Letter to my representatives about I-1135

To:

Andy Billig (D-WA 3rd)

Timm Ormsby (D-WA 3rd)

I’m asking you to support I-1135, which seeks to regulate the production, use, and sale of marijuana by adults age 18 and older.

House Bill 1550 seeks to bring un-needed controls to Washington’s present marijuana market by restricting access to those consumers under 21, and by providing state oversight over the plant’s production and distribution.  While I feel that I do not want children to have direct access to this plant, I do think that if a man/woman can die for his/her country at the age of 18, then they should also have access to this mostly safe plant which has never killed anyone in history.

I urge you to support I-1135.  We will conceded to retail sales tax.   You win, we win, we all win!   The cartels and organized crime lose.

You can visit;  http://sensiblewashington.org/

For more information.

My personal website is:

http://xcannabis.com/

Sincerely,

Ryan Thompson

Response from Andy Bilig’s office:
Ryan,
There’s no question that it’s one of Rep. Billig’s long-term goals to see marijuana decriminalized. The beauty of HB 1550 is it provides a mechanism for the state to control the sale and derive revenue from it. Given the current revenue shortfall that the state faces, the Office of Financial Management projects as much as $400 million in ten years flowing to the state from license fees, permit fees, penalties, and sales taxes. And that could very well be a conservative estimate. 

I skimmed the initiative but saw no reference to revenue coming back to the state. I do like that your initiative addresses medical marijuana, which I don’t think HB 1550 does. However, if cannabis is ready available to everyone, maybe the questions surrounding medical marijuana will be resolved.

Thanks for writing,

Barb

Barb Bumann, Legislative Assistant to
Rep. Andy Billig, 3rd Legislative District
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786-7888

My response:
Dear Barb,
 

Thank you for writing me back. The initiative process allows one topic. The topic is ending criminal penalties for adults.
There has been a new amendment added compared to last year, which at the end of the wording, taxes are addressed.

The initiative last year was not as clear on the tax subject, and that is probably the legislation that you are reading from, because I think last’s years proposal is still on the Sensible Washington website.
Although it didn’t address the topic, it gave ample room for the state to tax marijuana sales with retail sales tax. Nothing in the proposal last year addressed that, but it did leave the option open.
However this year’s proposal does address the tax concern.

Also we have many friends currently paying state sales tax on medical marijuana. We would expect that same format with any marijuana sales.

There is nothing in RCW 69.51a that defines the tax issue, yet dispensaries and collectives are paying the state retail sales tax.

With HB 1550 we reject the state controlling the plant like liquor. Cannabis is much safer than liquor, and does not deserve to be regulated in such a way as either alcohol or tobacco.

As you probably know, not one death can be attributed to the toxic side effects of cannabis. While I do not want children using cannabis as I am a father of 3. I do believe adults should have reasonable access to this plant.

Another issue that I have with HB1550 is the conflict it will put the state in with the federal government. I think there are serious problem that could develop with the lingo in HB1550.

Lastly I think that the production of cannabis now offers a free and creative product. When the state takes control, I fear cannabis and cannabiziness will deteriorate, and the quality of this plant will be significantly reduced.

Personally I would rather see cannabis stay illegal than to see HB 1550 pass.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate your thoughtful response.

Sincerely,
Ryan Thompson
www.xCannabis.com
888-694-8737 ext 707

Feel free to call me any time.


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