Washington State Marijuana Legalization Effort Coming Down To The Wire

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director June 23, 2010

    With a Herculean effort of volunteers, the best of intentions, no financial resources to draw upon, regionalism (i.e., citizens in western WA support cannabis law reform more than the eastern part of the state currently does) and terrible spring weather, well over 100,000 signatures have been gathered to place a ‘legalization’ ballot initiative before the voters this November.

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    The serious challenge in the next 5-7 days: Gather and verify 100,000 more signatures before the looming deadline at month’s end.

    Reformers in Washington State are seeking to join California with a legalization ballot this fall; medical cannabis-related ballot initiatives are happening in states such as Arizona, South Dakota and very possibly Oregon.

    While the challenge here is great to be sure, I’m heartened to learn that in a last minute push for signatures, the organizers at Sensible Washington have partnered with a popular alternative weekly, The Stranger, to distribute 80,000 signature forms in this week’s run of papers.

    Please, if you live in Washington, get a copy of The Stranger ASAP or download the necessary signature forms here, follow the basic instructions, get 5-10 or more of your like-minded friends, family and co-workers to sign the forms, and rush the forms back to the organizers for verification and submission before the deadline.

    The organizers are imploring supporters to get the forms back to them no later than June 28 if possible to avoid a crush before the July 1st filing date.

    If you live outside of Washington State, 1) please contact friends and loved ones and encourage them to do a little something for personal freedom and liberty before the end of the weekend and 2) make a financial donation in support of a genuinely grassroots efforts in Washington State to place it among the 3-4 other states this fall with pro-reform measures being placed directly before citizens for ‘up or down’ votes.

    Thanks for caring and sharing!

    Cannabem liberemus,

    Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director                                                                                NORML                                                                                                                          Washington, D.C.

    One Week Left, We Can Get This Done

    Written by Philip Dawdy,

    We’ve got one left in I-1068’s signature gathering campaign. In 1999, the all-volunteer I-695 campaign got 250,000 signatures in the campaign’s final two weeks. The people of this state were angry at high car taxes and an initiative that offered to replace onerous taxes with a flat $30 car tab was so appealing that in that campaign’s final weeks thousands of volunteers hit the streets to make sure the initiative got on the ballot. How’d they do that?

    “It’s not rocket science,” Tim Eyman once told me about making I-695’s final weeks successful.

    We just need to get as many people as possible in front of as many of their fellow citizens as possible. That’s all.

    With I-1068, I’m pretty sure we’ve got an issue that rings the public’s bells as hard as car taxes did in 1999. I-1068 offers marijuana legalization and subsequent re-regulation by the State Legislature instead of the continuance of onerous and wasteful criminal penalties for adult use, possession and cultivation. There’s plenty of polling at this point to suggest that the public embraces the concept. We’ve just got to get the signatures.

    Right now, we need to get about two-thirds of the 250,000 signatures I-695 got in 1999 to make sure I-1068 gets on the ballot. If they could do it in 1999, we can do it in 2010. We just have to stay on the job.

    And to do that we need you to continue collecting signatures and to help us find new volunteers. You should also take a look at this instant volunteer kit created by one of our Bellingham coordinators Matthew Scott.

    If you need copies of the initiative, you can contact your area coordinator. A list of coordinators statewide is here. We’ve got many thousands of copies of I-1068 available statewide. And you can always fill out our volunteer form right here.

    Please only have it reproduced on 11×17 paper, double-sided, black and white. You’ll need to go to a professional print shop to do it–sorry, but the rules in this state are so archaic–but you can handle most of that exchange via email with most shops. Or you can upload it to a website such as Fedex Office allows and place your order electronically and pick it soon after at one of their local outlets.

    You can keep on top of events we’re covering by keeping in touch with us on Facebook.

    So let’s get out there and get this done. We need every signed petition in the state sent our way each ASAP, no later than June 28 if possible. Our mailing address is on the petition.

    * * *

    80,000 Copies Of I-1068 Will Be In The Stranger June 23

    You read that right. Sensible Washington–thanks to our many supporters’ contributions–is paying to have I-1068 inserted into each copy of The Stranger’s 80,000 print run this Wednesday June 23rd. We’ll also have a full page ad explaining to people how they can sign the initiative, get their friends and family to sign it, and send it on into us by the end of June 28th.

    We’re doing this because the weather has been awful all spring (June is already at 200+ percent of normal precipitation for the month) and it’s been very difficult to intersect with the voting public in the Seattle Metro area to get their signatures on I-1068. So tell all your friends and neighbors to get a copy of this week’s Stranger and to get us a bunch of signatures and mail them in by the end of June 28th to the address on the petition.

    33 responses to “Washington State Marijuana Legalization Effort Coming Down To The Wire”

    1. JJ says:

      Can someone tell me if this kind of thing is possible to be done in the state of Missouri? I really need medical marijuana, would love to just have it recreationally availible, but I have 8 herniated discs in my back, 2 in my neck, carpel tunnel in both hands, both knees need more surgeries, and I have a great chance of having MS (genetics). And my doctor has told me recently, that if I piss positive for pot again, EVEN THOUGH ALL MY MEDS ARE IN SYSTEM, I will be fired from his office. Please help in the bible belt. I understand this is a slow process, but I am beginning to think I need to move to Boulder CO

    2. Derek TN says:

      Wow, this is exciting!!! Com’mon Washington!!! Lets have not one but two states make a bold statement against these unnecessary laws. Even if you dont live in Washington but know someone that does, contact them and get them to act. If two states do fully legalize marijuana and 3 others legalize medical, that sends a clear message to politicians that this is a political subject where the tide is shifting.

    3. anonymous says:

      You go boys .

    4. Paul says:

      Why weren’t you guys pushing this earlier?

      You really dropped the ball on this one. People I talk to have no idea and are amazed these measures are even out there. NORML at the national and state level has almost completely missed this chance to potentially have marijuana legalized on the entire West Coast. I don’t understand why these issues weren’t on the front page everyday. Isn’t that the entire purpose of your organization?

      What about Oregon? We also need 100,000 signatures and have more time to do it. Not even a mention!

      [Editor’s note: The organizers in Oregon only sought NORML’s help in the last few days…often, efforts to reform medical cannabis don’t seek the help of legalization groups in fear of tainting their efforts as ‘legalization’. Re Washington State, NORML was the only reform organization to endorse the initiative in February (MPP, ACLU, DPA, etc…did not), and the organization has been working on fundraising and sending alerts to hundreds of thousands of cannabis law reform supporters on behalf of Sensible Washington.

      One need not question NORML’s existence, but, one might wonder why the other groups exist if they, and the millions they have under endowment to readily draw upon, choose to not at all support a grassroots effort to legalize cannabis in WA.]

    5. k says:

      lets go washington! we can do this!

    6. […] a petition to get marijuana legalization on the November ballot. But the battle is far from over; they now need another 100,000 signatures before the end of June. But an ally has stepped in to help the cause. From Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML: […]

    7. Lea says:

      Legalization is the language I most want to hear and read about. The federal g’ment is still nipping at our heels and it needs to end.

      Washington state will be our new home come Sunday. We’ll be in the eastern portion too and I’d advise those who oppose Legalization to get out of my way. No more lies will be tolerated from the filthy lips of Prohibitionists. Just a shot across the bow for now but it’ll only be that one warning. (no physical harm will come to any person, place, or thing). What will come? The Truth, again and again and again.

    8. mickey says:

      Yes Washington! We can do it!

      I’m one of the volunteers in Washington. There’s a bunch of us working our tails off for I-1068, in addition to our full time jobs and in some cases, school.

      We want to free the people!

      If you live in WA, please help us out by picking up a copy of the Stranger. Its FREE from news stands everywhere up and down I-5. Instructions are included. :):):):)

      THANK YOU!!

    9. Anonymous says:

      If it doesnt include something about drug testing for work and driving under the influence it is just a big sick joke.

      Go ahead and smoke legal weed. Good luck ever getting a job or keeping out of drug classes. lol

    10. Bob Constantine says:

      Thank you to everybody trying to emancipate people.

      Isn’t it time we ended government ownership over our bodies and reclaimed our natural right of self ownership?

      When we own ourselves, respect others and harm nobody we are free. When another person or group of persons calling themselves government can dictate control over our bodies we are enslaved. The particular substance is irrelevant.