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WA Governor-Elect Inslee: It is the Best Interest of State and Country to Allow Legalization to Move Forward

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director November 15, 2012

    During a press conference today, the governor-elect for the state of Washington, Jay Inslee, defended his state’s recently approved marijuana legalization initiative. He stated that he believes it is the best interest “not only of our state, but in our country” for President Obama and the federal government to allow these recently approved measures to move forward.

    “My belief is Washington has worked its will. The voters have spoken,” Inslee stated, “I was not supportive of the initiative but I’m going to be fully supportive of protecting, defending, and implementing the will of the voter—which will essentially allow the use of recreational marijuana in our state.”

    In regards to the federal government, the incoming governor encouraged their support. “I will be working to a very rational, mature way to convince the administration that it’s in the best interest, not only of our state, but in our country, to allow our state to move forward in this regard.”

    You can view his comments in full here.

    It is refreshing, to say the least, to see an elected official going to bat for the voters of their state and defending the will of the people when it comes to marijuana policy. As always, NORML will keep you posted on the ever evolving situation between Washington and Colorado’s new marijuana legalization laws and the federal government.

    34 Responses to “WA Governor-Elect Inslee: It is the Best Interest of State and Country to Allow Legalization to Move Forward”

    1. Bren says:

      Our country needs more governors like Mr. Inslee. “We the people need someone who is not afraid to stand up for us in matters where the will of the people comes first. Most of the governors are money hungary for personal gain and don’t really care about what the majority of the people want.

    2. [...] WA Governor-Elect Inslee: It is the Best Interest of State and Country to Allow Legalization to Move… During a press conference today, the governor-elect for the state of Washington, Jay Inslee, defended his state’s recently approved marijuana legalization initiative. He stated that he believes it is the best interest “not only of our state, but in our country” for President Obama and the federal government to allow these recently approved measures to move forward. “My belief is Washington has worked its will. The voters have spoken,” Inslee stated, “I was not supportive of the initiative but I’m going to be fully supportive of protecting, defending, and implementing [...] [...]

    3. Evening Bud says:

      Somebody wake me up. Surely I’m dreaming.

    4. Miles says:

      Mr. Inslee has my full respect! I only wish other states had representatives that were even half as intelligent and compassionate. Here in Virginia they won’t even give it a slight chance from what I can tell… Which is why I am going to live this damn state as soon as I can sell my house and get out of here. I’d love to live in Washington or Colorado. Indeed, I’d choose Alaska over Virginia in a heartbeat considering the drug war zealots that seem to reign supreme here. Almost every person I know here in VA would choose legalization if only the Govt here would let us vote on it but they fight it tooth and nail. They’re a bunch of mini-Romneys…

      However, if anyone was to try to do anything to derail their cigarettes and booze they’d be in attack dog mode in less than one second…

      I may be exagerating, but if so, not by much!

    5. Gweedo says:

      I didn’t even realize that WA had voted in a new Governor. I thought the current governor had gone to Washington DC the other day to talk with the DOJ about how to move forward.

      [Paul Armentano responds: She had, but she is the outgoing Governor.]

    6. james says:

      don’t get comfy i seen this tactic before ,remember Holder talk to both these guys and never told us what was said.Makes me think they have a backdoor bail out going :D

    7. fester09 says:

      I am wondering if it is possible for current Gov. Chris Gregoire to kill I-502 before Inslee takes office?

      [Paul Armentano responds: No, it isn't.]

    8. gb says:

      They cannot stop the ball without some sort of decree, invalidating the laws and frankly, I think the backlash over thwarting the will of the voters would be much greater than the pot issue itself. I think that would hit home all over the nation. If they do it on this issue, they would do it on other issues that they didn’t agree with. That’s why the state marijuana laws must be respected, whether it’s medical or otherwise. Once we allow the federal government to nullify the will of the voters, we’re finished.

    9. Best I can tell the petitions are overfilled. This can’t be ignored much longer. It seems that we are missing a magic word. When the scales finally do tip in favor of legalization. It will be like rats leaving a sinking ship. The politicians will always follow popular opinion.

      We can thank NORML for being persistent.

    10. Tlc says:

      President Obama said he has a tax mandate as bestowed by the will of the people. By comparison,if the Federal government attempts to nullify the will of the voters, thus nullifying their authority, by what authority does the government rule?

    11. Colo-born says:

      This is a turning point in our country. The People have been speaking for so long to be heard. And Our elected officials and federal government have either laughed in our faces or ignored us out right. More People see this and join their voice with ours. Then they attack us, threaten us. But with this even More People join us still. We are not stopping, and our voice is only get stronger and louder. History has more examples of what happens when the government or leaders ignore the voice of its People. We are a Nation of the People, By the People, and For the People. Not of the feds, by the feds, and for the feds. Well, that my 2 cents worth. Stop the Lies and Legalize!!!

    12. phrtao says:

      With the likes of Jay Inslee and Justin Trudeau ( http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2012/11/14/Justin-Trudeau-Supports-Decriminalization-Marijuana ) in Canada changing sides or coming out in favour of legalisation those dominoes are really beginning to fall. I think the pace of change or even what it took to open the flood has surprised even the most optimistic campaigners for legalisation.

    13. Canabinoid says:

      To state the obvious, while it is great news that Gov. Inslee supports I-502 implementation, he would not have flipped his position had the voters not taken action to affirmatively change the law.

      If we, as marijuana advocates, want legalization, then it must happen by ballot initiative alone. Our elected officials’ minds are not going to “change” unless the voters affirmatively change their minds at the polls. This requires dismantling prohibition from the ground up by popular vote.

      This is because the fundamental tendency of a government is to restrict freedoms and not to loosen them. It is also why in this “free” country, we live under billions and billions of restrictions that never seem to ever go away. Marijuana prohibition probably only took a couple years to implement, but has taken over seventy years to begin reclaiming marijuana legality. What kind of freedom is that?

    14. bud says:

      Obama should be smart enough not to do anything. This will hurt his parties chances in a couple of years if he goes rouge on us not to mention opening up the door to the “other side” so they can take the legalization ball and run with it. Right now a Repube gov. (elect) is handling it quite well. This should show the president and the DOJ that fucking with states and voters will could ruin the Dems chances in 2 and 4 years. If WA elected a Repube Gov. then there were a lot of Repubes voting for legalization? Or was the last Gov. a POS?

      ERIK ALTIERI (NORML): Governor-Elect Inslee is a Democrat

    15. Deita Klaus says:

      LOL…lets see if GOV GREGOIRE and Gov Elect Inslee do…WA State Law ALLOWS EACH COUNTY TO DECIDE SO CLARK COUNTY JAIL a Private Horrible system who will ignore her/him and do what they want until its a FED LAW..That’s the hard cold truth..

    16. Over50voter says:

      Inslee is a weasly, democrat that was a us congressman. Of course, he supports legalization now, but he did not support legalization during the election. We, the people, had to outvote the wimpy legislature to get cannabis legalized. Cannabis was never legalized under any of these easel politicians. Mmj and recreational cannabis were grass roots initiatives that our state government Is required to accept as law under our constitution.

      Most of the rights that we have gained back from oppressive state government in washington have been through initiatives. No one believes that the bloated state government in olympia will ever pass meaningful legislation.

      We took back our liberty on recreational marijuana.

    17. Nancy Lee Garrett says:

      Hi Fellow Bloggers
      I think Obama is making us, make him Legalize Cannabis. “This is the beginning of the End of Prohibition of Cannabis”. Let’s see how much better things are after a few years. NORML lead the nation to the promise land, where people are still free and their rights are protected. Thank you NORML. You will still be receiving $10.00 a month from me, until your mission is completed.
      I Challenge all you bloggers to start supporting NORML financially. Don’t say you can’t afford it either. $10.00 a month is only .33 cents a day. At least send them $10 a month. Don’t be cheap where NORML is concerned. Ask yourself where would we be without NORML.

    18. akhans says:

      Sadly, not all states have an initiative system. Some of us either have to wait for our politicians to wise up or leave.

      I just hope this gets people’s attention.

    19. Colo-born says:

      Hey Akhans, Believe me I know how you feel. I currently live in Texas, and Gov. Rick Perry just helped a bill go through here to drug test people for unemployment and welfare. I have chronic back pain in my lower back and hips, from a degraded disk that pinches the nerves. Then add ADD, Anxiety and Bi-Polar 2. Marijuana is the one thing that helps without threat of overdose. Now not only do I have to worry about being arrested getting medication, but now this too. AAARRRRGGG! We all need to get every person we know to register to vote and have them do the same till our votes pass those against legalization by 10% or more. Spread the word, “LEGALIZE”.

    20. James Tomlinson says:

      The State of Washington does not have to “ever” enforce federal law! There is nothing the federal government can do to stop Washington and Colorado from removing all criminal penalties for consuming and possessing small amounts of marijuana. The Federal government can cause trouble with Marijuana producers and retailers by using the tax code to stop them from deducting business taxes. The Federal government can harass banking institutions not to work with Marijuana businesses. The Federal government has threaten to cause trouble with state government employees who implement the marijuana laws, but thats smoke and mirrors! NEVER has a state employee been arrested for doing state business!

    21. Anon. says:

      You know, I was partaking the other night and my synapses just so happened to be on overdrive (a common side-affect I encounter most every time).

      Any-who, one of the thoughts my brain happened to run across was…the DEA. They’re going to have no choice but to downsize by the hundreds or thousands, probably more. Why not send them to school and train them, then turn them into a kind of regulatory board? They could oversee taxes, import/export markets, quality assurance, stocks, and just about anything else. I heard somewhere that the gov’t did this with alcohol enforcement agents at the end of prohibition. I mean, think about it. There are going to be thousands of international jobs very, very soon. If we offer this to them first, I believe that it could weaken their resolve against reform. Plus, it would keep jobs in our economy instead of shutting them down, and would show just how forgiving and non-petty marijuana consumers truly are and can be. Those are just two of the many living perks that would be demonstrated for all in the world to see.

      Next…the cartels. What can I say about those wild and crazy guys (SNL reference for all you younger people)? Seems nobody knows about the cannabis market better than they do. Hell, it’s a multi-billion dollar a year industry with absolutely no advertising. No bill boards, no sexy bikini beach gals in magazines, and no – none, zip, nada – TV or radio spots. Which industry could possibly not only survive, but thrive, in an environment like that? How about under limited conditions, we send the weed dealers and pot kings to school for business, give them a business loan and let the cash just poor in (for us AND them – EVERYBODY’S suddenly got more $$ to buy their Cheetos and Goldfish).

      See what I did there? I just solved a big portion of the problem that two of the most powerful opponents have. Hell, if a middle-aged pot head could figure that out, just imagine what the smart guys in the long, white coats working for our gov’t can come up with. Makes one’s synapses just run away wit…

    22. Anonymous says:

      Not every state has ballot referanda. After passage they are frequently tied up in court for years. The Courts can overturn an initiative, whittle it down, or just plain ignore it. State Legislatures can repeal a ballot initiative. City and County goverments can declare themselves dry. Its not that hard to pass a medical marijuana initiative, Arizona’s done it three times now. Before the election in Arkansas most of the coverage in the local TV and Newspapers was not on would Issue 5 pass, but what local goverments would do to circumvent it if it did. (still Isuue 5 losing 48 to 52 was an astonishing success.)
      I’m all for ballot initiatives, even the ones I vote against, but if it’s not what the powers that be want to do anyway, your still basically just asking.. So we’ve graduated from begging to asking… Please, Please Please let me pull a leaf off a bush and smoke it.
      What if you were the boss, do you like to fire people, people like your Congressman, your state Senators. How about the next election we ask the Democrat and the Republican running for President what they think about Marijuana policy, respectfully let them answer. Then metaphorically grab em by the balls, give em a good twist, and ask again nicer. What does every would be President want for Halloween. 100000 votes in Ohio and 100000 votes in Florida. That’s all it takes. The last 4 elections were decided by less than 5% of the voters in those two states. Basically the crowd from two NFL games could make Sarah Palin President. You organize a strong voting bloc in those 2 states and you talk, the politicians listen. All of them.

    23. Ozlanthos says:

      I think Obama will leave it alone until people start making money on it, then he will call in the national guard and stomp it street by street! Or at least he will try.

      -Oz

    24. knowa says:

      Please sign the White House petition to let Marc Emery complete his sentence in Canada
      http://wh.gov/XXp9

    25. Joel: the other Joel says:

      I would like to see a market develop on electronic cigarettes using various types of cannabis resins.
      I still like the fresh smell of lighting a joint as an option.

    26. Dave says:

      Legalizing marijuana will reduce crime. It is the police’s mission to reduce crime. Prohibition causes crime. Police supporting prohibition are supporting criminal enterprise and endanger their own lives along with everyone else’s. It really is the police’s job to promote legalizing marijuana!

      But they have been trained to think like sociopaths; which is extremely detrimental to law and order. When police are no loner required to arrest innocence people, I’d even be interested in the job. But as things stand now, I cannot take a job that sometimes degrades our society by illegaly attacking people over plants. I hear these clowns/police complain about how people don’t respect them. Well, stop acting like you’re the enemy, using lame excuses to wage a war on you neighbors and you’ll get more respect. Can they really be that dense?

    27. Idontknowtaxes says:

      Can anyone tell me where is Eric Holder on all this. The best way to win this thing is to go after the pocketbooks of everyone. The cost of enforcement, of prisons, of lost tax revenue for schools, infrastructure, politician’s salaries(that should win it over right there!). I am in the tax governance side of things and again point out the gross value of this crop is possibly a top one or two crop producer in the U.S., #1 in California and in the top 1 to 3 in 33 states. The tax value of the legal sales of this product, versus the costs of prohibition are a huge selling point for non users and users alike. Spread the word and tell everyone to register and vote, dont just talk about it. Newer procedures like computer or mail in voting eliminate excuses to not vote. Legalization should have a two prong approach, to register the newer generation as they come of age and enlighten the general public nationwide. This is a great day, and a sad day for those I read about that go to jail for 6 months for a few seeds????

    28. Idontknowtaxes says:

      One more thing, write to your congressman, but use the info from NORML and look up your congressman and write to them, besides through NORML via email but also on hard copy, snail mail. They respond back to you via snail mail, although negatively they do get the message. Remember, more people voted in Colorado for MJ than for Obama. He knows it now, maybe that is why Holder is quiet, I know Obama was concerned about Colorado so he told the DEA to cool it election time, he did not want to piss off the youth voting bloc. Folks, votes count! They will listen to votes, they need them like cash, if they are voted out by a MJ supporter then they will become an MJ supported. I guarantee it!!!!!How can you tell when a politician is lying, when their lips move. They will say anything and do anything to stay in office. If it means having to support MJ because the majority supports MJ they will come on board!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    29. Craig wa says:

      I voted for jay inslee and prop 502. Glad I did. I moved up from Arizona five years ago to Washington state. I see why most of the people here voted for legalization of marijuana here. Good to see the people have the power to change the corrupt laws in this country. Just need the Feds to get off are backs then well have it done with.

    30. Idontknowtaxes says:

      Guess who has come out to play? All the prohibitionists. Like political media spin artists at their best. The article I just read about Minnesota putting down legalization was a classic. It quoted a University teacher as saying “heavy MJ users experienced a quarter percent GPA decline compared to non users” Ok, hazing and heavy alcohol only killed the non using kid, but the user of heavy MJ dropped his 3.5 GPA to 3.25! Hey, we should immediately imprison him, take away his financial aid, give him a record and make him unemployable. What else, bust down his door with a SWAT team in full gear, of course!!! NO, put him in prison with hardened criminals, hope he catches AIDS or is killed in prison. What else??? Readers Unite, immediately respond to any of the articles the prohibitionists are now spinning. Remember, the establishment will listen to one thing, a vote and a voice. All else they can spin and tune out, or veto or outvote IF they can.

    31. Trevelyan says:

      It is nice to see a governor support the people of their state. When Arizona passed their medical cannabis law Governor Jan Brewer kicked and screamed the entire time during its implementation.

    32. DamgeLives says:

      How many more lives need to be destroyed? how many more people abused and treated like criminals? Before we realize that this needs to be done. We need to do it for our children. If you honestly think that your children is not going to be exposed to pot, you are dreaming. Only if you or your own child gets destroyed by the money making machine will we pay attention? We all know what a crime is.

    33. I believe what you said was actually very reasonable.
      However, what about this? suppose you added a little content?
      I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, however suppose you added something to possibly get folk’s attention?
      I mean WA Governor Elect Inslee: Allow Legalization to Move Forward | NORML Blog, Marijuana Law Reform is kinda vanilla.
      You should glance at Yahoo’s front page and see how they write article headlines to get people to open the links. You might add a video or a pic or two to get people excited about what you’ve got to say.
      Just my opinion, it would bring your blog a little livelier.

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