Discussion with Russ Belville about the I-502 “legalization” initiative in Washington

Discussion with Russ Belville about the I-502 “legalization” initiative in Washington

This discussion has taken place on both facebook and the NORML stash blog.

http://stash.norml.org/norml-endorses-washingtons-i-502-legalization-initiative/comment-page-2#comment-85898

http://www.facebook.com/utah.pirate/posts/323446824368871?notif_t=share_comment

http://xcannabis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/New_Approach_Washington_Marijuana_Initiative.pdf

A few comments that stuck out to me are these:

 I said to Russ this:

February 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

Legalization? Really? I think that definition and the loose use of words like “legalization” should be re-examined here.

I would call I-502, “decriminalization” on one hand with the one ounce thing. And “more prohibition” on the DUID lingo. But not legalization.

And about the 1 ounce possession issue. It must be bought from a state regulated dispensary for it to be “legal”, and as we saw with SB 5073, the state won’t allow for state regulated dispensaries.

So we are back to square one. There will not be legal ounces if there are no legal dispensaries. The only new thing Washington will get is this crappy DUID law.

http://xcannabis.com/2011/07/does-naw-really-have-a-chance/

 Russ replied:

February 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

Wrong. The one ounce possession of buds or sixteen ounce possession of hash and hash oil or seventy-two ounce possession of tincture exists as a protection on its own. See in the post earlier:

The only limitation is the amounts: one ounce useable marijuana, 16 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form, 72 oz. of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or any combination thereof [Sec 20 Para (3)].”

(3) The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in section 15(3) of this act is not a violation of this section, this chapter, or any other provision of Washington state law.

In other words, it does not say “The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products purchased only from state-authorized outlets in amounts that do not exceed…” as you are falsely asserting.

Also wrong on “decriminalization”. Decriminalization is what we call it when a state no longer has criminal sanction against a pot smoker. Oregon is “decrim” – you get a ticket, a fine, loss of D/L, but no criminal punishment.

“Legalization” is when there is no punishment whatsoever for a pot smoker. That’s what I-502 does. When it passes, I can possess an ounce and get no fine, no ticket, no loss of D/L, no nothing.

Furthermore, when something is “decrim” it is still against the law, and therefore, detecting it is a probable cause to investigate law breaking. When something is “legal”, it isn’t a crime, and detecting it is no probable cause to investigate.

What you’re conflating is “legalization” with “legalization of possession and cultivation for personal use”. In a previous post, I explained how legalizing possession is “legalization” and legalizing cultivation in addition to that is “legalization-er”. I-502 legalizes personal possession and it legalizes commercial cultivation. I would prefer that it legalized personal cultivation, but its sponsors found polling showing that voters weren’t going to support home grows.

What I do know is that convincing voters somewhere down the line that personal cultivation should be legal will be much easier for an organized group of legal personal marijuana users to accomplish than another request from a disorganized group of criminals and patients. (And don’t dare try to say that the gubmint will resist that because they want to protect their pot tax cash cow… because then you will have painted all the dispensary and clinic owners opposing I-502 with the same brush.)

 I replied with:

February 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

Russ this conversation is a little hard to keep up with as it is not threaded. I like the “Disqus” module for wordpress, it makes it easier to login, easier to comment, and it keeps the comments threaded so that replies are organized according to the original post. Just a thought.

Anyway, I think that the complicated law proposed in I-502. Which is the longest initiative I have read in a long time, its very ambiguous as to what can be interpreted from it.

I know I am no legal expert. But the police that try to interpret complicated laws are sometimes less adept than a layman like myself.

I told you about when I got arrested and put in jail for “using the streets without a permit” right?

Anyway, you say that the marijuana bought and used under this law does not need to come from a licensed distributor. I think that is debatable.

First let me ask you a few questions.

1. If not bought from a licensed distributor, how does one legally obtain the marijuana?
My answer is: through illegal means
2. If governor Gregoire refused to allow legal medical dispensaries, do you think consumer/recreational dispensaries will have any more legitimacy than the medical dispensaries that were vetoed?

And my last point is this ambiguous section that you referred to:

“Sec. 20. RCW 69.50.4013 and 2003 c 53 s 334 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) It is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.
(2) Except as provided in RCW 69.50.4014, any person who violates this section is guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(3) The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in section 15(3) of
30
this act is not a violation of this section, this chapter, or any other provision of Washington state law.”

Hmm. If it is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.. Where does that leave room for a person to possess a controlled substance purchased or obtained by illegal means?


Radical Russ's Rant about I-502 and those who… by xcannabis


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