Initiative To Legalize Marijuana Will Go To Voters
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Initiative To Legalize Marijuana Will Go To Voters
Posted by CN Staff on February 10, 2012 at 05:26:48 PT
By Jonathan Kaminsky,  The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Olympia, Wash. -- An initiative seeking to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana will be decided by voters, Washington state lawmakers said Thursday. If passed, Initiative 502 would make Washington the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It would place the state at odds with federal law, which bans marijuana use of all kinds. Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, who chairs the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee that was considering the initiative, said the Legislature would not act on it, meaning it will instead automatically appear on the November ballot.
"We will have more opportunities on the campaign trail this year to discuss this issue," Hunt said. Because the measure proposes new taxes on marijuana production and consumption, the Legislature would need a two-thirds majority to pass it. The initiative was certified by the secretary of state's office last month after pro-legalization campaigners turned in more than the 241,153 necessary valid signatures. The measure would create a system of state-licensed growers, processors and stores, and impose a 25 percent excise tax at each stage. People ages 21 and older 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. Speaking at a joint House and Senate work session Thursday, backers of the measure said it would allow the state to regulate marijuana use, raise tax revenues and squeeze the powerful drug cartels controlling the black market. "Locking people up and putting handcuffs on them is not the way to resolve our society's issues with regard to marijuana," said John McKay, a former U.S. attorney for Seattle who has become an outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization. Charles Mandigo, the former head of the Seattle FBI office, also spoke in favor of the measure. "It is the money, not the drugs, that drive these criminal organizations and street gangs," Mandigo said. "Take away the money and you take away the criminal element." McKay and Mandigo conceded that getting criminals out of the marijuana business would take time. Opponents said legalization would likely increase marijuana use by teenagers, and they questioned whether criminal gangs would be seriously impacted. "There is a thriving industry in place," said Steve Freng, a federal official helping coordinate Washington state's drug prevention and treatment efforts. "It's silly to think the cartels will simply pack up and leave the state with their tails between their legs." Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza argued that it would be better to instead pressure the federal government to change marijuana's designation from a Schedule One to a Schedule Two drug, meaning it would still be classified as having a high potential for abuse but would also be recognized as having legitimate medical uses. "If we start with the pharmaceutical end and move forward from there, I think what a great start we've already done," Snaza said. Some medical marijuana advocates oppose the initiative because it would place a limit on motorists' TCH levels - 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood - that they say doesn't accurately measure impairment. THC is the active ingredient of cannabis. Such concerns are overblown, said Dr. Kim Thorburn, Spokane County's former top public health official, who favors the initiative. "In order to be stopped for impaired driving you have to show impairment," she said. "This is not a concern for medical marijuana users and has been kind of a red herring that has been raised." Activists in a handful of other states, including California, Oregon and Montana, are attempting to get the legalization of recreational marijuana use on the ballot, though none has yet secured the necessary signatures. Colorado legalization activists were about 2,500 signatures shy of getting an initiative on that state's ballot as of last week. Their deadline is Feb. 15. Washington is among 16 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized the medical use of marijuana.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Jonathan Kaminsky,  The Associated Press Published: February 9, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #8 posted by Richard Zuckerman on February 11, 2012 at 17:11:47 PT:
Jailing for drugs no deterrence:
An examination of the effect of imprisonment on recidivism, by Tina L. Freiburger, freiburg, and Brian M. Iannocchione, Volume 24, No. 4, Criminal Justice Studies, pages 369-379, December 2011: "The current study examines the effect of incarceration and other variables significantly relevant to sentencing decisions on the likelihood of recidivism for drug and property offenders. The results indicate that incarceration does not deter offenders."
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on February 11, 2012 at 11:31:05 PT
Comments #5&6
Kevin Sabat: I thought that name was familiar. He worked for the ONDCP under Clinton, W. Bush & Obama. As such, he is a paid liar. He is "an outspoken opponent of drug legalization." Kevin Sabet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Kevin Sabet was a Senior Adviser for Policy to White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director R. Gil Kerlikowske."!!!"Kevin Sabet was a Senior Adviser for Policy to White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director R. Gil Kerlikowske.[1] He was a Schedule C employee in the Administration of Barack Obama (20092011) and he also served as a political appointee for a short time in the Administration of George W. Bush (20032004) - making him the only political appointee at ONDCP to serve in both Administrations. He also worked as a policy researcher at ONDCP during the Administration of Bill Clinton. He is an outspoken opponent of drug legalization, and has spoken on behalf of the Obama Administration on the subject."
}He is certainly no friend of medical cannabis patients. He is a proponent of prohibition.
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Comment #6 posted by dongenero on February 10, 2012 at 19:30:42 PT
Oh my article
Huffington Post has gone mad since the AOL purchase. Funny, they closed comments for the article.I get Dr. Sabet's point though. People like cannabis and want to use it. However, his conclusion is apparently for continued prohibition ... arrest, incarcerate, deny jobs, deny organ transplants, and seize people's assets, ...for using a plant that is one of the most benign therapeutic and recreational substances known to man.Stop the madness.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 10, 2012 at 17:52:33 PT
An Oh My Article
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Comment #4 posted by greenmed on February 10, 2012 at 11:29:09 PT
cannabis and alcohol - a study
 Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities,and Alcohol Consumption by D. Mark Anderson and Daniel I. ReesAbstract:To date, 16 states have passed medical marijuana laws, yet very little is known about their effects. Using state-level data, we examine the relationship between medical marijuana laws and a variety of outcomes. Legalization of medical marijuana is associated with increased use of marijuana among adults, but not among minors. In addition, legalization is associated with a nearly 9 percent decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely to due to its impact on alcohol consumption. Our estimates provide strong evidence that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes.
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Comment #3 posted by dongenero on February 10, 2012 at 07:36:08 PT
Ridiculous CNN guessed it....UK won't believe this BS loaded drivel. It's such a blatantly poor excuse for "research" and journalism alike, that I almost hate to provide it a link.At least I have to counter it with some truth, hopefully others will post more
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on February 10, 2012 at 06:11:22 PT
Almost everyone wins
RE-legalize the God-given superplant and just about everyone wins.One of the few that will lose is law enforcement agencies and their unions which lobby to perpetuate the sin. They will lose a small percentage of jobs / job security etc.Police / people in a position of trust, want to continue harming the children.Good luck Washington.
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Comment #1 posted by disvet13 on February 10, 2012 at 06:06:35 PT:
Now on CNN
just saw on CNN....marijuana doubles vehicle comes the propaganda machine, just in time to save us from legalization and free medicine and bio-fuel at .50 cents a gallon. the rockefellers never stop until they control it all.
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