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Marijuana Legalization

Incarcerating Communities: Why Faith Leaders Are Speaking Out on the War on Drugs

On last Tuesday evening, community members gathered at Southside Commons in Seattle to hear leaders of faith discuss the problem of mass incarceration. The panel was comprised of SpearIt, an assistant law professor at St. Louis University, Pastor Carl Livingston, founder of Kingdom Christian Center, and Reverend Paul Benz, Co-Director of Faith Action Network.A recent forum in Seattle made some vital connections for people concerned about the enormous volume of people in our criminal justice system. Its topic: "Faith Communities and Mass Incarceration." Read More »
 
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Facing the Facts: The New Voices Not Afraid to Say “Legalize”

At Thursday’s joint Senate and House committee work session on the measure, four compelling witnesses testified in favor of this new approach. Substance abuse counselor and university professor, Roger Roffman. Retired public health director and former prison physician, Dr. Kim Thorburn. Former top U.S. prosecuting attorney for Western Washington John McKay. And retired high-ranking FBI official, Charles Mandigo. Read More »
 

Public Health Approaches Work: Teen Tobacco and Alcohol Use Falls

Teen marijuana usage rates have risen slightly in recent years, while tobacco and alcohol usage rates have declined. Alarmingly, 12th-graders across the nation and in Washington state are now more likely to have used marijuana in the past 30 days than to have smoked a cigarette. Read More »
 

Want to Stop Outdoor Grow Operations? Change Our Marijuana Laws

The Seattle Times cover story on marijuana grow operations on Native American land highlights the fact that lots of marijuana is being grown outdoors in Washington -- as this blog has pointed out previously. The problem of large outdoor marijuana grows is a prime example of why we should be taking a new approach to marijuana policy in our state. Read More »
 

States Must Take the Lead on Ending the War on Drugs

Although President Nixon gets credit for declaring the "war on drugs," it is really state officials who have been waging the war. In 2009, there were nearly 1.7 million arrests for drug crimes in the U.S., the vast majority of which were made by state law enforcement officers. And these arrests came under laws passed by state lawmakers. So the number of individuals in state prisons and jails for drug crimes far outnumbers those in federal prison, despite the fact that more than half of all federal prisoners are there for drug crimes.

Because state officials are serving as the front-line troops in the "war on drugs," efforts to reform drug laws should focus on the states. Read More »

 

Oly Update: Regulate & Tax Marijuana Bill Gets a Hearing; Sen. Committee to Vote on Medical Cannabis Bill

Tomorrow, the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hear testimony on HB 1550. This bill would regulate and tax marijuana for adults twenty-one and older. Marijuana production and sales would be regulated by the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

The Senate Committee on Health and Long-Term Care will vote on Monday afternoon, whether to advance SB 5073, the Medical Use of Cannabis Act. This legislation would provide qualifying patients protection from arrest for their medical use of cannabis, and give law enforcement a bright line with comprehensive regulation of the production and dispensation of medical cannabis. Read More »

 

Rep. Dickerson Introduces Bill to Regulate and Tax Marijuana

State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson has introduced legislation that would regulate and tax marijuana for adults twenty-one and older. HB 1550 directs the Washington State Liquor Control Board to regulate marijuana production and sales. Read More »
 

Marijuana Legalization

Position: support
Status: Had a hearing and work session in House, did not advance to a floor vote.
The bill would legalize and comprehensively regulate marijuana for adult use. Washington's marijuana laws are failing our communities. They waste scarce public safety resources. They unfairly burden individuals, their families, and especially communities of color with the harsh consequences of marijuana convictions. And they have not decreased marijuana use.  Read More »
 

Tell Olympia: It's time for responsible marijuana laws

It's time to start treating marijuana use as a public health issue instead of a crime. It's time to start regulating its use and sale. And it's time to start taxing it, so that we can collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues for our strapped government budgets.

Washington's marijuana laws are failing our communities. They waste scarce public safety resources. They have failed to decrease marijuana use. And they unfairly burden families, individuals, and especially communities of color with the harsh consequences of marijuana convictions. With responsible marijuana law reform, we could tax, control, and regulate marijuana -- a much more effective solution.

Tell your legislator to support marijuana law reform. Read More »