A new approach to decriminalization of cannabis in Washington for 2012
I read in the Stranger that there is a new group and a new initiative for legalization in Washington for 2012.
Honestly I don’t like the sounds of it, because it put cannabis in the hands of the liquor board, which means it will never see the light of day. A state entity selling a federally illegal substance has little if any chance at being successful even if it does pass.
However I have to hand it to whoever it is proposing this new initiative that they are keeping the topic alive, and offering competition to already existing groups that are trying to legalize cannabis.
I saw much need for improvement on the reliability and consistency of the coordination in SW. So many different groups formed around Sensible Washington, which came from it’s core group, but all working on different issues.
For example the Washington Cannabis Association and the Cannabis Defense Coalition both formed from core members of Sensible Washington, yet both of those groups had different duties and focus, meanwhile lent little support to Sensible Washington or I-1149.
So I think if nothing else, this new initiative may help give Sensible Washington focus.
There were other issues in Sensible Washington, that I choose to reserve myself on at this moment. Mostly just personal issues and observations. Nothing serious. However I think that this new initiative may be a solution to those complaints that I choose to reserve comment on as well.
Past measures that failed have been, in general, decriminalization proposals that left many questions unanswered. For instance, Sensible Washington has run a petition drive two years in a row for a measure that simply removes criminal penalties but makes law enforcement and other critics wonder what happens to a loose-cannon, unregulated supply chain. I asked the leaders of Sensible Washington yesterday if their petition, which is due in early July, had a chance of making the ballot. They never replied, but their website says they’ve collected only 56,000 signatures (less than a quarter of the number they’ll need).
In my opinion I-1149 has a good chance of making it this year, and I believe it is a MUCH better option than putting cannabis in the liquor store. As I said the proposition of putting cannabis in the liquor store is bound to flop anyway, for many of the same reasons SB 5073 flopped this year. Federal preemption exists when the state agencies get involved with cannabis sales…
You can read a post that I made on this topic in April also: