Nelson, Fitzgibbon Endorse Marijuana Initiative; Plus, Take Our Poll


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Marijuana-only stores would be licensed to sell limited quantities of marijuana to people over 21 under the terms of Initiative 502, which has been endorsed by two 34 District state legislators.

State Sen. Sharon Nelson and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon have backed the initiative, slated for the November ballot. Backers of the initiative had collected enough signatures to send the measure to the Legislature, but when lawmakers adjourned without action, it was automatically added to the November ballot.

Initiative 502 decriminalizes adult possession of an ounce of useable marijuana or 16 ounces of marijuana-infused solid products such as cookies, or up to 72 ounces of liquid marijuana-infused products such as teas or lotions). Adults over 21 would no longer be subject to arrest or prosecution for possession of these amounts of marijuana, whether they were using them for non-medical or medical purposes.

However, even if the measure passes, marijuana would still be classified as a “schedule I controlled substance” under federal law and users or sellers could be arrested and prosecuted.

But state legislators say the measure is needed to combat violent crime.

“A tightly-regulated system for marijuana will allow our police and prosecutors to focus on more important public safety priorities,” said Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-1st, the vice-chair of the House General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee.

Under I-502, Washington growers and processors would be licensed to provide marijuana to the stores. Advertising would be restricted, and a new driving under the influence threshold for THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, would be similar to the .08 threshold for alcohol to keep impaired drivers off the streets.

The measure provides that 80 percent of a new marijuana excise tax would go to health care, prevention, research, and education and the balance of the excise tax, and all retail sales tax, would go to the state general fund and local budgets. Preliminary fiscal analyses published by the Washington state Office of Financial Management estimate I-502 would generate $560 million in new tax revenue annually, said Alison Holcomb of New Approach Washington, the organization set up to manage the initiative.

“The hundreds of millions of Washington dollars currently flowing to the marijuana black market each year should be redirected to legitimate businesses and taxed to support vital government services,” said Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-36, She and introduced previous legalization bills in the legislature in 2010 and 2011, and co-sponsored I-502 with nine other community leaders including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel writer Rick Steves.

We’re curious to see what our Readers think – how would you vote on Initiative 502? Please vote in our Poll below, and/or leave a Comment:

How would you vote on Initiative 502, which would decriminalize pot?

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Comments

15 Responses to “Nelson, Fitzgibbon Endorse Marijuana Initiative; Plus, Take Our Poll”
  1. Coverofnight says:

    Guess I’ll be campaigning against Nelson and Fitzgibbon in their re-election efforts! Amazing how they spin the money angle to garner support for legalizing marijuana use. It needs to stay illegal and instead let’s focus our money and governing on educating our kids to the dangers of drugs and addiction. All hardcore drug users got their start on marijuana. The drug experimentation of the ’60’s has led this country down the toilet to the state it’s in today. This legalization is another step in the process by the liberals to destroy this country! I shake my head in frustration as the liberals focus on contraception while the death and destruction from the drug trade goes unchecked.

    My question to ANYONE supporting these Democrat values – what the he!! is wrong with you?!

    What do you say on this issue to YOUR kids, Joey Moretaxes?

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    • liljo says:

      Looks like you’re sorely out voted. :)

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    • fridgeisrunning says:

      ‘All hardcore drug users got their start on marijuana.’
      Dear Coverofnight
      how did you get to be such an expert on drugs?
      you must really know what you’re talking about when you use such absolute statements

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    • Lee Moyer says:

      Con,
      And up till now you were a solid supporter of Nelson and Fitzgibbons, yeah right.
      Don’t forget that allmost all those addicted to drinking alcohol started out drinking milk. And the grocery stores don’t even check I D when kids buy milk.

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  2. Hotrodgal says:

    campaigning? Hmmm, leave Joey alone.

    Derivatives of marijuana should be going through the same motions as any other medication/controlled substance. Processed through proper research & manufacture, prescribed appropriately, dispensed at a conventional pharmacy and only criminalized when sold outside the system.

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  3. Fred K. says:

    Of course, legalize marijuana. Controlled pot, like alcohol, would benefit many as well as taking intense pressure off of law enforcement. Remember what happened with prohibition? The same results can be obtained from the legalization of marijuana

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  4. Gia S. says:

    Some may go on about how terrible, immoral, addictive, and dangerous it is but would you care to discuss all your prescription meds, your tobacco, and your booze? All of which in their own respective ways, might I add, are infinitely more dangerous, awful, and addictive than a little weed.

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  5. Allison P says:

    We need to legalize marijuana. There are many more issues to work out other than just legalizing it and taxing it. How do we police people who are under the influence of pot and driving (is there a way to measure if someone ‘high’)? This is one of many questions I would like to see answered.
    I do think it would be helpful for the majority if it is legalized. It would reduce the amount of people who are in prison for possession (which would be good for the economy). People who smoke and want to quit will not be afraid to get help. Plus I keep hearing about its medical uses. I occasionally have to take prescription pain killers for my back and I wind up with the dry heaves the next day. But if it is a question of being able to walk or not I have to take the pills. I would love to try marijuana to see if it would help with fewer side effects. As far as our kids, they already have access.

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  6. Darren says:

    Marijuana is NOT the gateway drug to all other hard drugs. Almost all people experiment with drugs in this order: first they try coffee, then tobacco, then they use alcohol, THEN they use marijuana. If marijuana was legalized, then recreational users would not have to obtain their marijuana from black market drug dealers. By making marijuana users buy their herb from drug dealers, they become exposed to all other kinds of drugs from those dealers. THIS is the gateway. Forcing smokers to buy from black market drug dealers is the gateway, not the plant itself. If they could buy their marijuana from a legal store front, they would no longer be exposed to these other addictive, “hard” drugs.

    Another point I would like to make is that no one chooses to NOT smoke marijuana because of it’s legal status, and obtaining marijuana is not more difficult to purchase due to it’s illegality. Prohibition of this herb has done nothing but fund and fuel organized crime, just like alcohol did when it was prohibited. It is the #1 cash crop in the United States (over corn AND wheat!) and we need to take that funding away from criminals, and put those tax dollars into our government.

    Marijuana is the NUMBER ONE money maker for Mexican Cartels. We would absolutely dismantle some of those cartels by legalizing this plant.

    Let’s all vote YES on I-502 this November!

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  7. wheels says:

    I would vote no on legalizing pot for the following reason: Those who have been using pot have breaking the law, and they should not be rewarded for their years of criminal behavior. Sure, pot may be a safer drug than alcohol or cigarettes, but it was still illegal. By using illegal drugs, you essentially engaged in a proxy war with your own government in foreign countries, and foreign citizens paid with their lives for your recreational drugs. If you wanted to smoke pot, then you should have passed legislation to make it legal a long time ago. By choosing to engage in illegal activities for recreation, you cost tax payers money and you cost people their lives.

    You weren’t breaking the law to provide a better life for your family, like illegal aliens. You weren’t breaking the law to stand up for what is right and just and true. You were breaking the law just because you could get away with it, just for fun. You don’t deserve to be rewarded now.

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    • Just No. says:

      What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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  8. Loren says:

    I used to smoke pot and I completely understand why they call it dope.
    Do we really need tp be promoting more dopes?

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  9. Devilsadvocate says:

    All right, I wasn`t going to waste my time posting on this board anymore but I like this one so much I `m jumpin` on this soapbox.
    How many times have you heard about a pot smoker driving the wrong way on the freeway and killing somebody, or getting pissed off during the superbowl and beating their spouse.
    Wheels, they have been trying to get pot legalized for a long time now. Myself, the sooner the better.
    You said yourself, “By choosing to engage in illegal activities for recreation, you cost tax payers money and you cost people their lives.” Well, lets spare them lives and legalize it, (I`m just glad illegal aliens don`t cost me and all the other tax paying LEGAL citizens anything. Oh wait, thats not so is it? Sorry
    I have always told my kids if you guys need a vice smoke pot.
    I would much rather have them smoke pot than drink. May cost a little more in the milk and oreo cookies they consume along with frosted flakes and munchies but oh well.
    Just make enough popcorn for me to have some too and its all good. *lol*
    So its okay for illegal aliens to come here illegally and take a job away from a TAX PAYING citizen, let me pay for their welfare and medical needs etc and all the other amenities they get that my unemployed (and employed) friends and neighbors can`t get because they are LEGAL citizens, here LEGALLY,
    sigh….
    Hmmm, Lets say a person can`t find work, about to lose their home to foreclosure so they go ahead and sell a little pot to make ends meet, feed their families, keep their home and lights on, and not so much to BETTER their lives but to SUSTAIN them. Is that okay,?
    After all they just are trying to provide a better life for their family and keep a roof over their heads. That may be a little extreme but I`m just trying to make a point.

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  10. Eaton B. Verz says:

    How many times have you heard about a pot smoker driving the wrong way on the freeway and killing somebody, or getting pissed off during the superbowl and beating their spouse.

    Great point…. Makes me wonder what Burien would be like if our city manager smoked a little weed instead of abusing alcohol… streets would be safer……

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