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Endorsed: NORML Supports Marijuana Legalization Initiative in Washington State

  • by Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director February 17, 2012

    The NORML Board of Directors officially endorsed a cannabis legalization initiative at the recently concluded Annual Meeting that has qualified for the November ballot in the state of Washington.

    For the next nine months national NORML and its dozen in-state chapters will provide logistical, strategic, communications and fundraising support for Initiative 502, whose co-petitioner is NORML Advisory Board member and best-selling author/TV host Rick Steves.

    NORML’s staff envisages two more marijuana-related reform initiatives likely qualifying for this year’s fall ballot:

    *Citizens in Colorado will likely have the opportunity to vote for a binding voter initiative that will legalize cannabis for responsible adult use, cultivation and sales.

    *Citizens in Massachusetts too will likely get to send a strong reform message to the federal government this fall when they vote in a binding voter initiative that will legalize the use of cannabis for qualified patients for medical use and allow regulated retail sales.

    Also, cannabis law reform advocates in numerous states are trying to join the states listed above in qualifying reform-minded initiatives on their state ballots too. Those states are:

    *California (Multiple competing reform initiatives regarding legalization, i.e., ‘Regulate‘ and ‘Repeal‘; Another one for regulating medical cannabis)

    *Michigan (Legalization initiative)

    *Missouri (Legalization initiative)

    *Montana (Legalization initiative)

    *Nebraska (Legalization initiative)

    It should be abundantly clear by now to federal legislators and the executive branch that while they unwisely continue to support a failed public policy like Cannabis Prohibition–when over 50% of the public now support long overdue cannabis law reforms–citizens (and an increasing number of elected policymakers) at the state level will continue to steadily increase political pressure on the federal government to capitulate on Cannabis Prohibition and embrace demonstrably more free market and Constitutional-friendly alternative public policies that actually benefit citizens and governments, and in turn, public health and safety too.

    This upcoming election season will once again confirm that this political trend in cannabis law reform is  long-standing, sustainable and poised for multiple political victories at the state level in the short years to come.

     

     

    43 Responses to “Endorsed: NORML Supports Marijuana Legalization Initiative in Washington State”

    1. Mike says:

      have you tried compaing the us to amstradam in terms of crime rate and how it legal over there? it might help… we need legalization in new york asap

    2. Buster Jones says:

      Hell Yes, Free the weed. With Marijuana on the ballot in Tenn, Alabama, Florida, and now maybe soon N.C., seems like we got my redneck home of Georgia surronded. Can’t wait till we move in on Georgia big time. Peace, Buster.

    3. Too bad St. Pierre and NORML didn’t bother to mention the obvious huge flaws in the Washington bill — including the facts that no home cultivation will be allowed, a draconian 5 ng/ml THC blood limit will be considered “per se” proof of DUI, and zero tolerance for those under 21.

      Cops and DUI lawyers in Washington will have a field day with spurious, expensive DUI charges against medical marijuana patients (most of us never dip BELOW 5 ng/ml) if I-502 passes.

      Don’t you think those facts are rather pertinent to the discussion?

      [Editor’s note: NORML’s board, which voted unanimously (13-0; two not present), including two members from Washington, is well aware of the fact that every single cannabis law reform initiative since 1972 is flawed in one manner or another–that these ‘grasstops’ initiatives do not satisfy every want of every cannabis consumer, grower or seller. NORML supports I-502 in the same manner that it supported the clearly flawed medical cannabis initiative in WA in 1998 (and in the other eight states’ and DC’s medical cannabis initiatives….and the upcoming flawed medical cannabis initiative in Massachusetts. They, like WA, all have components of their initiatives that are objectionable) that has led to Washington having semi-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensaries in one city, but not another, creating a very problematic legal patchwork for patients, providers, physicians, legal advocates and law enforcement.

      For NORML, and hopefully a majority of voters in Washington, the perfect should not be the enemy of the good when it comes to a state’s voters passing cannabis legalization initiatives that challenge the federal government’s Prohibition laws, stop the practice of arresting responsible adult cannabis consumers and contribute to a positive tax base.

      When initiatives–like the flawed cannabis initiative LeMar in 1972 in CA right straight through to today’s Initiative 502 in WA–substantively reform cannabis laws beyond what otherwise recalcitrant legislatures and the timid judiciary (which largely defers to legislative and executive intent) will deign, it behooves cannabis consumers and other taxpayers alike to support and vote for these reform initiatives.

      To the extent there are serious flaws or defects with cannabis law reform initiatives that pass voter muster, activists historically have sought effective relief in amending legislation after the fact.

      Much is the same and expected with WA where state legislators have already crafted legislation addressing the concerns of some activists and consumers regarding DUID standards.

      Like many other national cannabis law reform organizations and activists in Washington, NORML readily expressed the concerns it had with the proposed initiative language to the I-502’s backers. However, just like these other cannabis law reform groups–namely Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, SAFER, Marijuana Policy Project, ACLU; along with NORML’s chapters in WA–national NORML too is supporting WA’s Initiative 502 to substantively reform cannabis laws and therein challenge the federal prohibition.

      In conclusion, while supporting the broad intent and substantive reforms created by the passage of Initiative 502, NORML however does not endorse the imposition of per se laws for drivers who test positive for THC or THC metabolites in blood without additional demonstrable evidence of psychomotor impairment. Further, NORML supports amending legislation post the passage of Initiative 502 to 1) enact legal protections via legislation for those citizens—notably medical cannabis patients—who are most disproportionately at risk of being adversely impacted by such standards, and 2) to allow consumers and patients to privately cultivate cannabis for personal use.]

    4. James Tomlinson says:

      I just hope we can convince our marijuana medical patients here in the State of Washington to vote yes for this measure. I know the blood alcohol limit is a bad idea. However, we can make changes in the future. I just think supporting this is important for the cause of legalization for this country. I vote yes on I 502. I’m a Shoreline,WA resident.. good luck.. Thank you Rick!

    5. Johnny says:

      Get rid of ALCOHOL and bring on the weed !! 11 years sober so I can say this . ALCOHOL tried to kill me POT saved my life !!! LEGALIZE IT !!!!!!

    6. Carol says:

      WA State I-502 bad for everyone………..Especially medical patients….

    7. That is awesome that other states votes count towards legalization I hope its a domino effect and all the states eventually follow!

    8. bhonze says:

      Don’t forget Mississippi, call your senate and representative for SB 2252 for MEDICAL MARIJUANA!!!

      [Paul Armentano responds: NORML’s take action alert for SB 2252 in Mississippi is online here: http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=60974581.

    9. Vivian says:

      If that bill passes in Washington state and you get in a car accident within twenty four to forty eight hours after smoking you will be convicted of a DUI based solely on the THC in your blood stream. I-502 will have eviscerated your ability to mount a defense. Apparently, NORML thinks that is OK. Very, very sad.

      [Editor’s note: With three NORML staff conferring with local WA activists like you a number of times over months about the very specific concerns raised by I-502, to publicly claim that NORML ‘thinks that is OK’ is both incorrect and disingenuous.

      NORML’s board, which voted unanimously (13-0; two not present), including two members from Washington, is well aware of the fact that every single cannabis law reform initiative since 1972 is flawed in one manner or another–that these ‘grasstops’ initiatives do not satisfy every want of every cannabis consumer, grower or seller. NORML supports I-502 in the same manner that it supported the clearly flawed medical cannabis initiative in WA in 1998 (and in the other eight states’ and DC’s medical cannabis initiatives….and the upcoming flawed medical cannabis initiative in Massachusetts. They, like WA, all have components of their initiatives that are objectionable) that has led to Washington having semi-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensaries in one city, but not another, creating a very problematic legal patchwork for patients, providers, physicians, legal advocates and law enforcement.

      For NORML, and hopefully a majority of voters in Washington, the perfect should not be the enemy of the good when it comes to a state’s voters passing cannabis legalization initiatives that challenge the federal government’s Prohibition laws, stop the practice of arresting responsible adult cannabis consumers and contribute to a positive tax base.

      When initiatives–like the flawed cannabis initiative LeMar in 1972 in CA right straight through to today’s Initiative 502 in WA–substantively reform cannabis laws beyond what otherwise recalcitrant legislatures and the timid judiciary (which largely defers to legislative and executive intent) will deign, it behooves cannabis consumers and other taxpayers alike to support and vote for these reform initiatives.

      To the extent there are serious flaws or defects with cannabis law reform initiatives that pass voter muster, activists historically have sought effective relief in amending legislation after the fact.

      Much is the same and expected with WA where state legislators have already crafted legislation addressing the concerns of some activists and consumers regarding DUID standards.

      Like many other national cannabis law reform organizations and activists in Washington, NORML readily expressed the concerns it had with the proposed initiative language to the I-502’s backers. However, just like these other cannabis law reform groups–namely Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, SAFER, Marijuana Policy Project, ACLU; along with NORML’s chapters in WA–national NORML too is supporting WA’s Initiative 502 to substantively reform cannabis laws and therein challenge the federal prohibition.

      In conclusion, while supporting the broad intent and substantive reforms created by the passage of Initiative 502, NORML however does not endorse the imposition of per se laws for drivers who test positive for THC or THC metabolites in blood without additional demonstrable evidence of psychomotor impairment. Further, NORML supports amending legislation post the passage of Initiative 502 to 1) enact legal protections via legislation for those citizens—notably medical cannabis patients—who are most disproportionately at risk of being adversely impacted by such standards, and 2) to allow consumers and patients to privately cultivate cannabis for personal use.]

    10. […] Washington’s I-502 Legalization InitiativeBy "Radical" Russ Belville on February 17, 2012 NORML has officially endorsed the New Approach Washington I-502 marijuana legalization measure.  This presents a dilemma for me, as some of my most respected colleagues and good friends in the […]

    11. […] Endorsed: NORML Supports Marijuana Legalization Initiative in Washington State The NORML Board of Directors officially endorsed a cannabis legalization initiative at the recently concluded Annual Meeting that has qualified for the November ballot in the state of Washington. For the next nine months national NORML and its dozen in-state chapters will provide logistical, strategic, communications and fundraising support for Initiative 502, whose co-petitioner is NORML Advisory Board member and best-selling author/TV host Rick Steves. NORML’s staff envisages two more marijuana-related reform initiatives likely qualifying for this year’s fall ballot: *Citizens in Colorado will likely have the opportunity to vote […] […]

    12. bhonze says:

      If your in MS go to this web http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/members/s_roster.pdf and you can find the representatives for the judiciary comm in MS. Call them to support SB 2252, they want to hear from you. W. Briggs Hopson 601-359-3237 Chairman/ Terry Burton 601-359-3234 vs chair CALL!!!

      [Paul Armentano responds: NORML’s take action alert for SB 2252 in Mississippi is online here: http://capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=60974581.

    13. […] NORML has officially endorsed the New Approach Washington I-502 marijuana legalization measure.  This presents a dilemma for me, as some of my most respected colleagues and good friends in the movement in Washington State are opposed to I-502 and working for grassroots efforts to place other legalization initiatives on the ballot. […]

    14. […] NORML has officially endorsed the New Approach Washington I-502 marijuana legalization measure.  This presents a dilemma for me, as some of my most respected colleagues and good friends in the movement in Washington State are opposed to I-502 and working for grassroots efforts to place other legalization initiatives on the ballot. […]

    15. Jbkorn02 says:

      I think everyone is focusing too much on the medical issue. We should be fighting to get it completely legalized and taxed lime all of the more dangerous substances like tobacco and alcohol. We shouldn’t be compromising by trying to get only the sick to use this wonderful plant. It should be available to EVERY RESPONSIBLE ADULT PERIOD!

    16. LC says:

      I love my my last comment over my disagreement with this bill as WA state resident. NORML endorses i502 in this article and tells us to vote for it! Yet every commenter that has pointed out the huuuuge flaws with this initiative has had NORML respond with an editor’s note that says basically, ‘oh yeah, we don’t endorse those parts of the bill; those are bad!” First of all, why did people have to comment on certain parts of the bill that NORML also doesn’t agree with to make them known? Why wouldn’t NORML mentions them in the article? Trying to keep things hush so we’ll vote? You say you endorse this initiative yet you are willing to admit there are MAJOR parts you dont agree with? And the standpoint of the law not being perfect just like every other marijuana law is BS. Never have we had a marijuana with SUCH strict legal ramifications and punishments. Even if parts of it do get amended, which you can NEVER guarantee, tons of people will undoubtedly get DUIs and felonies in the meantime. Can you take those back for them?

      [Editor’s note: Again, like many other national cannabis law reform organizations and activists in Washington, NORML readily expressed the concerns it had with the proposed initiative language to the I-502’s backers.

      Hush??

      Where have you been?

      NORML has hosted debates and discussion on the merits and flaws with I-502 for almost six months on NORML’s podcast…There are not one but two columns from NORML staff in the most recent High Times that looks at initiatives and why–warts and all–they need to be supported and voted for.

      Nothing hush here.

      Like these other cannabis law reform groups–namely Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, SAFER, Marijuana Policy Project, ACLU; along with NORML’s chapters in WA–national NORML too is supporting WA’s Initiative 502 to substantively reform cannabis laws and therein challenge the federal prohibition.

      In conclusion, while supporting the broad intent and substantive reforms created by the passage of Initiative 502, NORML however does not endorse the imposition of per se laws for drivers who test positive for THC or THC metabolites in blood without additional demonstrable evidence of psychomotor impairment. Further, NORML supports amending legislation post the passage of Initiative 502 to 1) enact legal protections via legislation for those citizens—notably medical cannabis patients—who are most disproportionately at risk of being adversely impacted by such standards, and 2) to allow consumers and patients to privately cultivate cannabis for personal use.]

    17. John says:

      I haven’t seen it anywhere on NORML but Kentucky has a Medical Marijuana bill in front of the senate right now. The Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Bill

      [Paul Armentano responds: SB 129, while well-intentioned, as presently written mandates a doctor’s ‘prescription,’ not recommendation — which would severely hamper the measure’s implementation. There are other issues with the language as well (such as recommending cannabis be distributed in pharmacies, which would likely be impossible given cannabis’ scheduling under federal law.) NORML is in the process of drafting an alert that allows advocates to express these concerns to their lawmakers.]

    18. With respect to the idea that if “you get in a car accident within twenty four to forty eight hours after smoking you will be convicted of a DUI based solely on the THC in your blood stream,” this is grossly exaggerated. For most tokers, one’s ng/mL drops below 5ng/mL within 1-4 hours after consumption. However, to be fair, there will indeed be some tokers, either medical patients or chronic consumers, who may maintain a ng/mL above 5ng even when not impaired. No one disagrees this sucks. But does it suck worse than every cannabis consumer being a criminal no matter how much they toke even if they aren’t driving? To reject legalization for all Washington’s tokers to protect a small minority of Washington’s tokers from the off chance they’re going to get into a car wreck and get a DUID that they might have fought successfully were it not for per se seems absurd, especially considering that same toker who gets into a car wreck can already have his or her blood drawn and already have that used against him or her in a DUID trial. Yes, 502 makes it a slam dunk, but as we saw in Colorado, marijuana DUIDs already have a 90% conviction rate anyway.

    19. toker says:

      be nice if il. would join in with the other states wanting to legalze and with revenue a major prob in this state i think it would be a huge boost to the economy of il. to legalize and set and allow reasonable amounts to be grow for personal use as well as setting up state facilities for those who cant or do not want to grow thier own to have a safe place to buy it as well as allowing growers to sell their overage to said state run facilities at a fair market value…i see it as a win win…how about you Gov Quinn?

    20. Jbkorn02 says:

      To the person that commented about amsterdamn some bad news. They are claiming that the crime rate has not went down there and are making a law that anyone visiting from another country would not be allowed into any of they’re coffee shops. So legalization on Amsterdam just Americans won’t be allowed by law to participate

    21. Paul Pot says:

      2012 is going to be the most awesome year for drug reform with these initiatives and 3 presidential hopefuls calling for an end to the drug war.

      Mexico has an election this year too and several Latin American leaders have expressed openness to the idea of reform.

      The media attention on the marijuana aspect of this election is going to get extreme the closer we get to it as it looks like there really is a chance of winning this time. The feds don’t want it to happen because the whole world will be watching and talking and if it is legalized certain nations will be calling out ”we want some of that too”, and the drug war could just suddenly collapse and the Arab spring just keeps going.
      All wars end. All regimes topple.
      It time for the drug war to die.
      Legalize! Apologize! Compensate!

    22. If you live in Connecticut and want to end marijuana prohibition in our state, please take a minute to visit http://www.ctprimaryproject.com.

      Please pass this on to anyone you know in Connecticut!

    23. Rizzly says:

      No on 502!!!! No on Dispensaries!!!!!!

    24. notSpicoli says:

      The DUI-Cannabis provisions under I-502 apply in only one circumstance: impaired driving. Probable cause based on impairment to be stopped, followed by reasonable observations of impairment, and specifically impairment caused by drugs, will be required prior to a blood draw.

      The blood testing is for the pschyo-active delta-9 THC which stays in the body for hours and not the metabolite carboxy THC which stays in the body for weeks.

      There is no need to apologize for a provision that addresses a major public concern and impediment to mainstream acceptance of the end of marijuana prohibition.

      Thanks to NORML for their support in this historic effort.

    25. Galileo Galilei says:

      5 ng/ml THC means you’re impaired!

      Meanwhile we have bars with parking lots.

    26. Ray says:

      See For Your Self What A Joke The D.E.A. Is http://www.justice.gov/dea/marijuana_position.pdf

    27. Jim says:

      It’s not a surprise that the executive is controlled by a 3rd party. It’s obvious. Starting from Eisenhower to Johnson there was a campaign of billion dollar costing genocide in Vietnam.

      Make bombs for us. We pay you. Those bombs have to be used. On any target we can pick and then have the media basically *tell you*, who the enemy is (who to hate) and what is bad (safest medicine known to man).

      When John F. Kennedy tried to stop the obscene manipulation on the executive, which was clearly not appropriate, he did not buy in. He ended up assassinated him.

      The executive branch is thankfully under a control of checks and balances.

      The safest medicine known to man. For thousands of years, almost definitely as long as dog has been companion to man, as well as this plan, it held this title.

      For the rest of history it will hold the title as the safest medicine known to man and never called a “drug” like alcohol or laboratory mixed pharmaceuticals which are undeniable experimental when they are released for sale.

      Unjust laws no laws at all
      -Martin Luther

    28. Ray DiPasquale says:

      Once you are convicted that you are impaired by Cannabis the states will put you on their electronice leash via this cute little device
      http://www.housearrestbracelet.com/
      There rules and laws only favor the system and the individual rights are lost.
      When will all this insanity ever stop?
      Support NORML send them whatever you can.
      Rick Steves Rocks!

    29. Brian Grimmer says:

      I-502 is not only the wrong approach for Washington, it will set the movement back a decade as we again fight to regain rights lost by this legislation. Now simple possession will be upgraded to a DUII if you are found in possession while operating a motor vehicle.
      The 5ng/ml whole blood is ridiculously low and will be blown by nearly every patient in the state who uses regularly.

      This legislation in wide open for extremely costly lawsuits that will in the end, kill it dead. Save some of our tax dollars for education and vote no on I-502.

    30. Bryan says:

      Rock on NORML! I’ve been telling everyone I know about this and trying to have rational conversations with them.

      I understand the flaws of the bill, but progress is progress. Thanks for all your hard work!

    31. Reba Burt says:

      VOTE NO ON I-502

      IT IS THE WRONG APPROACH FOR WASHINGTON!!!

      1. I-502 will replace simple possession with a potential DUI for anyone caught with a blood content of 5 ng of D9-THC per ml of whole blood.

      2. The measure still makes possession a crime for 18-20 year-old adults. Especially the DUII aspect mentioned above, with the exception that these drivers are held accountable to the level of 0 ng D9-THC per ml of whole blood.

      3. The taxation structure has been calculated and it has been determined that the cost per gram for cannabis will rise to about $39 a gram. This will do absolutely nothing to stop the illicit trade of cannabis.

      4. Patients, who likely have sustained THC levels in their blood due to regular use, would be at risk of DUII. 18-20 yr-old patients are screwed in regards to their driving privileges.

      [Editor’s note: Your rationalizations for not supporting a legalization initiative are without merit as 1) patients and consumers are already subject to an approx. 90% conviction rate when charged with DUID (which is fairly rare), 2) legalization should not be held back because teenagers want legal access (it is common sense to have the age of consent for cannabis be pegged at the same age as alcohol) and 3) $39 a gram???

      Not possible as the Prohibition price for cannabis is $5-$15 gram…there is no possible way the price of cannabis can go any hirer than these prices A) absent Prohibition’s price support and B.) drastic shortage in supply (that is not happening as the amount of indoor and outdoor cultivated cannabis is exploding in America and Canada; and there are mega outdoor crops in Mexico).

      With legalization the availability of cannabis (both legally and illegal sourced) will rise, quality will continue to get better and the price will come down much closer to the production cost plus a small profit for wholesaler and retailer…and retail sales tax that will likely be similar to that of alcohol & tobacco products.]

      No cannabis legal reform initiative has ever been perfect. But, each one that has passed has both created a better legal climate for cannabis consumers and patients as well as put inherent political pressure on the federal government to end the Cannabis Prohibition leviathan it created in 1937.

      Just like Prop. 215, WA’s 1998 I-692 (that made cannabis sort of quasi-legal in WA…) and King County’s I-75 in 2005 that sort of decriminalized cannabis. Not were ideal, all needed to pass, so too should this year’s effort in WA, I-502.

      Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good…be thankful your state is at the front of the line with an opportunity to pass the country’s first cannabis legalization initiative.]

    32. Jbkorn02 says:

      After looking into this bill a bit more I definitely shouldn’t endorse it only because of the driving issue. I have more the in my blood after stopping for a week than this law allows.

      [Editor’s note: Not voting for a legalization in Washington is a vote to keep the arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations going for a substance that does not warrant such violent and expensive government interventions into the lives of it’s consumers.

      Concerned about the proposed DUID components of the initiative? Vote for legalization now and amend the law later by legislation (which is already under way in WA in case the initiative passes), otherwise the citizens of WA might not have this prime opportunity again anytime soon…and you’ll be stuck with the current law that mandates an arrest and day in jail for simply possessing a joint.

      Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good when it comes to cannabis law reform measures as there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ initiative or legislation.]

    33. Ol' JW says:

      People should not be afraid of the government, Government should be afraid of the people!

      Only YOU can vote out the bad apples and vote in the good apples!

    34. Marvin says:

      Thank you NORML for supporting 502 and for arguing against the fear mongering that has surrounded the initiative, particularly with respect to the DUID provision. I am hoping the opposition is just a loud minority and this will be voted in. The loud minority needs to understand that at this point reform needs to appeal to people who do NOT smoke Cannabis. It will be a long road to perfection and we need to start somewhere. Yes on I-502!

    35. Alex arlington says:

      Yes on i502 you freakin med patients. Just take a little sacrifice for the greater good

    36. Tentpegs says:

      Ok, Ok, let’s everyone take a breath…
      Yes, I-502 isn’t perfect, but then, what law IS??
      Politics is slow, sometimes glacially slow (I cite 74 years of marijuana prohibition and counting as evidence) but just like glaciers, politics DOES move. In this regard it is moving for WE the People’s benefit and to try to get Washington voters to vote NO on I-502 just because it isn’t perfect is lunacy. Yes, it has problems. But until we get over the major hurdle of total illegality we can NEVER address the smaller (and easier to circumnavigate) issues like blood level content. Right now if you are caught, you are busted. Plain and simple. If I-502 passes and you have marijuana on you, then who cares? It’s legal!
      You want to cry because you can’t have weed in your pocket while you are driving? Give me a break. You can’t have a beer or a pint of Wild Turkey in the driver’s seat with you either, remember?
      You think 502 is bad because it sets the legal age at 21? Then start petitioning the Federal Government to change the drinking age to 18 as well. Intoxicants are intoxicants are intoxicants…
      The blood level allowance for THC will be set too low? Well, there’s nothing stopping us from revisiting the law and setting it to a standard that people are more comfortable with later. There’s also nothing stopping us from making special allowances or dispensations for medical marijuana users as well. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it can’t be prescribed. Ibuprofen is a perfectly legal ‘over the counter’ medication but doctors prescribe prescription strength pills of it all the time.
      Until the doors to legalization are finally thrown open We the People can’t fix the problems that can and will arise from it. It will be a huge change for Washington State and eventually all of America. But it is simply impossible to iron out all the wrinkles when the wrinkles haven’t appeared yet. And to put forth the idea that the best way to avoid those wrinkles is to not buy the shirt is just silly. We need I-502 to pass. We need Colorado’s eventual legalization bill to pass, and Massachusets and all the states that follow. Sure, there will be problems. But I can’t forsee any problem that will cause as much pain to families or fear of and/or disregard for law enforcement in this country as the last 70+ years of marijuana prohibition. It has been costly in so many more ways than solely financial and it has to stop. Now is our chance. So whaddya say? Wanna buy a shirt with me?

    37. Allen St. Pierre and the rest of NORML have officially jumped the shark. In one “editor’s note” it is mentioned that NORML does not endorse the imposition of per se laws for drivers who test positive for THC, absent additional demonstrable proof of impairment. In another editor’s note, NORML calls the very same argument from an I-502 opponent “without merit.”

      So which is it, NORML? Support the imposition of per se laws for drivers who test postive for THC and support 502 – or oppose these per se laws and oppose 502. You can’t have it both ways. Every one of you big wigs at NORML KNOW for a fact that I-502’s DUI language has an icicle’s chance in hell of ever being reversed.

      Wrong is wrong. The insatiable need to win doesn’t make it right. In order to support 502, one must ignore the very advice that NORML has been repeating for years. So which advice do we follow NORML? The line you’ve been towing for years – or the line you began towing just a few days ago?

      [Editor’s note: Jumped the shark? Rather, more persuasively, NORML and the entire community of national drug policy reform organizations are grounded in political and economic reality. The question is: Are some medical cannabis growers, sellers and consumers in WA necessarily grounded in the same realities?

      NORML, and the other major drug policy reform organizations in America ask localized medical cannabis organizations and businesses that are inclined to oppose statewide cannabis legalization initiatives to please provide support, forbearance and unity to these crucially important, dynamic-changing legalization initiatives.

      NORML supports (and publicly endorses when asked by the principal organizers) legalization and medical initiatives that qualify for the ballot. Period.

      Every cannabis law reform initiative circa 1972 has flaws in the eyes of some, but when the initiatives pass, laws change that clearly benefit cannabis consumers (including consumers who use cannabis for medical reasons) in ways that legislatures and judges will not currently (or historically) allow.

      Cannabis law reform initiatives that qualify for the ballot instantly create a much needed (and largely absent) public discussion and debate about the need to end Cannabis Prohibition where the mainstream media, editorial boards, columnists and radio talk shows FINALLY start to cast much needed light on the problems with 74 years of Cannabis Prohibition and what are the logical alternative public policies.

      The value of this public discussion alone has justified prior attempts in strategy by reform groups to pass what were otherwise unpopular legalization initiatives (i.e., Nevada’s two legalization initiative attempts; arguably Prop. 19 in CA in 2010 was meant to do no more than spark a needed public debate. This under-funded initiative only loss by 3% and absolutely stirred a national debate–support for legalization nationwide rose almost 5% post Prop. 19 according to Gallup polling).

      Also, regrettably, Prop. 19 drew substantial opposition from individuals and their medical cannabis businesses. While most of the counties in CA voted for or came close to voting in the majority for Prop. 19, the three counties in northern CA that have historically been producing large amounts of cannabis known as the ‘Emerald Triangle’ voted against a cannabis legalization effort.

      Again, regrettably, as NORML, and most American cannabis consumers subject to arrest, prosecution and incarceration (including those in WA who are currently subject to an automatic one-day imprisonment for possessing a joint) favor legalization initiatives to pass–even when imperfect, because 1) the greater good outweighs the imperfect and 2) what flaws exist in initiatives historically will be amended in future legislation (or again via voter ballot initiative).

      As is already well known in WA, the concerns of some medical cannabis consumers and businesses regarding, for example, DUID regulations, are already being addressed in legislation that is well along to introduction by pro-reform legislators.

      As NORML is a consumer lobby organization for ALL cannabis consumers–not just the one out of nine cannabis consumers who claim a medical need–when legalization and medicalization ballot initiatives qualify for the ballot, funded by longtime political allies, the organization supports the efforts when asked (i.e., conversely, MA voters will have a medical cannabis initiative before them this fall and the organizers/funders of this effort–basically the SAME funding and strategy making group that brought citizens in WA both their medical cannabis initiative in 1998 and King County their ‘decrim’ initiative in 2005–and in MA where the initiative is polling very high and the organizers do NOT want NORML/DPA/MPP/LEAP/ACLU/SSDP/DRCNet to endorse or promote their medical-only initiative. Because most groups involved in drug policy work cooperatively together, the ‘legalization’ organizations have obliged regarding the MA initiative.).

      NORML has made its opposition clear from the beginning of the initiative strategy making process in WA–including attending stakeholder meetings where most all reform groups, both in-state and out, expressed similar concerns with, notably, the DUID provisions. None the less, as has been the case with the last nine successful cannabis law reform ballot initiatives going back to CA’s Prop. 215 in 1996, the major funders who have largely moved ALL reform efforts since the mid 1990s, rejected some of the grassroots’ concerns about the initiatives and legislation that they’ve chiefly spearheaded with their disproportionately large donations (oh bless them none-the-less for making these donations or there likely would have been NO serious cannabis law reforms at all since the mid 1990s!).

      However, rather than spend valuable time, money, energy or karma publicly opposing reform initiatives that have been funded by this successful core group of funders and strategists of ALL modern cannabis law reforms, NORML (Disclosure: NORML and the NORML Foundation receives no financial support at all from the elite funders: Lewis, Soros and Sperling) has always been both supportive of their legalization ballot initiatives (flaws and all) and working with them cooperatively post-passage to amend the new laws where applicable in benefit of cannabis consumers and patients.

      Patients Against I-502, should, like NORML and the rest of the drug policy reform community in our country, be supportive of qualifying legalization ballot initiatives as major reform vehicles, rather than rallying against them, and, ironically, their most longstanding, active and natural political allies.]

    38. LL says:

      In response to NORML’s last “editor’s note”:

      Again, regrettably, as NORML, and most American cannabis consumers subject to arrest, prosecution and incarceration (including those in WA who are currently subject to an automatic one-day imprisonment for possessing a joint) favor legalization initiatives to pass–even when imperfect, because 1) the greater good outweighs the imperfect and 2) what flaws exist in initiatives historically will be amended in future legislation (or again via voter ballot initiative).

      As is already well known in WA, the concerns of some medical cannabis consumers and businesses regarding, for example, DUID regulations, are already being addressed in legislation that is well along to introduction by pro-reform legislators.

      Are you intending to spread lies about WA state’s marijuana laws in order to make them seem bad enough that we’d want to pass I-502 or are you just simply misinformed? Because if you are misinformed, that tells a bit about NORML’s credibility lately, and should they be trying to enforce proposed laws in a state of which they are not even aware of their current ones? Not anyone I’d want to follow. Here in Washington, we have a law that makes cannabis THE LOWEST law enforcement priority. That means jay walking is of a higher enforcement than cannabis. And there is not a single flaw in that law. It is what it is. Simple. No loopholes. No one spends a day in jail because of a joint around here. Lies and nonsense. Seems to me like we’re in a pretty good position to be able to hold out for a lot better Initiative than what is presented to us as I-502!

      And please, NORML, where is the proof that there is already legislation reform under way? You state it’s well known in WA that this is occurring. I live here and have been following this initiative closely. I have been in conversation with a lot of my friends as well as people in the online communities about it, and have never heard of such a thing. Could you please provide a source or a link that shows this reform is already under way?

      [Editor’s note: WA policymakers M.L. Dickerson and Jeanne Kohl-Wells (along with other elected policymakers), with input from in-state patient groups and NORML, have drafted amending legislation to change the regulations regarding DUID. Interested parties in WA can contact them to review the current draft legislation or watch the WA legislature’s hopper.

      Speaking of lying….or trying to mislead others…which you seem keen on trying to accomplish here…you’re totally incorrect regarding WA cannabis laws–which in fact statutorily mandate an automatic one day in jail for possessing any amount of cannabis.

      Read WA’s cannabis laws here.

      Also, you absolutely don’t have a state law that makes cannabis the lowest law enforcement priority. Your state has Cannabis Prohibitions laws. Thousands of citizens who do not claim to need cannabis for medical purposes are legally harassed, arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated annually in WA. Only in King County, where voters endorsed a ‘decrim’ initiative called I-75 in 2005, paid for largely by the same funders/strategists as both WA’s 1998 medical cannabis initiative and the current I-502, do cannabis consumers not get busted and incarcerated for possessing small amounts of cannabis.

      It would be preferable for all involved if some of those critical of purposed changes in cannabis law in WA actually knew what their state laws are concerning cannabis before publicly attacking others who do.]

    39. notSpicoli says:

      Patients Against I-502 is sponsored by physicians Gil Mobley and Richard Byer (from Oregon), attorney David G. Arganian, Ric Smith, Vivian McPeak, and attorney Jeffrey Steinborn.

      Steinborn credentials himself on the PAI-502 website as “NORML Legal Committee and Board of Directors.”

      Yet at the same time, Patient Against I-502 has just issued the following on it’s website:

      “And don’t rest until the HEAD HYPOCRITE, Allen St. Pierre, figures out that patients have helped keep NORML in business all these years. NO MORE DONATIONS. NO MORE SUPPORT. UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THEIR MAILING LISTS. STOP VOLUNTEERING AT THEIR FUNCTIONS.”

      While I naturally assume that Steinborn is not speaking for NORML when he joins his fellow co-sponsors in actively opposing and sabotaging I-502 and now NORML itself(!), I find it troubling that he gives the impression that he is not speaking as a private citizen, but rather as a representative of NORML.

    40. Amer Ican says:

      Vote Ron Paul. He is the only choice. The rest are not interested in you and I. This is the best thing you can do for America. At the very least, you send a message to the establishment. The government cannot tell you what plants you can grow, and how to heal your cancer.

    41. jack smith says:

      for God’s sake, stop the complaints on I502. all your silly arguments are moot. open your eyes!

      there are provisions in I 502 that say, Nothing in the current medical marijuana will change. so, THC levels are currently zero. for those under I 502, it has a limit on the level allowed. so how the hell does I 502 affect your precious tolerance argument? it does not. another difference is, medical users can grow pot, I 502 they cannot. i want to grow, but getting the bill passed is Historic. it changes Washington, and the USA permanently. it is a huge step in this battle with the powers that be.

      medical pot proponents are doing one thing only, protecting their money. they have a patient base that is a fallacy. 95% or more of the medical marijuana users, have no need for it at all. everyone knows that, your whole position, is a ruse. it is your greed, not the welfare of the patient, that drives your argument. so, grow up, and see I 502 for what it really is, a historic victory for pot overall. no bill is perfect, ever, so they can get amended later. for some reason, the medical crowd seems to think the opportunity to even vote on the (perfect) bill, comes along each election cycle. u need to look no further, than to calif., and their failure get voted on. a chance missed, and the future, and taking for granted that you can automatically vote every two years, is a given. it is NOT! either way, your position is selfish, and quite frankly, disgusting to me, and i am sure, others. your position is a loser mentality, and u need to “wake up” and open your eyes wide. legalizing pot is the answer, regardless of how imperfect it is, it is a victory for pot. peace

    42. […] upcoming fall ballot will have the marijuana legalization initiative on it and a surprising vote of assurance from a well-known children’s advocacy organization and a […]

    43. […] upcoming fall ballot will have the marijuana legalization initiative on it and a surprising vote of assurance from a well-known children’s advocacy organization and a […]

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