
Posted by Rhizome on March 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
114
I am totally not in favor of stoned drivers, but I am also really against people being punished for driving just for having smoked some time during the week. I don't think it's cool to mess with patients for smoking or eating or whatever, and punishing them for driving sober isn't ok.

And can anybody explain what this stuff about passing a joint still being illegal under I-502? Is that true? If so, how can they call it legalization, and why would they make it still trafficking or distribution or whatever? Like, what's the point in that?

I'm not sure, but with all this questionable stuff, I think I probably won't support this. I need to look into it further, but really this seems a little off and shady and I don't like the thought of not being able to be a patient and be able to drive even if you medicated a while ago, or days or whatever. That doesn't seem ok...
Posted by SavannahS. on March 1, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 115
Hey, Kevin @112) Can you please email me with a good number to reach you at this email address.
Posted by Dominic Holden on March 1, 2012 at 4:24 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 116
@114: "what this stuff about passing a joint still being illegal under I-502?"

Why don't you read it and tell us instead of confusing rumors for fact?
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Dr Gil Mobley, MD 117

@ 58 NaFun

Great question and probably the most important point of the day on this blog!

Let me start by lamenting that not all officers are above reproach and I hear cases almost weekly of flagrant abuses. Gee, didn't the Seattle Police just receive a Federal rebuke for civil right violations?

Let me illustrate my point this way:
I perform Department of Transportation physicals on over the road drivers day in and day out in my occupational medicine practice. Recently I started doing the Wa State Standardized DUI Sobriety Tests on each of them as a side study to prove that nearly half of the drivers (with negative alcohol and drug screens) have SOME compromise in their performance on these tests. (Either the obese folks had to put a foot down to maintain balance or swing their arms.) It's normal but that's plenty enough evidence to fail a sobriety test if the officer says so!

The implication here is that all too often, the officer's assessments are subjective because of the wide variances on the normal responses, so he can pretty much say there were issues with any field sobriety tests if he wants. You ain't going to argue with the officer of the side of the road when he requests a blood draw.

Judging from current events, it's hardly an atmosphere conducive to pass a law that allows officers to say anything they want with absolutely no questioning their determination now is it?

But lets now turn to real life examples:

Patient 1- pulled over due to tail light out. The officer smelled cannabis as the patient been working in garden all day. Her sobriety test was compromised because she hasn't stood on one foot for over a decade due to her size and arthritic medical condition. She was labeled as impaired with an active THC level in the teens.
She presented to my office requesting an understanding of where her levels were throughout the day, before and after medicating, and requested that I correlate sobriety testing to determine if she is fine to drive at those levels.
Well, this doctor-authorized medical cannabis patient was perfectly able to drive with completely normal neurological and reflex reaction tests, not to mention the field sobriety tests, with an active THC level of 147. That's nearly 30 times the 5 ng cut off!

Currently, this patient's attorney can mount a defense about the sobriety test saying she has physical conditions that prevent her from passing a sobriety test with flying colors. BUT if 502 passes, she is guilty, period. No defense. A number says she is guilty of impairment. Off to jail she goes.

Patient 2: Pulled over for speeding. The officer smelled cannabis. She was in high heels and shivering terribly in sub-freezing temps during the sobriety test, so she had a compromised performance. Currently, her attorney can argue the ridiculous circumstances surrounding this entirely invalid field sobriety test. BUT if 502 passes, she's heading straight to hail because her residual THC level was 6 from smoking the night before and she'd have no defense what so ever.

Additionally, legal experts tell me that officers don't need field sobriety tests to demand your blood. Please remember, however, I'm a medical expert and would quickly defer such legal question to the attorneys.

Hope that helps understanding my concerns.

Please keep the questions coming!

Respectfully,

Gil Mobley, MD



A regular user of cannabis was pulled over because her tail light was out. The officer smelled marijuana, (as she had been tending her garden) and did a sobriety test on her. She failed because, due to her size and arthritic medical condition, she has not been able to stand on one foot for decades.

If 502 passes, she has no recourse at all and her attorney cannot argue that she was not impaired. She is guilty based solely on a number.

Later, that same patient presented to my office to gain an understanding of just where her levels were through out the dayar

More...
Posted by Dr Gil Mobley, MD on March 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
118
to undead ayn, what are you calling rumors? It's a fact that under i502 passing a joint (as well as exchanging ounces) would be illegal.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 119
@117: "The implication here is that all too often, the officer's assessments are subjective because of the wide variances on the normal responses, so he can pretty much say there were issues with any field sobriety tests if he wants"

What do you, as a professional, suggest we implement instead of field tests and hard per se limits?
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
NaFun 120
@118 - yup. sure would be. No argument there. Your point?
Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 1, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
121
I've been on the fence about I-502 for a long time. I know and respect supporters and detractors, including multiple people who participated in the discussion in these comments and the primary author of the initiative. I had a good discussion with Dominic about it earlier this week, and he really made me consider my reservations about the initiative. After that and the discussion I've seen here, I think I'm getting off the fence. The pro-502 arguments are consistently more convincing to me than the anti-502 arguments are. Let's get this passed and very carefully monitor how law enforcement agencies react.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on March 1, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Dougsf 122
Did I read it right when someone wrote of their concern for the rights of grandmas with glaucoma being to drive to get their weed?
Posted by Dougsf on March 1, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
123
Phil @121: hooray!! That makes me very happy!
Posted by gnossos on March 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
124
nafun my point is that its legally stupid to legalize possession of somnething that it's illegal to hand to your friend that's right next to you. No one is going to understand this and many individuals will be prosecuted for not understand that "legalization" under 502 means no passing a pipe, no planting a plant, no driving, etc.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM · Report this
125
this is quite the interesting debate and i love that its about how to legalize and not if. that said tho this is not something i can support. im a big time consitutuionalist and ignoring our sixth amendment is absolutely a no no, no matter what the issue of the initiative is.
Posted by tanyalivinglarge on March 1, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
126
I promise that if I-502 is enacted as law, I will appear in court to bear witness to the trial of the first adult who is prosecuted for passing a pipe packed with cannabis flowers to another adult.

Police will undoubtedly use the threat of prosecution for such to coerce people into pleading guilty to other crimes. How do others think we should deal with that problem? Massive jury nullification campaign?
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on March 1, 2012 at 7:09 PM · Report this
pfffter 127
@125 please explain your understanding of the sixth amendment and how said initiative violates it.

Honestly, if we went about marriage equality the same way, we'd be holding out until we can hold giant gay orgies on a catholic altar and have it televised during prime time. Arguing with you people is like arguing with a bunch of fundamentalist assholes.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 7:14 PM · Report this
Posted by NurseMimi on March 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
129
pfffter the sixth amendment is a good amendment. it declares that as people living in this country we MUST MUST MUST be given a fair trial. i 502s duid is per se and if this article is right about not having rebutting presumption then there will be no fair trial.

also im not sure what you mean by arguing with "you people" this is the first ive heard of 502 but i know right away i cant vote for something like this. its a slippery slope to ignore the constitution
Posted by tanyalivinglarge on March 1, 2012 at 7:21 PM · Report this
pfffter 130
@128 yes, thanks Mimi for posting what you've already written on slog. It wasn't convincing the first time, and most definitely not the second. When the only piece of evidence you cite is a medical dictionary, it is easy to dismiss against peer-reviewed published research of the sort being discussed re the per se limit.
Posted by pfffter on March 1, 2012 at 7:23 PM · Report this
131
@129 if this is really, truly the first you're hearing of 502 then you really, truly need to rely on far more than is being said in this thread (much of which is flat out incorrect).

From Michelle Alexander:

This is insane! 93% of all the people arrested by the Atlanta Police Department for marijuana possession in 2011 and 2010 were African American. This is NOT because black folks use or sell marijuana more often than whites. Studies indicate the opposite is true. This is discrimination, pure and simple, despite the claim by the Chief of Police that they don't "racially profile." It is time decriminalize marijuana.


As I have said several times: 502 is not about medical marijuana. It is not even really about marijuana and Washington State. It represents the best chance we have ever had of tossing a brick through the window of the prohibitionist paradigm.

If we lose this year (and lose in Colorado), we will not have another realistic chance for at least four years. Splitting hairs for the sake of purity this year indicates a complete lack of understanding of political reality.

Pass 502 and then fix whatever is wrong with it.
Posted by gnossos on March 1, 2012 at 7:30 PM · Report this
132
"only around a dozen states have per se laws and most of them have exclusions to protect cannabis consumers (even Arizona and Rhode Island have exclusions to their per se policy for patients)."

WRONG again. There are 13 states with per se DUID THC laws. 10 of these have zero tolerance for THC in blood. 7 of these have zero tolerance for THC metabolites in urine. Only 2 (not "most") provide exclusions for patients, and that's only for metabolites in urine. In 5 of these states, there is mandatory 24-72 hour jail time for failing the test. 9 of these states have roadside sobriety checkpoints.

NONE of them have legal marijuana. NONE have a per se limit as high as 5ng/mL.

Even in Utah, where there's no medical marijuana, where there's zero tolerance for a pee test, let alone a blood test, and there's roadside sobriety checkpoints, and there's a 48-hour mandatory minimum jail sentence for failing the pee test, we STILL don't see the kind of "haul every pot smoker in for a blood test" catastrophe the Patients Voting For Prohibition are foretelling.

Even in Ohio, where up to 100 grams is decriminalized, where there's a 2ng/mL per se limit, and roadside sobriety checkpoints, and 72 hours mandatory jail stay for failing the blood test, tokers aren't getting pulled over in droves and blood tested.

Enjoy the table below - cut and paste into Excel as a .CSV for readability.

State,THC Blood,THC Urine,THC-COOH,Checkpoints,Min Jail,Patients Exempt
Arizona,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,YES,24 hrs,THC-COOH
Delaware,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,YES,NO,NO
Georgia,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,YES,24 hrs,NO
Illinois,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,YES,NO,NO
Indiana,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,YES,NO,NO
Iowa,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,Excluded,NO,48 hrs,NO
Michigan,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,Excluded,NO,NO,NO
Nevada,2ng/mL,10ng/mL,15ng/mL,YES,NO,NO
Ohio,2ng/mL,10ng/mL,35ng/mL,YES,72 hrs,NO
Pennsylvania*,5ng/mL,5ng/mL,5ng/mL,YES,NO,NO
Rhode Island,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,NO,NO,THC-COOH
Utah,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,YES,48 hrs,NO
Wisconsin,0ng/mL,0ng/mL,Excluded,NO,NO,NO

* Has been reduced from 5ng/mL in April 2011
More...
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 8:19 PM · Report this
133
What NORML and NAW fail to realize is that most of the activists who are protesting the loudest against I-502 have been some of the hardest workers in the fight against prohibition. They have given their time and money, working tirelessly and often thanklessly to help to educate the public, collect signatures and spread the word that Reefer Madness really isn’t. Many of those people are cannabis patients, others have family or friends who are patients.

Many of us resent the name-calling, the finger-pointing and the accusations of greed and selfishness. Need proof of it? There are plenty of screen shots floating around, just ask. We’ve fought right next to rec users for their rights, thinking that if, instead of fighting for our own arrest protections, we fought for everyone, all would be better off.

And this is what we get in return. You make us the sacrificial lambs now so you can have a little bit of smoke in your pocket. What you don’t take into consideration is that while you lead us to the slaughterhouse, you are on the way there too. No good can come of a law that makes criminals out of the innocent. Ever.

Exchanging one freedom by destroying the rights of another is also very wrong. To do that to a population that can do little to defend itself is morally corrupt. To intentionally incriminate the sick, disabled and dying so others can have a good time legally is the most heinous of crimes itself. To ask the disabled to give up a privilege that provides them with just a fraction of the freedoms of the healthy, so that healthy people can enjoy even more freedoms–what kind of demented hypocrisy is that?
Posted by NurseMimi on March 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
134
so Russ...how many of them dis-include rebuttable presumption such as 502 does?
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 8:26 PM · Report this
135
"we STILL don't see the kind of "haul every pot smoker in for a blood test" catastrophe the Patients Voting For Prohibition are foretelling."

obviously Russ because most people arent stupid enough to smoke in Utah. but if people think cannabis is legal...why wouldn't they think they can drive 4, 6 or more hours after smoking? It's a totally different scenario and comparisons seems invalid.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
136
"And this is what we get in return. You make us the sacrificial lambs now so you can have a little bit of smoke in your pocket."

Yup, that's it. You're a patient, therefore arrest and incarceration and ruining your life over cannabis is unjust. But we're just stoners trying to "have a good time legally", so what the hell, arrest another 10, 20, 30, 40,000 of us before another shot at legalization comes around.

I guess we're the sacrificial lambs so you can continue to have 24 ounces, 15 plants, pot boutiques, smoke pot all damn day, and when a cop pulls you over, suspects you of impairment, gives you a field sobriety test you fail, arrests you for DUI, takes a blood sample you submit to or he gets a warrant for, which registers at >5ng, you'll have a slim defense for your DUI charge, after you pay your lawyer $10,000.

And if you want to play the "slaughterhouse", "morally corrupt", "heinous of crimes" card, take a trip with me to Juarez, Mexico sometime. Explain to the mother of a teenager slaughtered by morally corrupt weed barons why you voted to forestall US progress on ending the prohibition that supplies the funds for their most heinous of crimes.

I have lost my patience for patients. Yeah, yeah, you're sick and disabled, sorry to hear it, but while you and other states' medical marijuana patients have been largely left alone while smoking copious amounts of weed, 13 million Americans have been arrested for marijuana and 50,000 Mexicans have been murdered (10% of them beheaded / tortured) and left in the streets with banners taunting law enforcement. Juarez's entire 2,600 man police force just had to move out of their homes and into a highly secured hotel with their families because of drug gang assassinations that killed five cops as they came home from work to their families.

Resent name calling all you like. Rationalize it any way you choose. Shout your legalizer bona fides from the highest rooftop. But come November, there are three choices:

Vote YES on I-502 to begin the end of prohibition, along with NORML, MPP, SSDP, and DPA

Vote NO on I-502 to continue prohibition, along with ONDCP, DEA, Washington Sheriffs, and Mexican drug gangs

Don't vote.
More...
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM · Report this
137
Ha! Right, there are no pot smokers in Utah.

Actually, 6.96% of Utahns smoked pot last year.

And in Utah, up to a pound of possession is only a misdemeanor. In Washington, you hit a felony at 1.4 ounces.

Also, don't forget Ohio has 100 grams decriminalized and Rhode Island has medical marijuana.

Finally, MicheleJohn, I'm getting tired of doing all your research. You claim those thirteen per se DUID states all have a rebuttable presumption of guilt? Show me. While you're at it, find for me the year in which those states enacted their per se DUID statute. Then, find for me the DUI arrest stats for the two years prior and two years after the per se statute went into effect.

If all the Patients Siding With The Drug Czar are correct, then there should be noticeable spikes in DUI arrests following the passage of a per se DUID law. Especially considering that many of those states have roadside sobriety checkpoints.

I'm working on gathering that data and I'm still of an open mind once I find it. But so far, my first data point, Pennsylvania, is proving you wrong. The year after they passed their per se DUID (at 5ng), there was exactly one less DUID arrest.
Posted by Russ Belville - NORML on March 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM · Report this
138
it's funny how you say patients siding with the drug czar when youre supporting an initiative that has a duid policy that's supported by...the drug czar (and Obama)!

Also Pennsylvania once again isnt legal, so your comparison is invalid. No one thinks its legal like they'd be duped into thinking if i502 passes.

Once again, even beyond these huge problems the initiative is almost humorously faulty. passing a joint can still nab you with a distribution charge? whoever wrote this needs to go back to law school.

Its also a near lie to say you have an open mind, because you know as well as well all do that with NORMLs endorsement you couldnt come out against it if you wanted to.

As youve quoted before when talking about prohibitionists: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Report this
139
for those questioning the intentions of those against this for the per se limit, look at how hard and listen to the quite-good reasoning behind their fighting against literally the SAME limit that's introduced in 502 over in Colorado http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/aler…

as NORML puts it in the article:

"Last year, lawmakers rejected a similar proposal. This summer, a special legislative work group also failed to endorse such a per se standard.

Senate Bill 117 is inappropriate because THC levels in blood are often inconsistent predictors of behavioral impairment, particularly in daily users (such as many of those in Colorado’s patient community) who may possess residual levels of THC in their blood for periods of time far exceeding any reasonable period of psychomotor impairment."
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 1, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
watchout5 140
I don't like not being able to fight this in court. If you're suspicious of me being high while driving and I pass a sobriety test but the officer decides to get my blood tested anyway and I happen to have had the kind of body chemistry that allowed THC to linger for longer in my fat cells I would want to be able to present the facts in open court and let a jury decide if the facts of the case match up to the fines and/or jail time. Taking that away my right to a fair trial isn't worth legalization, I'd much rather keep buying it illegally than submit to more mandatory minimum sentences, I totally draw the line there that's part of the reason we got into this mess. It's still a huge middle finger to the feds, but it's not worth more people automatically losing their freedom based on a blood test known to be inaccurate. Also consumer level devices, like the breathalyzers, that could give you a readout of your thc levels would be a necessity if you could ever let a charge stick. If I can't know how my own body chemistry acts to thc the state has no right throwing me in jail AUTOMATICALLY for driving around with too much in my blood. Come the fuck on this is not alcohol in the least.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on March 2, 2012 at 1:31 AM · Report this
141
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-daniel…

"Additionally, the group notes that medical marijuana patients develop an increased tolerance to the inebriating effects of the drug, as well as compensating for potential inebriation by slowing down and increasing distances between themselves and other vehicles. In stark contrast, heavy drinkers actually become more sensitive to alcohol's inebriating effects (a reverse tolerance), and experience lowered inhibitions, creating high potential for dangerous driving. Therefore, marijuana impairment and alcohol impairment are very different, and methods of measuring impairment that work for alcohol may not be appropriate when applied to marijuana."

Okay, here EW more studies that verify and correlate my piece on http://wasafecannabis.com/misc/why-thc-b…
for those of you who were unable to understand the earlier definition and explanation that I posted.
Posted by NurseMimi on March 2, 2012 at 3:44 AM · Report this
142
To all the 'medical' marijuana users fighting for your right to drive stoned, if your in such bad shape that you need to be high all the time maybe you shouldn't be driving?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on March 2, 2012 at 7:01 AM · Report this
143
@34 -Why is it that Hempfest has taken NO position? If I-502 was everything that NAW claims it is, a Hempfest endorsement should be an open and shut case.

@35 - how do you plan on KNOWING when you are or are not over the legal limit? There is no scientific guideline for measuring impairment from THC, so how will you know when you drop below the arbitrary limit proposed in I-502 and can drive without risking getting a DUI for being unimpaired?

@49 - there are many N=1 studies which show that cannabis users can, in fact, wake up the next morning after a full night's sleep, with levels 2-10 times higher than the "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific" DUI limit proposed in I-502. One of these studies was convincing enough that the Colorado Legislature killed a bill last year, which proposed the very same DUI limits contained in I-502.
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 7:03 AM · Report this
144
@ 50 - NORML, not I-502 opponents, are the ones who call the DUI limit in I-502 "arbitrary, UNNECESSARY and unscientific." Why is it unnecessary? Washington State's CURRENT DUI law contains the science-based alternative you seek. The law now is based on proof of IMPAIRMENT (evidence like Field Sobriety Tests, Blood Samples, etc.). I-502 changes the law so that a blood test alone is not just evidence in a DUI case, but is definitive proof that a person is DUI. The REALITY is that absent other evidence, a blood test alone cannot show whether a person is definitively impaired. Science has repeatedly shown that there is not a THC blood level which can be consistently correlated to impairment in all individuals.
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 7:16 AM · Report this
Washington NORML 145
No one is required by law to take a field sobriety test. You cannot pass them. Ask your attorney. A blood test refusal is the only refusal that in most, but not necessarily all cases, will result in an automatic license suspension as an administrative function of the Department of Licensing. If that happens, then you pay for a hearing and ultimately get your driving privileges back.

I do not understand the assumption made by angry patients that they are going to lose their license to an automatic DUI. First, you have to get pulled over, which isn't going to happen to you anymore often than it does now. Second, citizens getting arrested for DUI in WA are still driving, so how exactly does this change? I mean, they pay a fee and get a breathalyzer. The courts are not going to put everyone out of work or take away freedoms by taking away drivers licenses.

DUI - whether it is for prescriptions, alcohol, cannabis, or cough syrup - will affect the poor and lower economic classes far more than the medical community, because of the fees involved. And it is not the case that all patients are broke. DUI rarely, if ever, results in the loss of driving privileges if one jumps through the hoops.

I understand the argument against a green DUI, especially when you will already get one if pulled over smelling like weed today. And I agree wholeheartedly, as most pot smokers and pot activists do and as the current evidence supports, that frequent users are less of a risk (than an infrequent recreational user while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of cannabis) to the population at large.

But, the angry tone of patients against 502 is lost on the voters, voters who you need - voters who should/would/could have been educated over the past few years about the realities of cannabis impairment, or lack thereof. But the voters have not been educated by any previous legalization campaigns. And, even though NORML has literature that has been trying to educate the public about the truth of cannabis and driving, that literature wasn't being passed around at signature gathering or volunteering events for other statewide initiatives. Why not? It was available from NORML, it was offered from NORML. No one wanted it. And, the voters don't know about it. Imagine if 200,000 people would have been offered that information over each of the last two years – could that have affected the polling which resulted in 502?

Naw...it's all NORMLs fault? Yeah, whatever.

And, with grassroots activists chanting that, "alcohol is safer than marijuana", we wonder why then, after wearing that t-shirt for so many years, why marijuana is finally being juxtaposed to and treated like alcohol - as an intoxicant. Hmm...I wonder.

Now let’s say, hypothetically, that a group of angry people went to a dry alcohol county in the State of Washington and said they wanted the right to drink as much as they wanted to and then drive with no repercussions to their driving record, it would freak everyone out - especially moms and conservatives!

The same is true of the angry rants against a green DUI threshold; while you can get other patients passionately (angrily) supporting your premise that this is not a sane law, you will never convince the voters that you are trying to reach with your current soapbox. And to all of you trolling angry posters - this is a public service message to you, a constructive criticism. Take it to heart and think about the demographic you are trying to reach - it is not the choir to which you are currently singing.

You need to lower the pitch and write a hit “pop song” if you want to sing to the majority who are deaf to your message in their current state of cannabis impairment awareness.

Vote On.

More...
Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 2, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
John Horstman 146
you simply cannot force a state to accept taxes from a federally illegal substance and expect it to stand ground in a court battle


Actually, I thought this WAS the entire point - the federal ban is illegal as it oversteps separation-of-powers limits. Pass a legalization bill in a state (if regulation isn't legalization, then neither alcohol nor tobacco are legal), and sue the federal government on constitutional grounds if they go after intrastate commerce.

As for the DUIs... well, driving is not a right, it's a privilege requiring compliance with certain regulations, some arbitrary. If you smoke pot regularly and are worried about being pulled over in the first place (shouldn't really be an issue if you're not a shitty driver to begin with, though I realized that "shouldn't" isn't the same thing as "won't"), then don't fucking drive. I think all DUIs are stupid - people should be pulled over and have their licenses suspended for breaking traffic laws, irrespective of the reason (intoxication, poor driving skills while sober, driving while distracted for whatever reason - cell phone or anything else).

ALL DUI laws are arbitrary - blood alcohol levels may correlate to impairment, but because drivers are starting at different points of ability, alertness, reaction times, etc., equal impairment does not mean equal driving ability. If I'm twice as careful a driver as you are while sober, a 50% impairment of my driving ability puts us on equal standing in terms of endangering others on the road, irrespective of the difference in our intoxication/impairments. Arguing that prohibition should continue because you want to be able to smoke pot AND drive is fucking stupid, especially when doing so is already illegal under the prohibition laws.
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Posted by John Horstman on March 2, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 147
@146: "ALL DUI laws are arbitrary"

Right, I want better legal/social/medically accurate solutions. Not throwing hands into the air or weak shrugs. If you're trying to "shake up the system", fucking do so. Don't claim that marijuana should remain outside the "system" as if mainstream America is going to bite.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 9:24 AM · Report this
148
@146 The SCOTUS has consistently ruled that federal drug laws are constitutional and I doubt that will change anytime soon. On the other hand, the question of whether a state can license, regulate, and tax activities that are illegal under federal law is another question. I'm not sure how that works. Any lawyers care to weigh in?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on March 2, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
149
@145 - Washington NORML - Patients and others have been lead to believe they stand to lose their driving privileges due to an automatic DUI because that is the very idea that YOUR ORGANIZATION has promoted for years!

Tell us why NORML is FIGHTING the very same DUI language in COLORADO that it is DEFENDING in WASHINGTON? Why does NORML encourage per se DUI in Washington, but the exact same proposal is indefenisble in Colorado?

You say we were not passing out NORML's literature on cannabis and driving. WHERE WERE YOU? We have been passing out NORML's literature on this topic from the moment that we learned per se DUIC had a chance of taking foothold in our state.

You say "the courts are not going to put everyone out of work or take away freedoms by taking away drivers licenses." How long did YOU have to give up your license when getting arrested and charged for driving after admittedly smoking hash? Yet NORML wants to insinuate that WE are the ones who want to drive impaired?

As for jumping through hoops, per se DUI eliminates all of those hoops, including rebuttable presumption. You will not have the luxury of taking a plea bargain when police and prosecutors have an open and shut case because you exceeded the "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific" per se DUI limit. You will not be getting your license back when that DUI charge sticks because the contents of your blood are the ONLY EVIDENCE NEEDED TO CONVICT YOU.

Lastly, may we remind NAW, NORML and others that patients are not the ones who NEED the votes to win. I-502 needs the votes. Alienating patients, who are your base supporters, is not the way to win votes or future donations. See this enlightening article from Steve Elliott: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/01/att…

P.S. The phrase "alcohol is safer than marijuana" is the title of a book by NORML'S DEPUTY DIRECTOR. If you have issues with that slogan, perhaps you should discuss it with Paul Armentano.
More...
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
NotSpicoli 150
The DUI-Cannabis provisions under I-502 apply in only one circumstance: impaired driving. Probable cause based on impairment to be stopped, followed by reasonable observations of impairment, and specifically impairment caused by drugs, will be required prior to a blood draw.

If, and only if, a driver is stopped with probable cause for suspected impaired driving, and there are reasonable grounds for believing that a driver is impaired, and reasonable grounds to believe the impairment is caused by marijuana or a drug other than alcohol, the officer may arrest and a blood test may be required. Blood tests can only be done when there is sufficient evidence that impairment is caused by a substance other than alcohol.

A good lawyer will make sure this is the way it goes down. If your driving shows signs of impairment and you show evidence of impairment, then if it is caused by alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs or cannabis is immaterial.

Impaired driving, like marijuana prohibition, kills.
Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 2, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
151
150 - WRONG, NotSpicoli.

People get pulled over for all sorts of ridiculous reasons. Everything from a license plate light being out to "suspicions" that the car/driver might have been involved in a crime.

Due to Washington State's implied consent law, once an officer pulls you over, all they have to do is ask for a blood sample. Under I-502, if you refuse that officer's request, you will AUTOMATICALLY lose your license for 90 days. If you submit and your blood contents exceed I-502's "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific" limits for THC, you will be guilty of DUI even if you are not impaired.

Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 152
"Under I-502, if you refuse that officer's request, you will AUTOMATICALLY lose your license for 90 days."

And not under I-502.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?…

"The officer shall warn the driver, in substantially the following language, that:

(a) If the driver refuses to take the test, the driver's license, permit, or privilege to drive will be revoked or denied for at least one year;"
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 153
PAI502, if you want to be taken seriously, you ought to stick to focusing on what would change rather than restating the existing law.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
154
What would change, Undead Ayn Rand, is your ability to introduce evidence that you were not impaired in the least. That is because IMPAIRMENT is no longer an issue once I-502 passes. At that point, the contents of your blood ALONE will be the sole factor used to determine impairment. As researchers, NORML and our organization have continually pointed out, THERE IS NO THC BLOOD LEVEL THAT CAN BE CONSISTENTLY CORRELATED WITH IMPAIRMENT.

http://norml.org/library/item/you-are-go…
As the above review states, along with MANY other pieces of literature - a blood level alone is NOT sufficient proof of impairment, absent other evidence.
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 155
"That is because IMPAIRMENT is no longer an issue once I-502 passes."

Again, how is this handled now?

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?…

"RCW 46.61.502
Driving under the influence.

(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:

(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or

(c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug."

From what I see, the only difference here is that I-502 PROTECTS you below that cutoff point.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Cydney 156
Kevin…you know that this isn't about driving impaired, it's about unconstitutional (where’s our fair trial?) and unethical laws being unacceptable (and you KNOW they're unethical as NORML has been saying so for YEARS).

Also, it’s quite a shame to hear your opinion has changed so much since you met with us at Sensible Washington’s Steering Committee meeting a couple weeks ago when your tone about this whole situation was quite different...
Posted by Cydney on March 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
NotSpicoli 157
As many might recall, I advocated in many forums and with legislators for a medical accommodation for the DUI-C provision. NOT because of the the inadequacy of I-502 by inclusion of a DUI-C provision, but rather to make explicit the expectations on the police and thereby calm the hysteria of the vocal opposition coming from some members of the medical cannabis community.

In fact, attempts to "explicitly protect medical marijuana rights" involved adding a provision to the proposed med cannabis legislation (SB 6265) which failed to make it out of committee: "A DUI conviction under RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504 or equivalent local ordinances must be based on actual impairment, as is the case in current law." This sentence was removed.

Likewise, a stand alone measure addressing DUI-C (HB 2454) went nowhere.

It was raised at the hearings that HB 2454 was unnecessary as it is simply a restatement of current law. It bears repeating: A restatement of current law.

"The Washington State Safe Cannabis Act," a proposed initiative being pushed by I-502 medical cannabis opponents, states, "However, a qualifying patient may not be found in violation of chapter 46.61.502 RCW or chapter 46.61.504 RCW, or an equivalent local ordinance, based solely on the presence, or presence in a certain concentration, of components or metabolites of cannabis, without other evidence that the qualifying patient was actually impaired." Again, this is a restatement of current law.

I agree with the testimony before the legislature that "Such concerns are overblown, said Dr. Kim Thorburn, Spokane County's former top public health official and one of the sponsor's of I-502. "In order to be stopped for impaired driving you have to show impairment," she said. "This is not a concern for medical marijuana users and has been kind of a red herring that has been raised."
More...
Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 158
@156: "it's about unconstitutional (where’s our fair trial?) and unethical laws being unacceptable (and you KNOW they're unethical as NORML has been saying so for YEARS)."

Then fucking go after them directly, not in this context. I-502 works along with the system in place.

Work to change the system in place. Put your lobbying towards lobbying for studies that would create more accurate ways to determine impairment in the field and in the lab..
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Cydney 159
#146: Unfortunately that's not what this is about with I-502. Take a look at the federal CSA and take a look at 502 and you'll see that it will NOT stand a challenge in court. However, if like Missouri (Show-Me Cannabis Regulations) and California's End Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012 they would of kept the EXACT same initiative but removed it from the state's controlled substances list - THAT would of stood up to a federal challenge because the feds can't reinstate state criminal sanctions...this would of brought real, lasting reform (and they still could of had the distribution system in the initiative, etc.).

Also: not true undead. Under the cutoff your defense doesn't change. Above the cutoff...you lose your right to a fair trial.

And sorry undead, I just can't not work to make sure this never becomes law (for the same reason so many people have fought again per se laws for decades), because changing it after it passes is practically an impossibility.
Posted by Cydney on March 2, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 160
"changing it after it passes is practically an impossibility."

If the science is there, changing all testing mechanisms and procedure will be a possibilty.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Cydney 161
undead...please show me the last time any "drugged" driving penalties were decreased.
Posted by Cydney on March 2, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Cydney 162
here's NORML fighting hard to stop the same EXACT 5 ng/ml limit for cannabis in Colorado: http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/aler…
Posted by Cydney on March 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
163
@155 - the RCW's that you cite will be CHANGED immensely by I-502.
Here is a simple breakdown for you:
WHAT THE LAW SAYS NOW:
(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle in this state:
a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

HOW I-502 WILL CHANGE THE LAW
(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
(a) And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person’s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or
(b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
(c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug; or
(d) THAT THE THC CONCENTRATION OF THE DRIVER'S BLOOD IS 5.00 OR MORE; OR THE DRIVER IS UNDER AGE 21 AND THE THC CONCENTRATION OF THE DRIVER'S BLOOD IS ABOVE 0.00
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
164
@ 157 - Why do you think there have been THREE different attempts in the last 2 months to amend the law to require PROOF OF ACTUAL IMPAIRMENT, if I-502 changes nothing? Why the sudden influx of legislation regarding cannabis DUI?

@ 158 - if I-502 works along with the system that is already in place - why the need to change the CURRENT DUI laws which, as dozens of I-502 supporters in this thread have pointed out, are WORKING as intended?
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 165
@164: "Why do you think there have been THREE different attempts in the last 2 months to amend the law to require PROOF OF ACTUAL IMPAIRMENT, if I-502 changes nothing?"

Why don't you tell us?

"if I-502 works along with the system that is already in place - why the need to change the CURRENT DUI laws which, as dozens of I-502 supporters in this thread have pointed out, are WORKING as intended?"

Irrelevant to the argument you're making. I know that the hard limit will exist now, but the scare tactics you're using also exist under the current law.

I-502 *seems to* protect those under the arbitrary limit whereas before they didn't have any protections.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
166
ive been paying close attention to this thread and the pro502 people just dont get it and dont get the way our lawws work
Posted by tanyalivinglarge on March 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 167
As opposed to the "big time consitutuionalist" who doesn't get how our constitution is interpreted.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
NotSpicoli 168
"Why do you think there have been THREE different attempts in the last 2 months to amend the law to require PROOF OF ACTUAL IMPAIRMENT, if I-502 changes nothing? Why the sudden influx of legislation regarding cannabis DUI?"

Like I previously posted. It was 1. to try to try and stop the fear mongering by the vocal minority of critics, 2. to assure those who were falling for the fear mongering promulgated by the vocal minority, 3. to be forearmed, whether I-502 passes or not, to accommodate medical cannabis users if the state attempts to pass a zero tolerance dui-c in the future.

As I have said before. I am not about arguing over this. The issues are laid out clearly in the nuetral statement of positions below. And here they are:

New Approach Washington holds that the DUI-C provision is directed at the concern over impaired driving. If, and only if, a driver is stopped with probable cause for suspected impaired driving, and there are reasonable grounds for believing that a driver is impaired, and reasonable grounds to believe the impairment is caused by marijuana or a drug other than alcohol, the officer may arrest and a blood test may be required. Blood testing is for the psycho-active delta-9 THC and not the metabolite carboxy THC.

The opposition holds that medicinal marijuana users can have very high levels of delta-9 THC (over the proposed legal limit) but are not impaired. Because of their high levels of THC the law would "per se" make it illegal for them to drive. They fear that police will stop and even target them without probable cause and without evidence of impaired driving and demand that they submit to a blood test. This would result in arrest and possible loss of driving privileges.

So there it is. It's up to the voters...
More...
Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 2, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
169
our constitution declares us a free trial and 502 takes that away. its LMAO funny that when patients against calls you out about how you can say things won't be bad for people when there have been attempts to change it, and your answer is you tell me? Haha!! youre the one saying that its not bad (haha)...you tell us why youre right which you cant. just like saying it "seems" to protect those who are under the limit...right...haha.
Posted by tanyalivinglarge on March 2, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 170
@169: As of right now, Per se laws are supported by the courts as Constitutional.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
171
undead most all of them have rebuttable presumption which is why.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM · Report this
172
@168 "It was 1. to try to try and stop the fear mongering by the vocal minority of critics, 2. to assure those who were falling for the fear mongering promulgated by the vocal minority, 3. to be forearmed, whether I-502 passes or not, to accommodate medical cannabis users if the state attempts to pass a zero tolerance dui-c in the future."

1) Fear mongering by the vocal minority? We didn't know NORML is a vocal minority. They have consistently asserted for YEARS that per se DUI for cannabis is "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific" and continue to stand by that assertion to this day.

2) If it was so important to assure those who were "falling for the fear mongering," why didn't the Legislative attempts gain any traction - and why did one of the bill sponsors remove the protective clause herself? If it's so easy to "fix the faults" in I-502, as NAW continues to claim, why didn't these efforts go anywhere?

3) The state won't have to pass zero tolerance DUI-C in the future. NAW is doing it for them RIGHT NOW with I-502, which contains a ZERO TOLERANCE, ZERO EXCEPTION policy for a wide swath of Washington citizens.

Lastly, your "position" statement is ANYTHING BUT NEUTRAL.

@ 170 - if per se laws have already been deemed constitutional, how can I-502 supporters continue to insist that this part of the proposal can be challenged in a court of law? To answer your earlier question about why legislation was introduced to require ACTUAL PROOF OF IMPAIRMENT, it was done to proactively remedy the flaws in I-502, something NAW itself has been unwilling to do.
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 173
EVERYONE KNOWS EVERYTHING! AND NO ONE IS EVER WRONG…until later.

@149 – What is the use? You totally missed every single point of that post. If you think that PANAW is doing a great job of spreading its message to the masses with their voice, then great. Again, you are alienating everyone except the PANAW choir. We hear you. We understand the argument. We know the science. But, no one else is listening. That is why 502's language is the way it is. That is why they collected the sigs they needed. That is why HB2454 didn't make it out of committee - no one else is listening. By understanding both sides of the argument and opining the views of everyone, you think NORML is personally attacking you. The "you're either with us or against us" diatribe you carry on is self - righteousness to a tee. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but there is no humility it all your tone. None. That won't get you the sympathy you need for your mission to keep an ounce out of the hands of all citizens over 21. They don't care about dui. That is the larger perspective of the citizenry of this state.

"Quote: @145 - Washington NORML - Patients and others have been lead to believe they stand to lose their driving privileges due to an automatic DUI because that is the very idea that YOUR ORGANIZATION has promoted for years!"

I must be too high to understand what are you saying? That is EXACTLY the fear that your group is promoting. Seriously, I can’t seem to find that information anywhere. Do you mean http://norml.org/library/item/you-are-go…, or are you referring to http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-a…

"Quote: Tell us why NORML is FIGHTING the very same DUI language in COLORADO that it is DEFENDING in WASHINGTON? Why does NORML encourage per se DUI in Washington, but the exact same proposal is indefenisble in Colorado?"

The DUI language in Colorado was introduced by a legislator in Colorado and called for a 0ng threshold for everyone. It was fought against by NORML and many others and shot down in committee hearings. NAW introduced the language for I-502 and citizens signed the petition. I do not recall NORML’s endorsement of this language prior to the reality of it making the ballot. And, if you recall, Mary Lou Dickerson’s HB2454 - which at least tried to get some protection language for patients documented - was authored in large part by NORML’s Deputy Director, and it was also shot down in committee hearings. When you say, “Encourage per se DUI” do you mean to say that NORML vocally supports the idea that green dui is great? That is an outright lie. NORML has always promoted and encouraged the reform of laws to include, at the very least, the rights of responsible adults to smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home. The idea of the rights of possession for all citizens over 21 is consistent with that notion.

"Quote: You say we were not passing out NORML's literature on cannabis and driving. WHERE WERE YOU? We have been passing out NORML's literature on this topic from the moment that we learned per se DUIC had a chance of taking foothold in our state"

To be honest, I hadn’t heard of patients against 502 (patients against everyone else?), until the day before Seattle Hempfest this year. On the other hand, WANORML has always offered Sensible Washington literature, including Cannabis and Driving: A Rational Review. I was literally told at a Sensible Washington meeting that they thought the Marijuana is Safer than Alcohol book was better for their message. Co – Authored by Paul Armentano, NORML’s Deputy Director, Marijuana is safer the Alcohol speaks to the “regulation” of cannabis like alcohol, and while they may not have intended a dui limit, that is what you have with 502 – regulation of cannabis like liquor, right down to the dui.

"Quote: You say "the courts are not going to put everyone out of work or take away freedoms by taking away drivers licenses." How long did YOU have to give up your license when getting arrested and charged for driving after admittedly smoking hash? Yet NORML wants to insinuate that WE are the ones who want to drive impaired?"

I didn’t lose my license at all. I did not admitt to smoking hash, I only admitted to smoking herb TWO HOURS earlier (the reality was I had just smoked hash, but that is only you and for the papers – I did not admit that to the officer) And, I refused all sobriety tests, including a blood draw. I should have lost my license, but DOL never got the paperwork. Even with that technicality my attorney was afraid to take it to trial. Do you see what I am saying? Even without per se, and even with the officer not sending in my blood draw refusal, I couldn’t win. So how am I being spared now? Without per se, and with a technicality, I was still guilty.

"Quote: As for jumping through hoops, per se DUI eliminates all of those hoops, including rebuttable presumption. You will not have the luxury of taking a plea bargain when police and prosecutors have an open and shut case because you exceeded the "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific" per se DUI limit. You will not be getting your license back when that DUI charge sticks because the contents of your blood are the ONLY EVIDENCE NEEDED TO CONVICT YOU."

That is simply not true. Everyone who pays the fines, takes the classes and does whatever else the court demands gets to drive - even if they blow a 2.0 BAC with obvious impairment. The dui regulatory scheme is not an attack on patients. Every single day people are convicted of dui impairment. And, every single day they are still driving.

"Quote: Lastly, may we remind NAW, NORML and others that patients are not the ones who NEED the votes to win. I-502 needs the votes. Alienating patients, who are your base supporters, is not the way to win votes or future donations. See this enlightening article from Steve Elliott: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/01/att…"

We are not "alienating patients" by telling the truth about public opinion. Public opinion has little to do with science. And the whole ,"you're either with use or against us" argument is not valid.
I wholeheartedly agree that I -502 needs votes to win. But, my point, which you so clearly missed that it actually hurts my brain, is that you are trying to convince the millions of voters who are not patients to listen to you. I – 502 already has the soccer moms and conservatives voting yes. Do you expect the millions of soccer moms and conservatives - whom you are trying to convince to vote, "no", to listen to you, or us, or anyone else SCREAMING for unlimited, “ f%*&ing smoking while driving rights” and expect them to vote , “no”, ? Well KEEP ON SCREAMING and maybe they will all vote your way. But, by trying to tell you that the way you are presenting your argument is not working, I am just trying to help here.
I have great sympathy for many patients, including very close family and close friends. I am a patient. Do you think PANAW is looking at the mainstream voter objectively? If you say ,”yes”, I will not waste any more of either one of our time. I mean, c’mon. Re – read my analogy to dry counties here in WA. You are scaring people away from you by saying that you want to smoke as much as you want and drive, you are not bringing them towards you. This is the objective reality. But, you don’t have to pay attention. Again, I am only trying to help hone your argument.

"Quote:" P.S. The phrase "alcohol is safer than marijuana" is the title of a book by NORML'S DEPUTY DIRECTOR. If you have issues with that slogan, perhaps you should discuss it with Paul Armentano."

Mason Tvert and Paul Armentano are great acquaintances of mine whom I see and communicate with regularly. Co – Authored by Paul Armentano, NORML’s Deputy Director, Marijuana is safer the Alcohol, speaks to the “regulation” of cannabis like alcohol, and while they may not have intended a dui limit, that is what you have with 502 – regulation of cannabis like liquor, right down to the dui. But, again, you missed my point so cleanly that it actually saddens me as an activist.
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Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 2, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
174
"The "you're either with us or against us" diatribe you carry on is self - righteousness to a tee. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but there is no humility it all your tone."

Hahahahahaha...have you watched ANY of NORMl show live recently?
Posted by SavannahS. on March 2, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 175
@174: Baseless, thoughtless snark that doesn't match the substance or tone of WANORML's posts here.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 2, 2012 at 3:02 PM · Report this
NaFun 176
To hear Mason Tvert of the Colorado effort, and Alison Holcomb of New Approach Washington, discuss the pros and cons and reasonings behind the two initiatives on a panel at the Drug Policy Alliance Reform conference go here:

http://www.reformconference.org/conferen…

Posted by NaFun http://www.dancesafe.org on March 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 177
Cydney, as an activist, patient, friend and relative of very sick patients, and a green dui guy, my personal opinion hasn’t changed. And, with my access to the national NORML affiliates and ARO mailing lists, the WANORML advisory board, along with several close friends who are attorneys, including a defense attorney and a federal prosecutor, my personal perspective is tempered by many different opinions.

INMHO there are hero’s on both sides and corruption everywhere. What this is about as far as NORML is concerned is the right of all citizens over 21 (patients and non – patients) to legally (not an arrest-with-affirmative-defense in court) possess an ounce and smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home.

We can discuss the constitutionality of this over a meal and a joint outside of the Palace in downtown Seattle until the wee hours of the morning, but, ultimately, that is an academic discussion between like-minded activists. And, in the case that I -502 wins the votes of Washington voters, and until the courts actually hear the cases and reach a decision, it remains as such. The possibilities and probabilities of the outcome of this or that are not necessarily the ultimate reality, until that gavel comes down. What has never been open to discussion is strategy by Sensible Washington or PANAW.

And, while my personal opinion hasn’t changed, this ultimately is not about me. I cannot abuse the position of Executive Director for Washington NORML by fabricating public opinions that are not true.

Green DUI’s are lame for a conditioned patient, speaking from experience. But that argument is a slippery slope, in that one could say that a seasoned alcoholic can function at BAC twice that which would render a non-user unconscious. Further, most people don’t care about issues of constitutionality and dui. Those discussions are generally reserved for activists – unfortunately. We don’t make public opinion.
BTW, I do feel that personal possession without arrest is consistent with NORML’s mission to reform marijuana laws so that a responsible adult has the legal right to enjoy a joint in the privacy of their own home.

“What about our fair trial?” Great question! When I asked my attorney why I didn’t get a chance for a fair trial he said, simply, “you were guilty”, so much for a fair trial. If I am guilty now, I guess that won’t change. And, if I can’t get a trial now, what’s the bottom line difference to my freedom or pocketbook? That is the question people are asking. And somehow all of the scary technical differences outlined by PANAW between current law and potential future law wouldn’t have made a difference to anyone charged with a green dui, so how will you convince voters that 502 dui are more dangerous when the current reality suggests otherwise?
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Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 2, 2012 at 3:22 PM · Report this
178
you sound like you understand both sides washington NORML so can we PLEASE stop with the cheech and chong comparisons and making it seem like we all just want to drive high?
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 3:28 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 179
@174

Way to miss the point. Which is my point. This is too much effort. My point is that no one is listening to you. Not because of your arguments, but the way you present them. Go ahead, stone me, wish me cancer, and burn me at the stake.

"The rightous rise, with burning eyes, of hatred and ill will."
Witch Hunt. Rush, Moving Pictures.
Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 180
#178 Finally someone gets it! THANK YOU!!!

That's what the millions of VOTING soccer moms and conservatives are hearing from PANAW...arguing the difference between a functioning cannabis users and a functioning alcoholic is lost on them.

NORML is telling PANAW that our constiuents are not receiving their message. Yet PANAW is not listening either.

What voters are hearing is the comparison you mention above, that is not my personal attitude.

Smoke if you've got 'em.

Vote on.

Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM · Report this
181
Hey SW, why don't you go work on collecting signatures instead of drumming up resistance to an initiative that actually has a chance to pass? If you gather enough signatures (big if) your initiative will be embarassingly rejected by the voters. Do you actually think the voters will want to go from prohibition to complete freedom of Cannabis in one step?
Posted by MarvinC on March 2, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this
182
@173 – Washington NORML – You want to talk about humility, self-righteousness, alienating people and the “you’re either with us or against us” diatribe? We have never ONCE said “you’re either with us or against us.” NOT ONCE. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Patients Against I-502 have personally fought for legalization and will continue to do so. It is NAW, and now NORML, who contend that those who oppose I-502’s “arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific” per se DUIC limit are “with us or voting with the drug czar, the feds, cops and prohibitionists.”

In an effort to clear up your admitted confusion about NORML’s own positions, the statement that we referred to in http://norml.org/library/item/you-are-go… is “these laws potentially classify many SOBER drivers as impaired under the law, solely because they were presumed to have consumed a controlled substance -- particularly marijuana -- at some previous, unspecified point in time.”

In the other link you referenced http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-a… the statement that backs up I-502 opponent’s concerns is “marijuana's primary psychoactive compound, THC, may accumulate and be detected in blood for SEVERAL HOURS in occasional users; in some chronic users, THC may be present in blood for a period of DAYS after past use, long after any performance impairing effects have worn off.”

If you are still “too high to understand,” please contact NORML’s Deputy Director. He should be able to help clear your fog. As for Mary Lou Dickerson’s bill, HB2454, being “authored in large part” by Paul Armentano, he was asked to provide written testimony on the dangers of per se DUIC, but he did not author the legislation, in large part or otherwise. He did, however, offer strong opposition to I-502’s DUI provisions from the start. Unfortunately, New Approach Washington casually tossed his advice aside, along with that of many other respected reformers.

When we say that NORML encourages per se DUI, it is FAR from an outright lie. One of your most vocal critics of I-502 opponents, Russ Belville, has repeatedly disregarded concerns about per se DUI as nothing more than hysterics. He also contends that cannabis users are not especially susceptible to Cannabis DUI now and nothing about per se DUIC will make cannabis users any more susceptible to arrest than they already are. If this is true, why is NORML staunchly opposing the imposition of per se DUIC laws in Colorado? Opposition to the very same law is considered “hysterics from a vocal minority” in Washington, but completely legitimate in Colorado? Are we supposed to take comfort in the fact that NORML did not endorse the language before it made the ballot, but now vigorously supports it?

The reason you didn’t hear about Patients Against I-502 before Seattle Hempfest is because there was no per se DUIC proposal to oppose. Rest assured, we would have opposed (and WILL oppose) ANY and all attempts to put a per se DUI into place that will cause UNIMPAIRED drivers to be wrongfully convicted. Never once have we said (or even vaguely implied) that we should be able to “smoke as much as we want and drive.” That is the unfortunate perception being painted by NAW and framed by NORML.

And what does WANORML offering Sensible Washington literature have to do with Patients Against I-502? Our group might have crossover with Sensible Washington, but it is not run by that group, nor has it ever been. Where this idea came from is ludicrous. Doug Hiatt is not affiliated withPatients Against I-502, nor has he ever spoken on our behalf. This is another political ploy being used to discredit opponents. In Doug’s defense, however, we must point out how quickly NORML has forgotten his countless contributions to this movement. The same goes for Vivian McPeak, who along with Seattle Hempfest, is now being smeared by your organization. Do you really think these types of tactics are earning NORML (or I-502) additional support?

You ask how you the current DUI law worked to your advantage and I-502 would work to your disadvantage. The answer is very simple. You do not currently have a DUI charge on your record because you took a plea bargain. If I-502 passes, you would not have enjoyed the luxury of a plea bargain because police and prosecutors would have had an open and shut case. No need to offer anyone a plea bargain when prosecutors have the guaranteed guilty verdict that per se DUI brings with it. The fact that you managed to escape a DUI charge with fines and classes does NOT mean others will get that same treatment.

Lastly, NORML’s blatant attacks (now being leveled almost HOURLY by “radical russ”) are not the only behavior that is alienating patients. NORML’s admitted censorship of any and all opposing viewpoints is not being taken lightly, nor are the numerous offensive and threatening e-mails that have been sent to I-502 opponents. Do you know that foundation@NORML.org has told patients to “look over their shoulders.” Don’t take our word for it. You can find a screen shot of this outlandish e-mail on the Patients Against New Approach Washington Facebook page.

The point that YOU have so clearly missed (as has NAW) is that the opposition campaign does not need to convince millions of voters. We only need to convince enough to keep this unethical legislation from getting passed. With just 47% support and 13% undecided in the most recent poll, it will NOT take millions of people to accomplish this goal. Opponents don’t need votes from soccer moms or conservatives, supporters do. What supporters also need are the GUARANTEED YES VOTES that would have come from its base.
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Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
183
179 - Before you get too hysterical - we have not wished to stone, burn at the stake or give cancer to any I-502 supporter - not even Alison Holcomb herself. This implication goes far beyond distorting the truth and into the bounds of outright lies.
Posted by Patients Against I-502 on March 2, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
NotSpicoli 184
@62

Thank God for Russ Belville.
Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 2, 2012 at 7:03 PM · Report this
185
great response Patients!
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 2, 2012 at 7:05 PM · Report this
NotSpicoli 186
@172 wrote: "To answer your earlier question about why legislation was introduced to require ACTUAL PROOF OF IMPAIRMENT, it was done to proactively remedy the flaws in I-502, something NAW itself has been unwilling to do."

This is patently false. Please reread post #157.

The reason the legislature removed the added language to the proposed MUCA bill was because it was unnecessary as it is simply a restatement of current law.

I was involved in working on tying to get this accommodation introduced. My intention was not motivated by trying to fix a deficit in I-502. It was an attempt to do what I could to bring us together.

It was an attempt to codify, makes explicit, spell it out--solely for the benefit of easing the concerns of those who use cannabis medicinally--that which is already assumed and required by the current law and under I-502.

I-502 "does not lessen the legal requirements under Washington law that there be: (1) probable cause for an arrest and (2) reasonable grounds to believe a driver is impaired before a breath or blood test may be administered."

My intentions was to unite us in common purpose toward the goal of ending marijuana prohibition by overcoming a perceived hurdle. I thought if the legislature actually wrote out that DUI for medical cannabis users be based, primarily on evidence of actual impairment (as is the expectation under current law and under I-502), then we could unite and face our real opponents, the federal government and the prohibitionists, instead of fighting among ourselves. I find myself somewhat embarrassed at my naiveté and that those efforts are now being misinterpreted and used against I-502.

I remain convinced that the DUI provision is not going to be a problem for medical users who don't drive impaired--which is virtually all of them. The FAQ's at the New Approach Washington website lay out their position pretty well. However, if actual problems arise post I-502 with medical users and the DUIC limits, HB 2454 is an example of a relatively simple and quick legislative fix.
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Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 2, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
Washington NORML 187
@182 - A diatribe is simply a long, bitter discourse. I never ONCE said that “you’re either with us or against us” was an actual quote.

I did speak to NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano regarding involvement with HB2454.

Russ’s comments “disregarding” DUI are not necessarily an encouragement of DUI, but I understand your point. As for NORML’s involvement in opposing DUIC Colorado I can only speculate that it is because it calls for a 0ng limit, as opposed to 5ng for WA. And, in Colorado it was introduced as a separate issue by the legislature, not as part of a 1oz legalization for 21 and over package deal through the initiative process.

The “unfortunate perception” of being able to “smoke as much as we want and drive” is implied by the argument against an impairment limit. That concept is not being painted and framed by anyone except PANAW. It is unfortunate that most voters do not understand the difference. Again, we don’t make public opinion. I wish…

WANORML has never smeared Douglas Hiatt or Vivian McPeak. I personally love those guys and I hope they know it. Douglas has done more pro bono work as an activist than any other attorney I know. Vivian is a wordsmith with a great perspective and a venerable saint as the master of one of the most significant gatherings of people in the scope of humanity in terms of shear numbers, not to mention topic. Plus, they are both cool to hang out with. And, their advice is priceless.

People have asked, “What does an I-502 DUI that have to do with driving privileges when compared to current DUI?” People with DUI get to drive now. People with DUI get to drive if 502 passes. And, could you explain to this thread what is the main difference between a driving felony plea and a driving felony DUI, besides a breathalyzer fee?

WANORML cannot address the issue of hourly attacks by NORML. We do not have admin privilege to “radical russ” or foundation@NORML. org.

While there are millions of voters in WA, I will not argue with your percentages. 47% support, 13% undecided, 40% no. 11% of the undecided plus 40% no equals 51%. If 2,500,000 people vote, 11% would be around 275,000 people. I stand corrected.
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Posted by Washington NORML http://www.wanorml.org on March 3, 2012 at 2:46 AM · Report this
Posted by NurseMimi on March 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
189
I have been chronicling the inconsistencies between what OCTA backers in Oregon say and what they write in their actual proposal. Their paid signature gatherers lurk on the trains, corners, and at events gathering signatures for "legalization" from the unsuspecting public. What their initiative actually proposes is a complete government monopoly that is tailor made for dominance by large corporations.

OCTA is an example of everything bad that can be included in a "legalization" proposal. It is about control and limitation, not legalization. OCTA creates a government monopoly where all growers and producers must sell ONLY to the government who will determine at what price and how much can be sold. OCTA also has limits on consumption and provisions that require the monitoring of consumption.

OCTA proposes a commission called OCC that will control how much can be sold, bought, and grown including at what prices and at state run stores only. It is not a good deal for anyone but big corporations. It does not create jobs for existing growers in any meaningful way. Instead it sets up multiple barriers to their entering the future market.

A diverse well represented market of top shelf craft grown cannabis is not going to come from the same old faceless global corporations that have driven out quality all across the Country. It will come from the tens of thousands of small growers who currently risk their freedom to keep strains alive.

Link to this information:
http://www.otisgardens.com/forum/index.p…
Posted by Otishertz on March 3, 2012 at 12:35 PM · Report this
Posted by Otishertz on March 3, 2012 at 12:47 PM · Report this
wilbur@work 191
self-righteous fucktards ruin the party, once again. right-on, bruah!
Posted by wilbur@work on March 4, 2012 at 12:24 AM · Report this
wilbur@work 192
the only true way to settle this: Johnny Fever, Venus Fly-Trap and the OSP hotboxing in a '74 Grand Prix, w/ Nurse Jackie doing the blood draw.
Posted by wilbur@work on March 4, 2012 at 12:44 AM · Report this
193
Of course, all of the arguments they've made against the strict THC limit can be made against the strict BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit as well. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. It's different for men and women. Different people are "impaired" at different levels.

So, does the anti-502 crowd want to do away with the alcohol limits too? Do you believe that anyone should be allowed to drive no matter how much of any intoxicant they've had as long as they can pass a field sobriety test? Do you really want your determination of DUID based strictly on the testimony of a cop that pulled you over in the middle of the night? A cop who might not like (blacks, gays, hispanics, whatever group you're in) and might be biased? I would prefer a set unambiguous number. Now 5ng might not be the right number but I'd rather have a number than have it totally up to the cop whether I'm impaired.
Posted by Root on March 5, 2012 at 7:01 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 194
@193: "Do you believe that anyone should be allowed to drive no matter how much of any intoxicant they've had as long as they can pass a field sobriety test?"

Yes, they do. They desire/require that ambiguity and refuse to EVER seek accuracy in their limits. They need it to hide behind.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM · Report this
195
@192: This is about what a jury must conclude in order to determine guilt. The roadside cop is heavily influential, as is the lab work that comes with a blood test. In this country, police do not judge guilt, judges and juries do. Currently, a judge or jury must be convinced that someone was impaired by THC in order for that person to be convicted of DUI-C. If I-502 passes, there will be no need to convince anyone that someone was impaired, only of the concentration of active THC in his or her blood shortly after operation of the vehicle was above a certain level. I don't that's a just policy. Nor do I think that it's just to consider someone guilty of DUI alcohol just because he or she had .08 BAC or greater. I do not think we should allow people to endanger others by driving while impaired. I do not think we should continue arresting thousands of adult Washingtonians every year in order to avoid the unjust law I-502 will create. I've watched people try very hard, then fail by longshots, to end cannabis prohibition outright in Washington. I do not want us to wait until 2016 or 2020 for another shot at this. 2012 is the year to do it.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on March 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
196
As the co-owner of 4Evergreen Group, I've talked to many 'yes' votes on 1-502 that signed the petition and planned on voting that way. As soon as I even briefly explained to them even the basics of the anti-502 bullet points their opinions quickly and whole-heartedly switch to no.

The reason the opposition is only polling at 40% is because not many people really understand the fast one that the ACLU and the ATF (WSLCB) are trying to pull here. PANAW has done a great job compiling the arguments and spreading the message, but they are a smallish organization with limited resources.

All I can say is that more resources are on the way, with a VERY PROGRESSIVE style of information distribution. Lets see what polling says in June, I'd be willing to bet it will be flipped by then. 502 will lose most of its support by Hempfest, I'm very confident of this.

Next time vet your ideas with atty's and advocates on all sides before you create precedent. It would have saved you guys a SHITLOAD of time and ultimately money. Its very unfortunate, because this would have been the perfect year to pass legalization. Too bad the ACLU fucked it up for everyone.

Posted by doeberman on March 5, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 197
@196: "As soon as I even briefly explained to them even the basics of the anti-502 bullet points"

Right, but longer explanation have me back to supporting I-502, because the "basic" bulletpoints aren't grounded in reality.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 5, 2012 at 3:54 PM · Report this
198
@197

That's far from true. 502 isn't grounded in reality.. its a complete fantasy, by the literal definition of it. Alison Holcomb's fantasy of a Federal job in DC and Dominic Holden's attempt to ride her coattails along with the rest of the supporters. (PS HOLCOMB AND HOLDEN don't inhale, so why the hell did we let them lead the pro-legalization team? Bottom line, they simply don't give a shit about the real community).

Giving the ATF the oversight of local marijuana laws. Retarded policy, a complete Fantasy.

Thinking a judge wont shove this POS bill in the same place Gregoire shoved 5073. Fantasy.

A 21 year old passing a pipe to a 20 year old is a felony under 502. HUH? Are you kidding me.

Two people sharing a joint is a distribution charge under 502.

Washington States teen drivers will have a higher DUI rate than anywhere else in the country because of 502, keeping out of the college of their choice and from jobs. GREAT LIBERAL POLICY MAKING ACLU. Where did you get your Law degrees from anyway?

The current science is inconclusive, now that this has become a hot button issue there is A TON of new research that is being done specifically on patient testing with regards to ng/ml and corresponding impairment. The results are coming and it will be a deathblow to 502.

We could write bullet points for hours on 502 because there are SO MANY reasons why it is SO ENTIRELY WRONG and just to be clear I am 100% in support of legalization, but this is the worst possible way to do it.

If only the pro-502 team could have come off of their high horses long enough to ask some difficult questions of themselves and this bill we COULD HAVE GOT THIS RIGHT. But they didn't, and in return this bill is bound to fail.

More...
Posted by doeberman on March 5, 2012 at 10:59 PM · Report this
199
@197: Your comment is misleading. Passing a joint is a felony *now* in this state. Delivery (i.e., transfer from one person to another), cultivation, or sale of cannabis is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Any sale to a minor at least three years younger than the offender doubles the possible penalties. Passage of I-502 would not change any of that.

It's unfortunate that polling indicated that Washington voters would not have majority support for a stronger reform measures in 2012, but I'd rather leave delivery and unlicensed cultivation a crime than to continue locking up and taking money from thousands of people in our state each year because they're found in posession of this flower.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on March 5, 2012 at 11:14 PM · Report this
NotSpicoli 200
nurse mimi @128 from your post at the link: "And now NORML sends it’s minions to personally attack patients, both collectively, and by also individually singling out the most vocal members with personal attacks, in order to back an initiative that solidifies NORML’s stance on cannabis patients."

I defy and challenge Nurse Meiwes to produce a single instance where I have called her a name or attacked her personally. Anyone familiar my posts over the years knows that that is not my style. I have never found name calling and personal attacks to be an effective strategy for winning hearts and minds. Name calling and personal attacks represent a lack of technique or discipline. It is not effective advocacy.

The most critical thing I have said about Nurse Mimi is that Mimi "as the spokesperson [for her initiative] is the best thing that could happen for I-502, but unfortunately a disaster looming for medical cannabis users and public relations."

However, all over the internet I have been the recipient of personal attacks by Nurse Mimi.

Below is what Nurse Mimi wrote about yours truly on January 3 here at The Stranger. After crowing that she has discovered that "notSpicoli" is really Dominic Holden (the same assertion that Dr. Mobley made), which I considered a compliment, but is untrue.

Apparently convinced that I'm not Dominic, she then made another wild (bordering on delusional) claim:
"Yeah, [not] Spicoli, that’s why when you were finally outed you screamed like a little kid to facebook about it, right? Said I got personal info off of another site and outed you, but you were a dumb ass and admitted it too, and now everyone knows you are Solomon Schecter (you have outed me a number of times, so all IS fair), dumb ass without a single bachelor’s degree who happens to make medibles and SELLS to patients!...What a hypocrite. I should have figured it out that first time, when you were asked to leave that booth because you were going off on people for no good reason, at least none we could figure out. But you were going off on people as NotSpicoli, only they knew you as Solomon...Your lies are catching up to you and now YOU get tangled in your own web."

On another site she replied to me, "You are a joke."

On October 30 she issued a malediction, "Your selfish outlook is telling, and I do hope someday you will suffer as those who are disabled do, and that it is more difficult for you than it is for me."

Here's one that is inexplicable but seems like a personal attack, "Stop being such a hypocrite and grow a vagina! (Balls are way too delicate)" and a dismissive, "Screw you."

On December 20, in response to one of my posts her reply, "You really are an idiot!"

Other examples abound and include labeling me "bad," "disgusting," "cruel," "uncaring," and "ignorant."

With the feds commitment to wipe out safe access to medical cannabis in our nation and the growing public perception that there are significant numbers of users of medical cannabis who do so in order to skirt the law, one would hope that the medical cannabis community would do whatever it could to make and maintain friends.

Prior to her intemperate remarks against me and her decision to work against I-502 as much as to put forth an accommodation initiative, not only would I have signed her initiative, I would have collected signatures and given some dollars. And I sure that many other I-502 supporters would also have supported her initiative as well. (Even though I feel that the DUI-C section is merely a restatement of current law.)

As a final example of how not to treat friends, Nurse Mimi has been critical of Peter Lewis, the retired CEO of Progressive Insurance, for his contribution to I-502 and even alludes to financial motives on his part--an attempt to sell high priced insurance rates for those convicted of DUI-C.

Who is a greater friend of medical cannabis and marijuana reform than Peter Lewis--a medical cannabis user himself? He just gave $526,000 to virtually finance the medical cannabis ballot initiative in Massachusetts. He's virtually financing the medical cannabis initiative in Ohio.

Making enemies of friends is a terrible strategy for effective reform.
More...
Posted by NotSpicoli http://disqus.com/notspicoli/ on March 6, 2012 at 8:04 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 201
@198: My point, which you're continuing to prove, is that the vast majority of the bulletpoints are ALREADY illegal and ALREADY in practice, what's important is what changes.

Better educate yourself, please.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
202
Do you honestly think that law enforcement is going to take all of budget that they currently receive to combat marijuana related 'criminal' activity and simply tell the DOJ and Olympia that 'Its ok, keep the money. Now that pot has been legalized you can shrink our budget and we will go ahead and lay off a bunch of cops'. If you believe that then you are naive enough to vote for 502.

What will ACTUALLY happen is the same money that is now being made off of minor possession and low level distribution will be shifted to 'combating' impaired driving. What that actually means is that they will NEED to prove that there is an increased risk to public safety so that the budget that they currently receive will not be reduced. NOT ONLY THAT, but they will need to MAKE much more money off of DUIDs to make up for the significant loss to DOJ Coffers once they cant make the money off of possession and minor distribution charges

DUIDs are WAY WORSE THAN POSSESSION CHARGES.

ANY RAND of all people understood this principal, you obviously dont @201. Libertarianism (IM assuming thats who you identify with) would NEVER pass this POS bill because it puts EVEN MORE emphasis on government intervention.

Quite frankly you either 1) Dont get it, 2) Work for the Holcomb clan (my guess), 3) Dont care. Which one is it?

This is NOT legalization. Its a casual shift in drug policy and it NOT ENOUGH.

DO NO HARM is the first rule in the activist lobby. If anyone on this panel can prove this DOES NO HARM you have my complete support.

I didnt think so.
Posted by doeberman on March 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 203
@202: I'm all for legalization. I feel that this is the best shot we have right now. I encourage better legislation be written. I'd vote for this AND whatever after.

"DO NO HARM is the first rule in the activist lobby. If anyone on this panel can prove this DOES NO HARM you have my complete support."

Don't be childish. The status quo does harm. This is objective harm reduction. This places us in a MUCH better position than we're in right now.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 204
"Its a casual shift in drug policy"

And seriously? This is legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana in retail establishments.

This is an incredibly big step.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
205
huh? you keep showing undead how much you know NOTHING NOTHING about law. read our controoled subsatcnes act and read i502. if you think one store will be able to open then you didnt understand what you read.
Posted by MicheleJohn on March 6, 2012 at 11:50 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 206
@205: You don't understand what I-502 is trying to do.

Once the State has put this into effect, you work with the DEA on modifying marijuana on the "controoled subsatcnes act".

MicheleJohn, if you want to work on Federal lobbying, do so. The legalization process is going to take Federal and Stage agencies working together. You're not impressing anyone by throwing titty-baby fits over every imperfect solution and adding NOTHING constructive to the table.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 207
The point is not to be immediately successful. The point is to FORCE A CHANGE in a fucking broken system. Not to reshape the public's understanding of impaired driving. Not to fucking encourage joint-passing and maintain stoner cultural ritual.
Posted by undead ayn rand on March 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
208
NaFun's says: "If the hypothetical patient with blood THC levels above 5ng/ml had passed the Field Sobriety Test, then what grounds would the officer have to ask for a blood draw?"

To say such a thing you either have to be an ignorant fool, a police department schill, or a some one being deliberately disingenuous.

Field Sobriety Tests are notoriously easy to twist into "proof" of impairment. And their primary legitimate tool for law enforcement is to give the officer some objective means of following up on their initial impression that there might be a problem.

But you are being dishonest to suggest that they need to a field sobriety test "failure" to effect an arrest. Mere erratic driving, or even forgetting to turn one's lights on at night on a well lit street, is enough to bring in on suspicion, especially if they can add some other support, such as eyes looked funny, saw marijuana, etc.

Aside from helping an honest cop make a decision, the Field Sobriety Test is mostly useful as extra evidence if the person refuses a test at the station. Absence of a field sobriety test looks bad to a jury because juries expect them. You really think this is going to stop cops from bringing in under 21s who they know are likely partiers, even if they aren't partying on the day in question.

Crazy, you are basing the legitimacy of this laws provisions on the myths the police are already telling about their infallibility?
Posted by cracked on March 7, 2012 at 3:53 PM · Report this

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