Marijuana Legalization Measure Certified
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Marijuana Legalization Measure Certified
Posted by CN Staff on January 27, 2012 at 16:29:13 PT
By Rachel La Corte, The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
Olympia, Wash. -- A measure to legalize the recreational use of marijuana is likely to be on the November ballot, after the secretary of the state's office certified the initiative Friday, saying the campaign had turned in enough valid petition signatures. Initiative 502 now goes to the Legislature, but lawmakers are not likely to take up the issue during the short 60-day session that ends on March 8, meaning it would automatically appear on the ballot in the fall election.
"It's time to for a new approach to marijuana policy in Washington state," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said in a written statement released by New Approach, the legalization campaign. "Passing this measure will free up law enforcement resources, allowing police and prosecutors to focus on violent criminals instead of low-level marijuana offenders." David Ammons, a spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said a random 3 percent sampling of the nearly 355,000 petition signatures turned in last month indicated sponsors had nearly 278,000 valid signatures, more than the 241,153 necessary to qualify. The measure was provisionally certified to the Legislature last week, while the signature check was still under way, so the state House and Senate could assign the measure to committees for further action. So far, neither the House nor Senate has scheduled any hearings. Ammons said the Legislature has several options. It can pass the measure as submitted; reject it and let it go to the ballot this fall; ignore it and let it go to the ballot; or let it go to the ballot along with a legislative alternative. I-502 would create a system of state-licensed growers, processors and stores, and impose a 25 percent excise on wholesale and retail sales of marijuana. People 21 and over could buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana; one pound of marijuana-infused product in solid form, such as brownies; or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids. The initiative has several high-profile sponsors, including former Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay and travel guide guru Rick Steves. Washington state already has a voter-approved medical marijuana law that gives doctors the right to recommend  but not technically prescribe  marijuana for people suffering from cancer and other conditions that cause intractable pain. Some medical marijuana patients oppose I-502, taking issue with an element of the initiative that would make it illegal for a motorist to have more than 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in their system. THC is the active ingredient of cannabis. They argue that medical marijuana patients' levels vary depending on the body's tolerance, putting them at greater risk of arrest. Those opponents filed a counter initiative proposal earlier this month that would provide medical marijuana patients with protection against arrest and classify hemp as an agricultural product. Online: and http://www.patientsagainsti502.orgSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Rachel La Corte, The Associated Press Published: January 27, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on January 31, 2012 at 09:18:10 PT
I'm expecting this to be a good week and an excellent month for reform.
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on January 30, 2012 at 09:18:27 PT
25% Excise Tax Seems Excessive!
"25 percent excise on wholesale and retail sales of marijuana"This will greatly inflate costs to the end consumer. 25% excise tax from the farmer, 25% excise tax from the jobber, 25% excise tax from the retail outlet: $100 of cannabis from the farm would cost $125 to the jobber, $156.25 to the retail outlet, $195.31 to the end consumer -- nearly double the original farm cost. Tax on tax on tax!Are there any excise tax rebates along the supply chain? I guess that's what them mean when they say, "Tax the hell out of it!"( $100*125%=$125*125%=$156.25*125%=$195.3125 ) 
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the Tumor on January 28, 2012 at 06:07:56 PT:
The "Hail Mary" and a Hand of Nanogram Poker
The states can no longer afford to ignore the voters. The people of Washington State, Colorado and all the rest are working with the only thing they have: the petition and the ballot.The elephant must take its place in the room this election year.But the price of admission for this proud pachyderm will be steep if the "five nanogram" rule is allowed to stand as is.It was not science or "medicine" that destroyed the hemp industry, it was greed. Short sighted greed and nothing more.
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Comment #3 posted by Paul Pot on January 28, 2012 at 04:19:30 PT:
Repeal a better model
Repeal would be a better model as was used to end prohibition but anything is better than the drug war. The good part is going to be the attention this initiative gets. The media storm will be bigger than around prop 19 because this year there will be other ballot initiatives around the country and they really do have a chance of getting up and the rest of the world is going to take notice. 2012 is going to be the year of drug law reform.
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Comment #2 posted by Richard Zuckerman on January 27, 2012 at 18:20:48 PT:
Yeah lady!!!!
Now this news puts a smile on my face!!! I'm due to get off of probation (for a petty disorderly persons offense, the lowest offense in the penal code) here in N.J. by Summer 2012. I'm interested in heading on out to the State of Washington for the Seattle Hempfest and to vote for this Initiative!! New Jerseyites are police-state-crapperheads!! The people of the State of Washington have two former U.S. Attorneys, a former F.B.I. Field Office Chief, supporting Marijuana legalization!! Dude!! The people of Washington appear to be much more enlightened than New Jersey folks, although I hear the police act overly aggressive in Seattle; but I wonder whether they only act overly agressive when provoked? During October 2011, there was a law school event at New York Law School, in New York City, where an admissions representative for Gonzaga University, located in Spokane, Washington, provided me with the most inspiring form of law school information, namely, a DVD of the law school, and she told me a good score on the Law School Admissions Test would provide me with an opportunity to gain entrance into Gonzaga University despite my less-than-stellar undergraduate cumulative grade point average upon my graduation from Kean College of New Jersey way back in 1987, that the undergraduate cumulative grade point average pertained to back in 1987, not nowadays, 24 years later, and the LSAT score may make the difference between admission into Gonzaga University or a declination. Well, after graduation, I attended N.Y.U. Paralegal program. Even if my LSAT score is sucky, I nevertheless feel confident that I can make it through law school, in light of the over 20 years of personal experience of having visited law libraries and helping other people with their cases (to keep me busy and help me learn the nontraditional route)!! I have already paid for an LSAT preparation course, but I am waiting to find a decent place to live before contacting the company with the section number, so that I can make sure I can focus on the LSAT preparation!! 
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on January 27, 2012 at 16:50:11 PT
I'm not sure if this is good news? I'd like to
think so.This better then what we currently have?Just don't know, maybe so.
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