Marijuana Legalization Initiative Launched In Washington State

A mainstream coalition in Washington State has emerged in an attempt to pass a binding voter initiative to legalize the responsible adult use of cannabis, raise needed taxes and create alternative legal controls to the clearly failed policies of 74 years of Cannabis Prohibition.

It would set limits on how much cannabis people can have: an ounce of dried bud, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused foods in solid form, and 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids, or all three, Holcomb said. Limits are necessary to help ensure that people don’t buy large amounts for resale in other states, she said.

The Seattle Times breaks the news below and highlights some of the proposed initiative’s early and key supporters–including the former US Attorney, the current Seattle prosecutor and NORML Advisory board member Rick Steves.

The 20th annual Seattle Hempfest will have two important reform projects for the hundreds of thousands to truly rally around this year: a state legalization initiative (the ACLU’s or Sensible Washington’s) and the first ever federal legalization bill expected to be introduced at any moment here in the decidedly less hip and green Washington, D.C.
Will 2012 be the year of mass marijuana legalization initiatives in America? It appears that way now with Washington, California and Colorado on track for such; Oregon, Massachusetts and Ohio may follow suit.

A coalition that includes former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel guide Rick Steves is launching an initiative that would legalize marijuana in Washington state.
The group, led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, decided to push the initiative this spring after Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a medical-marijuana bill that had passed the state Legislature.
“We did some more public-opinion research, looked at the numbers and said, ‘Yeah, this is the time,’ ” said Alison Holcomb, campaign manager for the initiative and drug-policy director of the ACLU of Washington.
The initiative would regulate the recreational use of marijuana in a way similar to how the state regulates alcohol..
It would legalize marijuana for people older than 21, authorize the state Liquor Control Board to regulate and tax marijuana for sale in “stand-alone stores” and extend drunken-driving laws to marijuana, with blood tests to determine how much of the substance’s active ingredient is present in a driver’s blood.
Taxing sales would bring the state $215 million a year, conservatively estimated, Holmes said.
McKay, who spent five years enforcing federal drug laws as the U.S. attorney in Seattle before he was fired by the Bush administration in early 2007, said he hopes the initiative will help “shame Congress” into ending pot prohibition.
He said laws criminalizing marijuana are wrongheaded because they create an enormous black market exploited by international cartels and crime rings.
“That’s what drives my concern: The black market fuels the cartels, and that’s what allows them to buy the guns they use to kill people,” McKay said. “A lot of Americans smoke pot, and they’re willing to pay for it. I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect.”
Supporters would have until the end of this year to gather more than 240,000 signatures to get the initiative before the Legislature. Lawmakers could approve or allow it to go to the ballot next year.

Read the rest of the article here.

59 thoughts

  1. Oh yea I’m fucking loving this, people roll me up some blunts a couple joints and a bag a weed cause naht only did this guy talking just get off of court probation but its time to celebrate a long awaited victory against this fucking “war on drugs” love your weed chief’n nigga

  2. I think that if legalized, it should be taxed like alcohol and cigarettes. Cigarettes have a $3.00 per pack tax. If legalized it should fall under the similar laws of alcohol. If your under 21, your busted. I mean when I’m getting asked to sign a petition and the excuse of the petition is because the government is criminalizing the youth, I have to wonder how the logic rolls for this act. Like I said, tax the hell of out it, restrict the youth from using it. If caught with alcohol in this state, you lose your license now. Same way with marijuana if legalized.
    Another issue is smokers will be growing this in their basements. prevent it. In Washington state liqueur stores, I’ve had my license scanned to make sure it was legit. Should be the same for the marijuana stores. At least this way, the government will know who is smoking it and where to go knocking on doors for monthly marijuana-free home searches. Just food for thought.

  3. I will vote on this for sure it is about time that the state legalize it. just the added revenue would help build city streets, and fund health care, put the money to use in making the community’s better get it in stores and out of school if it is up for vote yes. it is time to take a stand legalize cannabis make the streets safer for the kids.

  4. The Constitution says that the government can only enact laws that protect society as a whole. So for one using marijuana is a personal choice in which the government can have no say in. Secondly the prohibition is fueling drug rings which puts all of us in danger. So you could say that marijuana being illegal is illegal. Laissez-faire

  5. So the government is going to become the new pot dealer. I dont like this at all look what they did to cigeretts. Can you say 80 dollar eighth
    s anyone….

  6. I would support this, except I do not like that driving under the influence would be treated the same as alcohol considering the risks are no where near the same level. I would put it more on par with tobacco in that aspect, but thats just me.

  7. In your ads, why don’t you point out that pot is not addictive; has never killed anyone, and is in fact named as a “cancer fighter” by the National Institute of Health?
    Cigarettes do the opposite in all three points. This year, tobacco is expected to kill six million people around the world.

Leave a Reply