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Initiative Measure No. 502 (Marijuana – Supported)

I support Initiative Measure No. 502 concerning making marijuana more legal.  I hate the fact that the only real reason the measure is even on the ballot is because tax revenue will be generated off of it similar to liquor.  If it were a free resource, then it would not even be considered or presented to the people.  The state is only ok with certain initiatives if they are getting their “fair share”.  Same reason why prostitution will never be legal (unless it’s highly taxed and regulated).  That is another topic, obviously. Seattle’s poor leadership is always on the wrong side of history. They will support this measure as long as the tax revenue is collected.

As I do support the initiative, I also don’t like the 21 and over legal requirement.  If you can legally smoke at 18 now, then it should be the same with marijuana. There is no real argument around this age except it is a bargaining chip for lawmakers to get their tax money.

Another reason why I support the law is because we’ve spent billions of our tax dollars trying to fight it.  The courts are filled, lawyers are greedy, and it’s a bad situation overall.  Our city waste so much tax money on efforts that don’t matter. For the record, I don’t smoke.

I would have liked to have seen how this tax revenue would be spent.  I would feel better knowing it would all support the schools, education, and safety.  My fear, history, and experience tells me it will be another wasted revenue stream abused. If they started to collect millions and millions of dollars, Seattle will continue to claim poverty and force more taxes from the people.

I think supporting Initiative Measure No. 502 is a movement in the right direction.

What is Initiative Measure No. 502?

Initiative Measure No. 502 is not specific to Seattle but is a measure that was approved by voters statewide in Washington State in 2012. This initiative legalized the possession and private use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. Here is a summary of its provisions:

1. Legalization of Marijuana:

  • Adults 21 and over can legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused products, or 72 ounces of liquid marijuana-infused products.

2. Regulation and Licensing:

  • The initiative authorized the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (previously Washington State Liquor Control Board) to regulate and license marijuana producers, processors, and retailers.
  • It established a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors, and retail stores where adults could purchase marijuana.

3. Taxation:

  • I-502 imposed a 25% tax at each transaction level: producer to processor, processor to retailer, and retailer to customer.
  • Tax revenues were designated for specific purposes such as substance-abuse prevention, research, education, and healthcare.

4. DUI Standards:

  • The initiative established legal intoxication standards for driving under the influence of marijuana, similar to blood alcohol levels for alcohol.

5. Decriminalization and Law Enforcement:

  • The measure aimed to allow law enforcement to focus on other crimes by reducing the time and resources spent on enforcing marijuana-related offenses.
  • However, public use of marijuana remained a civil infraction.

6. Federal Law Consideration:

  • Despite the state law change, marijuana possession and distribution remained illegal under federal law. However, in practice, the enforcement of federal marijuana laws became a lower priority in states where marijuana had been legalized and regulated.

I-502 was significant as it represented a shift in drug policy and had considerable implications for criminal justice, public health, and the economy in Washington State. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington has also been part of a broader trend towards marijuana legalization in the United States.


Update: Voters approved I-502 legalizing marijuana in Washington State.

Initiative 502 was prevailing at 55 to 45 percent, garnering backing from over half of Washington’s counties, both rural and urban.

This voting outcome positioned Washington and Colorado to the left of the Netherlands regarding marijuana legislation, establishing them as the focal points of a novel societal experiment with unpredictable outcomes. Media from across the nation and around the globe observed as the vote totals were announced at I-502’s election-night celebration in Seattle, sparking waves of ecstatic cheers.

“I’m prepared to deliver my victory speech now. Post this, I can sit down and halt the trembling,” proclaimed Alison Holcomb, the campaign manager and main architect of I-502.

Having lived in the Pacific Northwest his entire life, Jeff understands and delivers a different perspective about politics. Even though many may disagree with his language and writing style, you can't debate his passion for the Seattle area and his committment to a better society.

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