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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM

State Dems back marijuana-legalization initiative

Posted by Jonathan Martin

The state Democratic Central Committee threw its support behind a marijuana legalization initiative this weekend, calling the continuing prohibition against the state's second-biggest cash crop a waste of public money.

At a meeting in Bellingham, the Democrats cited law enforcement costs -- "simple marijuana possession charges now account for fully half of all drug arrests in Washington" -- and the potential to raise $215 million in new tax revenue each year if Initiative 502 passes, among other things.

Initiative 502 is sponsored by the ACLU of Washington and most prominently endorsed by former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel guru Rick Steves. If paid signature-gathering efforts succeed as expected, I-502 will go to the state Legislature this upcoming session. If the Legislature punts, the initiative will be on the November 2012 ballot.

Unlike previous efforts aimed at simply de-criminalizing marijuana, I-502 would allow pot to be sold in stores licensed by the state Liquor Control Board, with hefty mark-ups.

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From what I read in the initiative there is No allowance for Home Growing and they want to establish a PerSe "impairment" level of 5ng/ml...  Posted on September 19, 2011 at 6:46 PM by lllou. Jump to comment
Jesus and I chatted about this initiative last night while sipping brews at the Barking Dog Alehouse. Jesus is cool with it.  Posted on September 19, 2011 at 6:06 PM by Muttering Old Goat. Jump to comment
Sorry have to stick to my guns about doing their time incarcerated, and being banned from receiving school loans. I know it is a cost burden, but...  Posted on September 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM by Triestino. Jump to comment