NORML’s Official Reply To ‘Patients Against I-502’

NORML supports (and publicly endorses when requested by the principal organizers) marijuana legalization, regulation, and medical use initiatives that qualify for the state ballot, so long as they move us closer to full legalization, even if they contain provisions we do not believe should be included in a perfect proposal.

Every cannabis law reform initiative dating back to the 1972 proposal in CA has included some flaws, but nonetheless when the initiatives have been approved, marijuana consumers, (including those who use cannabis for medical reasons) benefit by legal protections that did not exist under prior law.

When any marijuana law reform initiative qualifies for the ballot, it instantly creates a much needed public policy discussion and debate about the need to end cannabis prohibition. The mainstream media, editorial boards, columnists and radio talk shows FINALLY start to focus on the problems created by 74 years of prohibition and the benefits of alternative public policies.

The value of this public discussion, even if the initiative loses, clearly moves us closer to eventual victory.  For example, Prop. 19 in CA, which ended up getting nearly 47% of the vote, sparked a national debate over the merits of legalization that helped move the support for full legalization to the highest point ever, measured by a recent Gallup poll as 50% support nationwide.

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.

Additionally, at NORML we also support the right of consumers to grow their own marijuana, and there is no such legal protection in the WA initiative. However, qualified patients already protected under existing law will be able to continue to grow cannabis, as I-502 does not alter existing medicinal cannabis laws. The sponsors found through their polling that the inclusion of the right to cultivate marijuana for personal adult use would reduce their level of public support below that needed for approval. Again, while we continue to support personal cultivation, we believe the initiative still deserves our support, despite this calculated omission by I-502’s sponsors.

We would urge those who support marijuana legalization, but oppose specific provision of I-502, to nonetheless support this initiative because of the importance of 1.) having one state actually approve legalization and confront the federal government on this issue, and 2.) stopping thousands of expensive and damaging arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations annually in WA for cannabis-related offenses, notably for simple possession.

For those who feel they cannot support the current initiative, because it is not perfect, we would hope they would step aside and take no public position, in order not to undermine what is an historic opportunity to end marijuana prohibition, by popular vote, under state law.



65 thoughts

  1. I suggest those who don’t want 502 to pass stop smoking cannabis. Even the Alcoholics out there don’t complain about blood alcohol test. If you are driving badly and get pulled over maybe you are too high too drive, and if you get pulled over for another reason and you wreak of marijuana maybe you need to be alittle more careful. Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too, and if that’s the case legalization won’t happen ever. This IS better than nothing. Pass this, and then amend it over the next decade until it suits you.

  2. Nice Reply,I think the opposition to 502 can only target the Patients.The Haters and Prohibitionist will always Vote No and the Rec users will only Vote yes because it’s better than what they got now. So they (The perfect weed smokers) must convince the folks in the MM world that this is bad.A small percentage of the vote.
    For the record,2012 marks my 40th year of the use of Cannabis,I’ve used it for as part of my Cancer Treatment and I live in Washington and I Vote.I support 502.Again great Stance Norml.I’m sure the last sentence of you statement will fall on def-ears.

  3. Pass i 502… so we can get to work and catch up to the other states that are leaving us in the dust.For those who feel they cannot support the current initiative, because it is not perfect, we would hope they would step aside and take no public position, in order not to undermine what is an historic opportunity to end marijuana prohibitio

  4. “The large number of cannabinoid compounds with which we have compared lipophilicity and pharmacological potency clearly indicates that a relationship does not exist between these two parameters. . . This lack of correlation between lipophilicity and CNS activity within the cannabinoids does not support a mechanism of action which involves only *nonspecific membrane perturbation*, but rather it suggest that the pharmacological (naturally) effects of cannabinoids result from a more specific action (from within). . .this lack of correlation does not entirely rule out the possibility that membrane partitioning could (hypothetical? contribute to some pharmacological (non-synthesized) effect of the cannabinoids.”

    The location of cannabinoid receptors in the human brain correlate with the characteristic effects of marijuana. Of greater confirmation value, the receptor sites bind with cannabinoids and nothing else (at least none of the long list of drugs the researchers tried). (19) Characterization of the receptor allowed “MA” and colleagues to identify a previously cloned receptor gene of unknown identity as the endogenous cannabinoid receptor.

    “L” and “MN” found that converging lines of evidence indicating that cannabinoids produce antinociception (pain reduction) through multiple mechanisms at both the spinal and supraspinal levels of the Central Nervous System. (21) Further evidence indicates that discriminative stimulus and catalepsy are caused by two distinct mechanisms.

  5. I’m a medical patient in WA state and I support I-502 in the hopes that it will help bring what I see as an out-of-control system allowing “caregivers” to misuse and potentially endanger those they are supposed to be helping because they are more focused on distributing to the black market channel where there is more money in it for them. It’s clearly not working as intended when patients are left without meds and forced to fend for themselves because their grower “sold out”.

  6. I never like when people are against a legalization initiative; however you must see this from my standpoint. I am a chronic Lyme disease sufferer who smokes 3-6 joints of high-grade cannabis per day to alleviate the painful symptoms of my condition. I would have to either get rich+ hire a chauffeur or choose between marijuana+driving. I would not be able to legally drive-EVER when it is ironically cannabis that makes it possible for me to move: without my body stiffens up, joints become inflamed, and my fingers+toes start going numb. I can’t work a job or even take my dog for a walk without my medical cannabis & I for one sure as hell wouldn’t want to be faced with the fuck you choice of either being arrested for driving with weed-or being arrested for having it in my system. You must understand that with this nominal nanogram bullshit-most every cannabis consumer will be breaking the law EVERY time they get behind the wheel. They will be risking arrest and the loss of their licence EVERY time they get behind the wheel. You can get behind that; but I for one wouldn’t even want to drive through your state if that passes

    [Russ responds: OK, if that is your situation right now, you shouldn’t be driving through Washington right now. If you are smoking 3-6 hi-grade joints daily and fear you’re above 5ng/mL, then you could already be pulled over and, if suspected of impairment, have your blood drawn, and based on a >5ng reading, have that used against you in a DUID proceeding. As you said, you aren’t “rich+”, so you can’t afford that five-figure DUI lawyer to get you off the charge right now. You are already taking the risk of being busted for DUI now.

    Furthermore “most every” cannabis consumer would NOT be breaking the law EVERY time they get behind the wheel. 630,000 Washingtonians use cannabis annually – that ranges from “a joint at the 20th high school reunion last summer” to “wake and bake daily”. According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 1 in 6 (16.7%) annual marijuana smokers toked within the last thirty days. People who smoked marijuana every day last year made up less than 1 in 50 (1.8%) annual marijuana smokers.

    Now, science shows that if you’re not a regular toker, your ng/mL spike shortly after inhale, drop very quickly, and within 1-4 hours are below 5ng. Only someone, like you, who tokes every day in great volume can get to the point where you’re simultaneously (a) above 5ng/mL even after a night’s sleep, (b) unimpaired at that level, and (c) might have toked shortly before driving. So, the greatest possible number of people in Washington who’d even have a shot at being above 5ng/mL even though they didn’t toke recently is 1.8% of 630,000 annual tokers, or 11,384. Now, what smaller % of 11,384 who are above 5ng but unimpaired drive in such a manner or suffer a no-fault crash to lead a police officer to believe they are impaired on something other than alcohol and drag them in for a blood test and in the intervening hour the driver is still above 5ng?

    Whatever percentage you assume, you end up with a number smaller than the 16,000 of the 630,000 annual marijuana smokers who will be arrested on a marijuana charge. Furthermore, some of the 11,384 will actually BE impaired and SHOULDN’T be driving and the non-regular tokers who are caught above 5ng/mL likely ARE impaired and SHOULD be busted.]

  7. After the failure of Prop 19, NORML’s Russ Bellville offered “10 Lessons Learned from Marijuana Election Defeats.”

    #1: “We must explicitly protect medical marijuana rights.”
    #8: “You can’t “treat it like alcohol” unless you can test for it like alcohol on the roadside.”

    New Approach Washington holds that the DUI-C provision in I-502 is directed at the concern over impaired driving–a genuine barrier to legalization. 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.

    In fact, attempts to “explicitly protect medical marijuana rights” involved adding a provision to the proposed med cannabis legislation (SB 6265) that 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. A stand alone measure addressing DUI-C (HB 2454) also went nowhere. It was raised at the hearings that HB 2454 was unnecessary as it is simply 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 of 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.”

    We do not need to apologize for stopping drivers that appeared to be impaired by substances, be it alcohol, prescription drugs (prescribed or not), illegal drugs, or cannabis. Impaired driving, like marijuana prohibition, kills.

  8. The idea of mj. consumers organizing in WA to oppose a legalization initiative strikes me as either folks who’re benefiting too much from the status quo (sort of like the police…and booze companies…and these so-called medical marijuana clubs) or they are starry eyed and self-centered utopians or something.

    Please Patients Against I-502 get a grip and vote for the initiative…your medicine will only become more affordable and better and everyone else does not get busted. A win win for all!

  9. In essence, I-502:
    -> Decriminalizes 1oz of marijuana for Adults 21+
    -> Allows the State Liquor Control Board to license commercial outlets to be taxed 25% in retail/wholesale transactions + state taxes.
    -> Adds unscientific DUI provision.

    This DUI/D provision, as noted by others, deprives defendants the right to the presumption of innocence based on the introduction of an unscientific standard.

    However, there seems to be an overriding presumption that the legislature and governor would, following the passage of I-502, strive to clarify commercial regulatory provisions to a statewide program in order to ensure the public safety and welfare of Washingtonians, as well as to provide for specific regulations to be adopted by the state liquor control board. Notwithstanding the aforementioned arguments made by NORML, the WA governor vetoed follow-up legislation twelve years after the passage of WA’s medical marijuana initiative. Passage of an initiative, upon effect, is the word of law until follow-up legislation is enacted, or the law is overturned by a court of competent jurisdiction, and cannabis consumers across the state will be facing a new prohibition.

    Here is the absolute least of what needs to be passed through the legislature in a timely manner for this initiative to ultimately work out in favor of cannabis consumers (and to help WA’s marijuana industry remain competitive ten years from now):

    1) Expand “small amounts” decriminalization to at least match MMJ patients (24 ounces), if not raise both amounts significantly.
    2) Decriminalize cultivation of at least 15 mature plants (and no limit on immature plants) for private non-commercial use.
    3) Ensure landlords have the right to prohibit cultivation and use on leased property.
    4) Eliminate DUI/D per-se laws (revert to current law), and continue to have the University of Washington study the issue.
    5) Provide civil penalties for violation of underage laws.
    6) Eliminate the burdensome taxation imposed upon licensees, the revenues of which would no doubt be included in the price for the product.
    7) Add employment discrimination.

    Just my two cents.

    [Editor’s note: The presumption of affirming legislation passing and being signed into law after reform initiatives pass voter muster is well rooted in recent history:

    -CA amended the flawed Prop. 215 (passed in 1996) with SB420 (signed into law 2002)
    -OR has amended it’s flawed medical cannabis initiative (passed in 1998) a number of times; and added more disease types, etc…
    -CO amended it’s flawed 2000 medical cannabis initiative in 2010 (actually regulating and taxing medical cannabis)
    -ME amended it’s flawed 1999 medical cannabis initiative in 2001, and again 2010

    About the only examples of state legislatures actively deconstructing medical cannabis laws after voters pass ballot initiatives are regrettable and ongoing in MT and MI.

    Apropos and regarding Governor Gregoire, while she vetoed a medical cannabis bill in 2011 after receiving warnings from the federal government that they might intercede to legally enjoin WA from implementing the law if she were to sign it, however, 1) Gregoire has stated publicly that she supports patient access to cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation and 2) She is the leading co-signer of a gubernatorial petition asking President Obama and the Department of Justice to reschedule cannabis to allow it to be used as a medicine.

    If WA voters, like the ones in MT and MI, were to elect anti-cannabis policymakers into the majority, then absent the passage of an initiative like I-502, WA too could have a hostile legislature and governor effectively rollback the state’s clearly flawed medical cannabis laws–which have created a patchwork of laws in WA where in King County medical cannabis is sold at the retail level, but for most of the rest of WA, medical cannabis sales and grow-ops of any size are still totally illegal and the laws rigorously enforced.

    If past serves as prologue, WA state voters, like voters in other states since 1996, can pass a cannabis law reform initiative, that if need be, can and will likely be amended to the benefit of consumers (and patients).

    Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good in WA…pass I-502 and legalize cannabis for all of WA’s citizens, not just those who claim they need it medically!!]

  10. Alcohol is easy to detect after consumption because it is so toxic. The body tries to eliminate it quickly. Liver hepatocytes ameliorate the oxidative damage caused by toxins and work rapidly to break it down to smaller pieces to eliminate it ASAP. The body is like the garbage disposal of the body. That primary route of elimination of alcohol waste products (urination and defecation) is relatively slow, compared to breathing and sweating.

    Through wet membranes of the lungs, fumes of ethanol are released as warm, diffuse gasses to release the toxin, distinctly detectable by odor, the skin secretes it in sweat, which is measurably detectable by changes in pH, away from normal baseline pH.

    Cannabis is not metabolized in the same way as alcohol or other hard drugs.

    Cannabinoid receptors CB2 predominate outside the central nervous system, outside the brain while cannabinoid receptors in the brain and spine (the CNS) are predominantly CB1 variety.

    This could presumably be demonstrated by the difference between cerebral high and body stone, sativa vs. indica, THC and 8-THC versus CBD cannabidiol et. al.

    If one takes Cannabis only once a month, the effects are far more noticeable than to regular or medical users. People who take Cannabis for a continual period of time (through waking hours), stop getting “stoned.”

    They don’t act like the caricature generalization of a bumbling, rambling, incoherent, “duh,” the common stereotype associated with Cannabis.

    Regular users adapt in a way more aptly described as a familiarization to the elongated stimulation of the prefrontal cortex, a higher brain area responsible for executive decision making, judgment, brain abilities typically associated with being human, including empathy, social understanding, aesthetic appreciation, and so on. Cannabis stimulates these areas, instead of depressing them.

    In contrast, alcohol depresses (slows or shuts down) these higher areas which normally keep check of lower, reptilian, brain functions. Based on increasing dosage, people who are alcohol impaired generally lack judgment, lack prudence or consideration, become raucous or even violent. There is loss of normal coordination and a delay in sensory input. People in this condition should not operate machinery or drive.

    People who smoke constantly stop getting stoned like a first-timer. They get used to it in a way that seems to actually enhance their concentration, their ability to perceive the world and relate to others. Jumbles of sensory information come in stream-lined form. Much of the background noise becomes filtered out. Repetitive, tedious, assembly-line type work actually improves in performance. Dr. Lester Grinspoon has described this phenomenon, which is only experienced by regular, continual use, not sporadic or infrequent use.

    Patients/users become used to it and function at nearly the same baseline and predictable levels of functioning, if not at higher levels of functioning. If anything, regular users can and do drive better than the distracted, stressed-out, and those susceptible to rage or hostility while driving.

    If you get stoned for the first time, don’t drive. But studies have demonstrated that people actually drive better when habituated to Cannabis. The anti-drug campaign commercials about stoned driving did not mention (intentionally) that in almost all accidents that involve Cannabis, the. driver. was. drunk. on. alcohol. also. They leave out that “minor detail.”

  11. If they’re not in it for the money, people who are against legalization were exposed/socialized into the D.A.R.E model. If you don’t do drugs you’re a good boy/girl and you will be loved, otherwise, you’re a “bad person.” Therefore, being vocally, persistently antagonistic to Cannabis or its legalization makes it appear as if you’re a good boy, and an outspoken one at that. To them, it’s a cut and dry, black and white, good vs. bad perception of reality, a sort of persistent behavior pattern that assumes that in return for obedience and support of draconian, unjust, stupid policy will get you love from mommy and daddy, some day.

    Otherwise, they’re in it for the money, period.

  12. “Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality…Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death…In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity…In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume…Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” – DEA Administrative Law Judge, FL Young, 1988

  13. howdy all. please remember,these folks are lawyers,and such.being an activist for 40 yrs.change 4 the good will happen on it’s own time….united we sit! another mmj patient…j.

  14. This is not a medical vs. recreational debate, although it affects medicinal users as well. There is a legitimate concern that — if enacted by WA voters — I-502’s DUI laws prescribing de facto presumption of impairment at 5 ng/mL of active marijuana metabolite, along with its excessive taxation and no personal home grow, could be mirrored in other legalization models adopted throughout the country as a sign of continuing compromise for limited legalization. Although endorsing such restrictive language would ensure NORML’s continued advocacy efforts toward marijuana law reform in the state of Washington, this initiative would markedly set back the people of decriminalized/deprioritized cities within the state (most notably, Seattle) through the imposition of excessive taxation, as well as the continued prohibition on the cultivation (without a medical card) — both of which would artificially keep cannabis prices high.

    Despite being two strong states known for marijuana law form, Colorado and Maine are two prime examples of how long legislatures can wait in order to enact sensible regulations on the commercial aspects of MMJ post-election. Let’s hope NORML can persuade the legislature to push a true reform bill through in a timely manner. Posting follow-up bill text for I-502, along with listing a few key supporters who would be willing to introduce such legislation, would be the first step in actually alleviating the concerns of cannabis consumers throughout the state… beyond that, this initiative has some scary language that could end up losing majority support down near the end of the line.

    [Editor’s note: While you’re correct that for all intent and purposes I-502 should not create a ‘recreational’ vs. ‘medicinal’ dynamic, how unfortunate then that the group organized against passing a legalization initiative in WA is branding themselves as so-called ‘Patients Against I-502’ rather than, for example, ‘Citizens Against I-502’.]

  15. What good does loosening the law bring; making the decision to go to a street dealer easier? Imo, it only plays into the hands of organized crime… We want herb without sugar, sand or silicone in it! (not to mention what they might be offering in addition)

  16. That specific component of the proposal is the one most harmful to its own purpose of gaining passage.

    Concentration of THC in the blood, fat, or body, is irrelevant.

    For alcohol, the level of increasing impairment is nearly linear with increasing dosage, (more alcohol, more inability to drive safely).

    This is just not the case with Cannabis. There is no linear correlation.

    And importantly, the 5ng/kg legal “limit” is considered unscientific because it is 100% arbitrary, a random number, specifically because “impairment” cannot by described numerically, as easily as saying 0.08 blood alcohol content, BAC is considered impaired driving.

    So it’s a fail portion of the proposal since the limit proposed is 1) completely arbitrary 2) as reliable a limit as any number hit by a thrown dart.

    Strike the third on the proposed list. It was thrown in like a wrench to the operation because it points out the ambiguity of “impairment” which there might not be with Cannabis alone. Except maybe missing your freeway exit.

    Just remove the part that, in order to even be listed, has the burden of proof to demonstrate a reliable measure of cannabis metabolite concentration, and then prove that concentration represents an actual measure of inability to drive properly.

    For alcohol, that blood alcohol concentration roughly correlates with impairment.

    Prove that concentration = impairment for Cannabis, otherwise the third part of the proposal is based on a false premise. It is mistakenly using the measure of impairment related to alcohol (BAC and testing of motor coordination) for a different drug, with different metabolism and dose-dependent behavior.

    But some regular drinkers develop a tolerance such that they their driving performance appears normal even with a BAC of 0.1 or 0.2.

    The third part is tragically added but think about the initiative in Nevada that failed, it consisted of essentially the same two mandates of this initiative, and not a third part, a (we know, a pretend) attempt to also “ensure” public safety is written into the initiative as well.

    Let it pass. The first to get a ticket for driving while stoned would have a case that could be appealed to the Supreme Court SCotUS, regarding the fairness of a guilty conviction based on a nonsensical relationship between impairment and an arbitrary concentration measurement.

    In short, just vote yes.

  17. Thanks for the response russ. I am not exaggerating-and am also rarely impaired by my use(have to smoke ALOT). Did not know the stats;so maybe an exemption/raised level for medical patients? Just like a politician; I reacted to something that affects me without knowing all the info. I already told my cousin in AZ. that when I visit, he has to chauffeur me around: but seriously I just want medical marijuana patients:and smokers for that matter treated NORML ly-not as second-class citizens-and I’m happy most people won’t get screwed over by the 5ng./ml. thing.

  18. So a cop pulls you over – assumes you’re impaired and demands a blood test. You tell him you would be glad to as soon as you talk to your lawyer – call him – and he says I’ll be right down, wait till I get there. He delays for 2-3 hrs and by that time, even if you were over when pulled over, you’ve now dropped to unimpaired blood level. Worked for my cousin and alcohol. And no, I would never condone drinking and driving – that’s just stupid.

  19. It is a misnomer and a gross oversimplification to call all pro-marijuana anti-I502 persons “Patients”, and there arguably should have been more thought on the goals and actual message of the opposition before organizing. Hopefully those in other states are taking notes in the future.

    I-502’s DUI laws prescribing de facto presumption of impairment at 5 ng/mL of active marijuana metabolite, along with its excessive taxation and no personal home grow, could be mirrored in other legalization models adopted throughout the country as a sign of continuing compromise for limited legalization. We are seeing this DUI/d language (again) even in a progressive state like Colorado, which is also considering marijuana legalization this November. If Washington and Colorado both legalize, but both states treat the driving issue differently, the CO legislature could quickly bow under pressure and adopt the 5 ng/mL THC standard to mirror WA’s statute.

    Other states, like Massachusetts and Maine, are going to be looking at the early adopters of legalization (hopefully at least CO). 25% Excise Tax, 5 ng/mL DUI limit, and no personal home grow (and thus small amounts only) are all BAD ideas for prolonging marijuana consumer rights on the long-term. If you can assure the anti-I502 crowd that there will be strong lobbying efforts to rectify all these concerns, and NORML will be at the forefront to ensure fair regulations, taxation and impairment laws (to mirror a system much like the state’s Wine growing program), then many opposers might consider support, or at least minimizing their public opposition to I-502.

  20. This is some of the best discussion I have ever seen on this site. From both sides. We need to be united for our cause, brothers. No law written has ever been perfect, but we must strive to make it as perfect as we can in this imperfect world of ours we live in.

  21. The bill isn’t perfect but it needs to be passed. It will be ironed out as time goes along. I’m sure the portions people are concerned with the most will be fixed sooner.

    I wish I would vote for this in with all of you. I don’t live in any of the states where this is happening unfortunately.

    I do feel strongly that you have the power to make a clear message to the Federal Gov’t and to the world.Marijuana users are not criminals and should be not treated as such.Please make sure everyone you know gets out and votes for this !

  22. Why didn’t New Approach Washington try to educate people? Why did they just let misguided prohibitionists continue believing the things they believe? Marijuana impairment doesn’t cause car accidents, driving while stoned is already illegal. Why did New Approach Washington create this fake concern? If someone is about to sign a marijuana legalization petition, that doesn’t legalize stoned driving, and they hesitate, because they are afraid of stoned driving, tell them that your petition doesn’t legalize stoned driving.

  23. I agree with you NORML take what you can get and when more public trust is earned iron out the issues later. Regardless the flaws just confronting the federal government makes it well worth it. Plus this could actually get a lot of votes that it otherwise would not from the people that are scared and skeptical. Quit being so picky people we have gone really far down the rabbit hole and if you think it is going to be fixed perfectly the first time and won’t support it until it’s perfect you will never see the end of marijuana prohibition.

  24. I am a Disabled Veteran with TBI & a Seizure Disorder.I have been on the Marijuana Registry in Colorado and Montana,5 years total, I need to maintain a high level of THC and the VA has advised me not to stop using marijuana. I testified 3 times before the Legislature when hey tried to Repeal the law. The Legislature had their minds made up. Most of them believe it is a moral issue not a medical one. They believe the lies the NI

  25. The Legislature believed the lies and the hyperbole because that is what they have. The other factor is Culture. They still see Marijuana Users as the CounterCulture. As a point of fact I had to admit our side had an image issue. Gravitas goes a long way, but falls on deaf ears if you approach an August body looking like an unmade bed with no self respect. Those were of course the people the Media fixated on as representatives of the Medical Marijuana Cause. Maybe the pharmaceutical companies planted these Self mocking rej2 ects from a Cheech n Chong movie, but the stereotypes hurt our cause because that only adds more fuel to their bigoted fire.

  26. I was in a motor vehicle accident. It was not my fault. I smelled like cannabis and have no doubt there was sufficient in my system to fail their baseline blood test. I have to maintain a high THC level for it to be therapeutic. It helps my focus, I have adult ADHD. In addition to my Service Connected Seizure Disorder. The Police Officer stated that he had been told by the EMT to do a DUI ON ME. Even though the accident was not my fault. He Claimed the EMT were upset with him for not doing it. I do believe the DUI are a bad idea and will be misused.

  27. I’m pretty familiar with laws and the regulations that define them. In most cases these regulations are changed, modified or done away with beginning shortly after the law goes into effect and often as a result of court decisions. The driving restrictions will likely be the first tested and overturned for a myriad of constitutional reasons.

    Here is the single hard fact that should be considered by those who would vote against. Look what is happening in California. The Feds will take defeat of the bill as a voter mandate to shut it all down. Believe it!

  28. “What good does loosening the law bring; making the decision to go to a street dealer easier? Imo, it only plays into the hands of organized crime… We want herb without sugar, sand or silicone in it! (not to mention what they might be offering in addition)”
    You failed to actually read beyound this page I take it? There is a clearly worded section that makes going to a “dealer” impossible, a producer cannot have any retail interest in the product. Basically, that dealer peddles it, and the first time the cops ask him for his licence info and documentation on his source, he gets to pick up the soap for a bit(because he wont get away with the other goods even if his punishment for not being licenced is only a fine).
    The initiative is good overall, the price of bud will skyrocket at first, then plummet when the next grow cycle comes due. Which means, 3 months after the law is passed a good number of people will be seeing 15-20 USD grams. I’d say 10-15, but that excise tax is a bit steep. A grower would be insulted to take less than 8 per gram for respectable clean bud. More like 10 with the tax. Then processors will make there cut. Finally retailers will get theirs. Resulting in the final prices I’m guessing at. Finally, I’ll add, my numbers are based on my experience with California’s averages. These numbers could jump respectively due to higher general cost of living in WA as well.

  29. “Look what is happening in California. The Feds will take defeat of the bill as a voter mandate to shut it all down. Believe it!”
    What’s happening in Cali is a result of Sheriff’s thinking it’s there job to dictate what they believe the law should be. Fresno county sheriff sent a letter to the DEA asking why they weren’t helping deal with the illegal marijuana situation there. It was a ploy for reelection, that will backfire and cost her her job.
    I’ll also restate, it is not the job of the policing agencies to help dictate what the law should be. Dont stand up as a sheriff or a stater or whatever else, to put your oppinion in as a cop. A normal citizen cant do that, nor should they. When they post up, or speak out, first presenting themselves by what they are and not who they are, ignore them, remove their posts, boo them off stage. Whatever you do, dont let their station allow them to have more influence than any other man or woman who speaks out, whether for or against.

  30. Beyond giving members of the Department of Health in Washington State police powers to enforce the various provisions in I-502 that lead to arrest and incarceration, I would like to remind everyone of this: In ALL criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed….

    The DUI laws call for an automatic DUI – a vicious affront on our Sixth Amendment rights.

    [Editor’s note: Ummmm…a ‘vicious affront’ when the state currently has no standard? As a local DUI lawyer in Olympia recently noted ‘five ng/ml is five times better than no measurement standard at all.’ So if the currently proposed laws that create a standard affront you, why allow the state for the previous four decades to roll cannabis consumers–recreational and medical alike–with NO standards unfettered?

    Don’t like the results of I-502 if it passes?

    1) amend the law after the fact like most all ballot initiatives are

    2) pass a different initiative in the coming years that a majority of voters deem better]

  31. My husband is a patient in WA state and we are both voting for 502 even though our provider is telling everyone to vote against it. They are saying because of the DUI thing but I bet they are afraid they will lose business. I think if WA makes a strong stand that we get rid of the prohibition of pot we hope other states will follow. We can always change the law later, but we have to start somewhere and waiting is not going to help. This initiative has the most support I have ever seen from leaders in our state. Please vote yes!

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