Cannabis News Protecting Patients Access to Medical Marijuana
  WA State Marijuana Legalization Headed for Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on January 28, 2012 at 05:56:16 PT
By Alex Dobuzinskis 
Source: Reuters 

cannabis Washington State -- Supporters of legalizing marijuana for recreational use have submitted enough signatures to put the matter to voters in Washington state in a bold move that, if successful, could put Olympia on a collision course with the federal government.

The group New Approach Washington submitted nearly 278,000 valid signatures for the measure, more than required to put it on the November ballot, David Ammons, a spokesman for the Washington Secretary of State's office, said in a statement.

The move comes as federal prosecutors have sought to crank up pressure on several mostly western states, including Washington, that have legalized medical marijuana even as cannibis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under federal law.

The proposal, if approved by voters, would allow marijuana sales to people 21 and older, permit state taxes to be collected on the drug, ban pot advertising and prohibit driving under the influence of cannabis.

Supporters of legalizing marijuana, who include acting Seattle city attorney Peter Holmes, say the federal prohibition on the drug has not curbed use and that it enriches drug cartels.

"This is the grown-up approach to regulating a relatively harmless drug," Holmes said.

Opponents of legalization say it would lead to more abuse of the drug, including by young people, and that underground sales would continue.

"There will always be a black market. That's been proven with cigarettes with the tobacco industry," said Calvina Fay, head of the Florida-based Drug Free America Foundation. "Even though tobacco is legal and it's regulated, there's still a huge global black market."

Washington is one of 16 states that, along with the nation's capital, have decriminalized medical marijuana. But federal agents have raided medical marijuana dispensaries in several states, including Washington, in recent months.

Under state law, the recreational legalization initiative next heads to the Washington State Legislature, which has the option of avoiding a popular vote by itself enacting the proposal to legalize marijuana, Ammons said.

The legislature could also allow the measure to go to the ballot alongside an alternative from lawmakers, Ammons said.

Alison Holcomb, campaign director of New Approach Washington, has said she did not expect the legislature would enact the proposal on its own, but would leave the issue for voters to decide.

In 2010, a measure to legalize marijuana in California lost at the ballot box when less than 47 percent of voters approved it.

No modern, affluent nation has ever legalized commercial production and distribution of marijuana, according to research organization RAND Corp.

In the Netherlands, famous for its Amsterdam cafes where guests buy and smoke marijuana, authorities allow adults to buy the drug but the country officially has a policy that commercial production of it is illegal, said Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.

Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston

Source: Reuters (Wire)
Author: Alex Dobuzinskis
Published: January 27, 2012
Copyright: 2012 Thomson Reuters

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Comment #11 posted by afterburner on January 30, 2012 at 08:34:39 PT
cannabis
NOT a narcotic!!!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #10 posted by Paint with light on January 29, 2012 at 19:37:59 PT
comment #6 and Obama
If you click on the link in comment 6 and then click on Norml blog you are carried to this link....

http://blog.norml.org/2012/01/24/president-obamas-youtube-forum-deems-marijuana-legalization-questions-inappropriate/

It lists several instances where I believe the president has failed to even acknowledge the questions we have.

I am still a supporter of his because of several other things he has done or tried to do. I also feel like he is a lot better choice than any of the alternatives.

I am however very disappointed that he has not even been willing to have a discussion.

I also don't know how much credit he should receive for the momentum that is building in our movement. I think the movement has an inertia independent of all outside forces.

Maybe he is waiting to see if he gets a second term before he starts an actual dialog.

Meanwhile people are suffering, dying, and going to jail.

Legal like alcohol.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 29, 2012 at 05:28:54 PT
The GCW
I didn't even know there was a youtube debate. I thought he answered questions about marijuana last year and maybe even the year before. I don't think Obama says yes or no on questions but whoever moderates what is going on makes that decision. There are so many important questions that need answering concerning our economy and health care and heaven knows what else.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #8 posted by The GCW on January 28, 2012 at 22:00:05 PT
“Inappropriate”?
The issue is not if he said he would legalize marijuana.

The problems are something else.

1. He is not facing all those questionnaires... and there have been an eye-opening amount of them. Plus indicating they are “Inappropriate” is a huge slap down.

2. He's going to miss a lot of support that He had last election because of examples like that.

-0-

Obama may still win. He's going to appeal to Repugnoids who don't care for the clowns competing for their nomination.

-0-

True conversation: Someone in the locker room said,

He only voted for 1 Republican in His life and that was Obama.

And how is Obama going to respond when Colorado, California, Washington and perhaps other states have cannabis legalization on the ballot? Will He ignore the certain questions that are coming on that topic? Will He continue to turn off cannabist's? Will He say legalizing cannabis is “Inappropriate”?

We could end up with a Mitt or a Newt and it would be His own fault for blowing it.

He doesn't have to legalize but rather acknowledge that this is an issue which more and more Americans have proven to believe is important. That discussion IS appropriate.

Any rational intelligent human with a pulse knows the discussion of legalizing cannabis is appropriate.

How does the Prez have it in Him to say it's “Inappropriate”?

Does anyone here think it's “Inappropriate”? In fact, what is He really saying, here?

We're moving forward, yes. He's a better choice than the repugnoids will produce, for sure. But the question is, can He win without Our support? If cannabis friendly citizens pass Him up, then what?

The grand ol party will not get My vote but He can not disrespect Me and get My vote either.

Voters are teetering.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 28, 2012 at 19:43:03 PT
The GCW
I can't imagine anyone being our President but Obama. He never said he would legalize marijuana but we are getting there faster then we have for years. Obama really can't legalize marijuana. He doesn't have that power I don't think.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #6 posted by The GCW on January 28, 2012 at 18:56:15 PT
Obama's demise?
President Obama’s YouTube Forum Deems Marijuana Legalization Questions “Inappropriate”

http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2012/01/26/President-Obama-s-YouTube-Forum-Deems-Marijuana-Legalization-Questions-Inappropri

All the president's questionnaires have had cannabis issues top the list. All of them. It is a real personal problem when He fails to get it. This issue is legit and yet He refuses to get it.

If Obama doesn't win re-election, this will be His demise.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on January 28, 2012 at 17:06:23 PT
hate to rain on the parade
I'm sorry to say this initiative shouldn't even be called "legalization".

There is no home/personal growing with this! It should therefore be called decrim IMO.

It would sort of be like drinking in bars is OK, buying beer from the state-liquor store is OK, but if you try to make your own beer you get attacked by a SWAT team.

By now I think we should all understand that Peter Lewis does NOT want anyone growing their own cannabis.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by The GCW on January 28, 2012 at 15:49:45 PT
Hope,
Thank you.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by Hope on January 28, 2012 at 13:54:11 PT
Hat tip to Grits on my last post.
Grits for Breakfast

Uncaging America requires 'a thousand smaller sanities'

http://gritsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2012/01/uncaging-america-requires-thousand.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #2 posted by Hope on January 28, 2012 at 12:46:43 PT
Att. The GCW
THE CAGING OF AMERICA

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/120130crat_atlarge_gopnik?printable=true#ixzz1kO2G0AMn

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by The GCW on January 28, 2012 at 06:14:59 PT
Not quite:
The right way to put it, it's the other way around:

...if successful, could put the federal government on a collision course with Olympia.

[ Post Comment ]


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