Does NAW really have a chance?
NAW launched itself in the eve of the Sensible Washington petition count. I think that the timing of this was inappropriate.
There are a lot of things about NAW that suck, but the worst part of it, is that the group launched its campaign on the eve of the Sensible Washington petition drive’s final two weeks. I saw a few people who were driving some of the local and state pushes for legalization switch their facebook profile pictures to NAW two weeks ago. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, of course I took a screen capture of it because of how bizzare it was.
Well lets take a look at two very lame aspects of NAW.
1. Assigning state employees to regulate and control the cannabis sales and production in Washington state.
A. It seems like NAW learned nothing from SB 5073 that when Governor Gregoire released her statement on why she vetoed SB 5073 she said it was because she wanted to protect state employees from federal prosecution. So if she was right or if she was wrong, she felt that if she had state employees in the cannabis market, that would some how put the state employees at risk for federal drug charges, or possibly cost the state federal funding.
Pay attention to page 2: http://www.scribd.com/doc/54241512/Washington-SB-5073-Partial-Veto-Letter
B. The 5 NG driving limits for driving under the influence is scary on many levels. I know that people who have been tested weeks after they haven’t consumed cannabis have had much higher amounts than that in their blood.
And who tests this, and via what method, and where?
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Sec. 31. RCW 46.20.308 and 2008 c 282 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Any person who operates a motor vehicle within this state is deemed to have given consent, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.506, to a test or tests of his or her breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcohol concentration, THC concentration, or presence of any drug in his or her breath or blood if arrested for any offense where, at the time of the arrest, the arresting officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person had been driving or was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or was in violation of RCW 46.61.503. Neither consent nor this section precludes a police officer from obtaining a search warrant for a person’s breath or blood.
(2) The test or tests of breath shall be administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle within this state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or the person to have been driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while having alcohol or THC in a concentration in violation of RCW 46.61.503 in his or her system and being under the age of twenty-one. However, in those instances where the person is incapable due to physical injury, physical incapacity, or other physical limitation, of providing a breath sample or where the person is being treated in a hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, emergency medical vehicle, ambulance, or other similar facility or where the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is under the influence of a drug, a blood test shall be administered by a qualified person as provided in RCW 46.61.506(5). The officer shall inform the person of his or her right to refuse the breath or blood test, and of his or her right to have additional tests administered by any qualified person of his or her choosing as provided in RCW 46.61.506. The officer shall warn the driver, in substantially the following language, that:
(a) If the driver refuses to take the test, the driver’s license, permit, or privilege to drive will be revoked or denied for at least one year; and
(b) If the driver refuses to take the test, the driver’s refusal to take the test may be used in a criminal trial; and
(c) If the driver submits to the test and the test is administered, the driver’s license, permit, or privilege to drive will be suspended, revoked, or denied for at least ninety days if:
(i) ((t))The driver is age twenty-one or over and the test indicates either that the alcohol concentration of the driver’s breath or blood is 0.08 or more or that the THC concentration of the driver’s blood is 5.00 or more((,)); or ((if))
(ii) ((t))The driver is under age twenty-one and the test indicates either that the alcohol concentration of the driver’s breath or blood is 0.02 or more or that the THC concentration of the driver’s blood is above 0.00((,)); or ((if))
(iii) ((t))The driver is under age twenty-one and the driver is in violation of RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504; and
(d) If the driver’s license, permit, or privilege to drive is suspended, revoked, or denied the driver may be eligible to immediately apply for an ignition interlock driver’s license.
(3) Except as provided in this section, the test administered shall be of the breath only. If an individual is unconscious or is
under arrest for the crime of vehicular homicide as provided in RCW 46.61.520 or vehicular assault as provided in RCW 46.61.522, or if an individual is under arrest for the crime of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs as provided in RCW 46.61.502, which arrest results from an accident in which there has been serious bodily injury to another person, a breath or blood test may be administered without the consent of the individual so arrested.
(4) Any person who is dead, unconscious, or who is otherwise in a condition rendering him or her incapable of refusal, shall be deemed not to have withdrawn the consent provided by subsection (1) of this section and the test or tests may be administered, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.506, and the person shall be deemed to have received the warnings required under subsection (2) of this section.
(5) If, following his or her arrest and receipt of warnings under subsection (2) of this section, the person arrested refuses upon the request of a law enforcement officer to submit to a test or tests of his or her breath or blood, no test shall be given except as authorized under subsection (3) or (4) of this section.
(6) If, after arrest and after the other applicable conditions and requirements of this section have been satisfied, a test or tests of the person’s blood or breath is administered and the test results indicate that the alcohol concentration of the person’s breath or blood is 0.08 or more, or the THC concentration of the person’s blood is 5.00 or more, if the person is age twenty-one or over, or that the alcohol concentration of the person’s breath or blood is 0.02 or more, or the THC concentration of the person’s blood is above 0.00, if the person is under the age of twenty-one, or the person refuses to submit to a test, the arresting officer or other law enforcement officer at whose direction any test has been given, or the department, where…… (continue)
In short, I think that the authors of this initiative were very inconsiderate to the Sensible Washington petition drive, and I also believe that the NAW initiative has very little chance of passing. However if NAW is going to pass H.R. 2306 must pass first. So this gives added urgency to Washington activists to support whole heartedly H.R. 2306, otherwise supporting the NAW initiative is a waste of time and resources.
The best thing about I-1068 and I-1149 is that it didn’t involve federal preemption clauses via Article VI of the constitution.
But one thing is clear, not even the director of this new initiative believes it will succeed.
I think anyone interested in supporting NAW ought to really be astute to what the campaign director is saying. Alison Holcomb support SB 5073 and did not offer any objections to the dangerous parts of this bill at all.
In the end, what killed this bill was a letter from the District Attorney to the Governor, and ultimately the governor vetoing the bill based on Article VI Clause 2 of the constitution (federal preemption). The Governor said that she could not put state employees at risk for federal prosecution for being involved with the sales of a federally illegal substance.
Two months ago, Alison Holcomb spoke to an online audience about federal preemption.
Yet in June about a month later, Alison announces her role as director of NAW. NAW proposes something very similar to what was vetoed in SB 5073. State controlled, taxed and regulated market (via the liquor board). The state agency is the different, but the principle is the same.
If federal preemption was an issue in SB 5073. And if Alison is correct in her online comment about federal preemption that she made in April.
What makes Alison Holcomb believe that this won’t be a problem with putting the liquor board in charge of all of this?
What has changed that has made her change her tune?
Also, why unveil these plans just before Sensible Washington gets into their final lap of the race? Why not wait a few weeks until I-1149’s petition drive is done?
Well, after many people asked Alison these questions, many of those people were blocked from her facebook.
So I will be writing up a few more public articles on this and posing the same questions to her, in hopes that she’ll find a way to answer these questions.
If you look at the resume of another supporter District Attorney Pete Holmes, you can see how during hearings for HB 1550 he was proposing a way to thwart the efforts of Sensible Washington’s I-1149 petition drive: Politicians want to hold on to the reigns
So ever onward Washington!