Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes: “Legalize Marijuana”

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator February 18, 2011

    Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes

    Peter Holmes is the City Attorney for Seattle, Washington.  In this op-ed for the Seattle Times, Holmes makes good on his campaign promises to not prosecute user-level marijuana crimes and joins the growing chorus of current (Rep. Jared Polis) and former elected officials (Gov. Gary Johnson) calling for an end to adult marijuana prohibition.

    Marijuana is far more like alcohol than it is like hard drugs, and we should treat it as such. We address alcohol abuse primarily as a public-health issue, and we should do the same with marijuana abuse. Inebriation only becomes a crime for those who choose to get behind the wheel, whether the intoxicant is alcohol, prescription pain killers or cannabis.

    I support tightening laws against driving while stoned, preventing the sale of marijuana to minors, and ensuring that anything other than small-scale noncommercial marijuana production takes place in regulated agricultural facilities — and not residential basements.

    Ending marijuana prohibition and focusing on rational regulation and taxation is a pro-public safety, pro-public health, pro-limited government policy. I urge the state Legislature to move down this road.

    Even if marijuana remains illegal under federal law, it is still time for Washington state to act. As with alcohol prohibition, collective action by the states will help us end the federal marijuana prohibition and transition to a rational and functional system for regulating and taxing marijuana.

    Pete Holmes is serving his first term as Seattle city attorney.  Click here to read the entire op-ed.

    75 responses to “Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes: “Legalize Marijuana””

    1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amber Salinas, Ian Taylor, Thomas J Chong, Kevin Gray, NORML and others. NORML said: #NORML Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes: "Legalize Marijuana" http://tinyurl.com/4auhavz […]

    2. Jesse McDuffee says:

      Peter Holmes sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. I like the part where he added “I support tightening laws against driving while stoned, preventing the sale of marijuana to minors, and ensuring that anything other than small-scale noncommercial marijuana production takes place in regulated agricultural facilities — and not residential basements.” If there is any chance for legalization in Seattle, could it be here, now (sort of now), and by this guy? What he says is clear and to the point of how things should work when legalized. ANyway, this was a well worth it article on NORML, haven’t read something this cool on cannabis since Obama was elected…

    3. Anonymous says:

      Peter Holmes ,
      Thank You so much for jumping on board, We need your help in this ridiculous war! People like you will hel us repeal marijuana prohibition!!!!

    4. Brandon says:

      I never thought this day would come.

    5. YES4WEED says:

      I read about Maine last week now Washington NEXT THE WORLD!!! VOTE GREEN!

    6. ck31 says:

      Johnson 2012

    7. john says:

      mr. holmes im very pleased to hear youre commonsence aporoach to what cannabis laws in this country should b. keep up the good work and whare can we find more like you.

    8. bhonze says:

      You have to ask; Why are people so afraid of someone with a BUZZ??? Woo Scarry:O

    9. Smokey Joe says:

      I look forward to the day when we are no longer persecuted for being NORML human beings!

    10. Victoria says:

      I am a conservative, fifty-five-year-old Texas woman, and I have supported marijuana law reform and NORML for over thirty years. It is time for Republicans to realize that their constituency has changed. We are not our parents. We grew up during the sixties and seventies, and we know the facts about marijuana. We know that it is not the horrible, dangerous, addictive hard drug that they have been making it out to be for so many years.

      Decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana has so many benefits, and so few problems, associated with it that it’s hard to list them all.

      Speaking as a Texan, I want the Mexican drug cartels stopped, and the best, most effective way to do this is to legalize the weed from which they make the vast majority of their money. Think of it, millions of responsible adults smoke marijuana; compared to these, the number of hard-drug users is very small. Taking away the bread-and-butter of the cartels will weaken them in a way that law enforcement cannot hope to do.

      It is time for our law-enforcement resources (human and fiscal) to focus on solving violent crime and stop making their quotas (yes, they have them) on the backs of responsible adults who would never be criminals if the laws were fair and reflected the will of the people.

      Please write to your elected officials, state and federal, and urge them to get with the program. I have resolved to pull my vote from any politician who is not doing the will of the people as expressed in countless polls. In fact, I am in favor of a resolution on the part of the American people to “re-elect no one” if they refuse to be public SERVANTS as the founding fathers intended. We should find and support new people during the primaries of our chosen political parties if we are unhappy with the incumbent person, and demand that the will of the voters be done.

      [Paul Armentano responds: Thanks for your note and for your past NORML support. If you have not yet done so, please contact your state elected officials in support of House Bill 548, which amends Texas law so that the adult possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is reduced from a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine) to a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine and no criminal record. You can do so here: http://www.capwiz.com/norml2/issues/alert/?alertid=22059736.%5D