Washington Voter Initiative Would Decriminalize Marijuana

An initiative has been introduced by a group of Washington citizens seeking civil fines instead of criminal prosecution for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Initiative 746, launched by The Reasonable People’s Campaign, also calls for treatment, rather than jail time, for non-violent possession of other illegal drugs for personal use.
“The vast body of research and growing number of experts in the public health, medical and law enforcement communities now recognize that a shift of emphasis to treatment solutions is long overdue,” said Jeff Haley, Co-Chair of the Washington Addiction Treatment Task Force, the official sponsor of I-746. “Treating drug addicts is not just cheaper than incarceration, it’s also proven to reduce drug-related violent crime, the spread of HIV/AIDS and other health and social problems much better than locking people in overcrowded prisons.”
The Reasonable People’s Campaign will attempt to collect the 180,000 signatures by July 7th, via the Internet. This is the first attempt to qualify an initiative in Washington solely relying on e-mail and visitors downloading the petition from the website (www.reasonablepeople.org) to collect signatures, as opposed to using paid signature collectors.
“We think I-746 is a reasonable, responsible approach to reducing the drug problem,” said Robert Lunday, campaign manager for the Reasonable People’s Campaign. “We know we’ve got a formidable challenge to gather more than 180,000 valid signatures in this way by the July 7th deadline, but we think our Internet-based approach offers a variety of significant benefits over paid signature gathering.”
For more information, please contact Robert Lunday, Campaign Manager, at (206) 781-8144.