What happens on Capitol Hill if I-502 passes


drugs, originally uploaded by Matt Westervelt.

Washingtonians are already voting on Initiative 502, which, if passed, will move marijuana policy in State of Washington into uncharted territory.

The Initiative would allow adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of solid marijuana-infused products, or 72-ounces of liquid, but only if they are legally purchased through a state-licensed store. Non-medical marijuana cultivated or sold outside the state licensing regime would remain illegal. The Initiative would not change the legal status of Washington State’s medical marijuana system. Perhaps the Initiative’s most controversial provision is allowing for DUI prosecutions of drivers whose blood contains more than 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC metabolites. THC is a compound found in cannabis — it is to marijuana what alcohol is to Scotch.

I-502 also creates a framework for taxing legally-sold marijuana. The wording of the bill may be rather straightforward, but the implications of its passage are anything but. I-502 is without precedent anywhere in the United States. There is no “test-case” we can examine to predict the Initiative’s impact- we are the test-case. Depending on your perspective, that either makes us bold national leaders on an important moral issue, or guinea pigs poised to endure the awful side-effects of a poorly-constructed law.

Even if I-502 passes, law-abiding citizens may have to hold off on firing up that victory spliff.


Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be become legal once the law is in effect, but the only legal places to buy it will be from state-licensed stores, and those won’t spring up overnight. Despite possession being legalized, trafficking cannabis outside the state’s licensing system will remain illegal, as will its public use or display. Businesses that maintain zero tolerance policies will still be able to fire employees who test positive for marijuana use. Imbibers should also be aware of the Initiative’s strict DUI provisions, which some critics claim could saddle users with a serious criminal charge even after weeks of abstention.

Anyone hoping the initiative would allow them to make some exotic additions to the backyard vegetable garden will also be disappointed: I-502 contains no provision whatsoever for would-be home growers. One local grower, who is critical of the Initiative, described it as a “government takeover,” claiming marijuana reform is “not legalization” until the plant can be freely cultivated. 

Whatever Washington voters decide, marijuana will remain a banned Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Federal drug enforcement has been unequivocal in opposition to any legalization efforts, and will likely sue the State of Washington to prevent implementation of the law. Whatever the courts decide, a lawsuit would likely leave many or even all provisions of I-502 blocked by injunction for the foreseeable future. Some have worried the Initiative’s passage could provoke a federal crackdown on marijuana in Washington. Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who supports the law, concedes the feds won’t be happy if voters approve I-502, but believes they’ll ultimately back down, although other legal experts disagree.

Support for the Initiative among Seattle’s marijuana “industry” is tepid at best. Some feel I-502 was crafted to win over swing voters, and doesn’t reflect the practical reality of marijuana consumption in the State. Participants in both the quasi-legal medical community and the illegal black market have voiced concerns the Initiative will make their lives harder and expose them to legal trouble from federal authorities. Many users are particularly critical of the DUI provisions. The proposed legal limit of 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC metabolites is unscientific, and dangerously low according to critics, who claim it will render even casual smokers at perpetual risk of a charge. For many in this community, legal trouble comes from federal, rather than state employees, and they don’t see changes to state law as an effective way to shield their businesses from prosecution. As one former dispensary proprietor put it, “until marijuana is rescheduled, we’re just blowing smoke.”

Flaws and all, some patients and providers do support the Initiative, “I’m worried about medical marijuana patients being seen only as folks with minor inconveniences trying to claim a privileged access to marijuana,” said one local patient. Supporters point out that marijuana reform that doesn’t make concessions to the concerns of moderate voters doesn’t stand a chance of passing, and that despite the Initiative’s drawbacks, proponents of legalization have a moral duty to stop arrests and incarcerations stemming from prohibition.

Recent polling puts support for I-502 at 57%, with 34% opposed and 9% undecided. Even if that lead holds, don’t expect to wake up on November 7th to a city that smells like the bleachers at Cal Anderson on a warm summer day.

UPDATE — Wednesday, November 7, 2012: With I-502 cruising to victory, here’s what the Washington Liquor Control Board — the body charged with regulating and operating the state stores that will sell the drug — says:

Liquor Board statementLiquor Board fact sheet

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48 thoughts on “What happens on Capitol Hill if I-502 passes

  1. is to vote NO. Somebody at the State saw dollar signs, but gave NO thought to what passing this law would mean. While this law theoretically provide tax revenue for anything grown with a state blessing, there’s hefty fees with getting that blessing that most dispensaries can’t afford. Bye bye presently legal dispensary. There’s also hefty fees on anybody who wants to sell the paraphernalia to use MJ. Bye bye corner store with water pipes.

    5 nanograms is ridiculously low. Most folks I know who are regular users would test much higher. In effect, most users of medical MJ would end up nailed for DUI.

    We need to vote NO on this one and pressure our representation in DC on both sides of the aisle to reschedule MJ so it can be prescribed by a physician. That way you can derive the benefits, get the product LEGALLY and not get fired from your job for it.

  2. “…there’s hefty fees with getting that blessing that most dispensaries can’t afford.”

    The taxes and fees do not apply to the collective gardens or dispensaries or to the 15 plants that medical cannabis users are permitted to grow. I-502 does not change the state’s medical cannabis law. They are separate laws. Paraphernalia is legalized under I-502. It does not put any head shops out of business. This gives the dispensaries a tremendous economic advantage over the privately owned shops provided under I-502. None of the regulations of I-502 apply to medical dispensaries.

    A blood draw cannot be taken from a driver until all three of the following conditions have been met: (1) probable cause for an arrest, (2) reasonable belief of driving while impaired (typically established through field sobriety tests), and (3) reasonable belief the impairment is caused specifically by drugs, and not alcohol.

    While rescheduling might appear to be a god idea, it will never result in the prescribing of raw, botanical cannabis.

    It will allow for research and the pharmaceuticalization of cannabis and the development of cannabis based FDA approved medicines such as Sativex. As the government makes a botanically based pharmaceutical available, it will be followed by a complete ban on the growing of medical cannabis as is permitted now under some state medical cannabis laws, including ours.

    Currently medical cannabis is used as a natural, raw herb used medicinally–a “home remedy.” To keep it that way requires descheduling, removing cannabis from the schedule completely.

    I-502 has been endorsed by the major marijuana law reform groups in the country, including the Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, SAFER, Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU, and NORML. And I-502 has received 150 formal endorsements by church and civic leaders, lawyers and law officers, politicians and legislators, and organizations such as the NAACP, the Children’s Alliance, labor unions, political organizations, and most every major newspaper in the state.

    The biggest opponents are the dispensaries which privately owned, unregulated, illegal under both state and federal law. Dispensaries sell marijuana for $4000+ per pound, cash, and untaxed. Growers of medical cannabis pay no taxes and many growers sell to the dispensaries and a significant amount makes it to the black market.

    Vote Yes. It will send a message to congress that will put pressure to reform our nation’s marijuana laws.

  3. Let’s see…I don’t smoke so I don’t have to worry about any new regulations and the state gets some much needed tax revenue. Sounds like a win-win for me.

  4. “Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana will be become legal once the law is in effect, but the only legal places to buy it will be from state-licensed stores, and those won’t spring up overnight.”

    This is not technically correct. It will be illegal for anyone to SELL outside of the state regulated system, but purchasing marijuana will be legal regardless of the source. Read the bottom of page 26 of the initiative: http://www.newapproachwa.org/sites/newapproachwa.org/files/I

    “Purchasing” marijuana has never been illegal. Only possession, cultivation, and delivery. I-502 fully legalizes possession of small amounts of marijuanam and sets up a legal framework for cultivation and delivery. 30 days after I-502 passes, purchasing and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, a pound of solids, and 72 ounces of liquids becomes legal. The system for cultivation and sale will take time to implement.

  5. “This is not technically correct. It will be illegal for anyone to SELL outside of the state regulated system, but purchasing marijuana will be legal regardless of the source.”

    One quick clarification. This does not apply to collective gardens or anyone operating under the medical marijuana law. I-502 does not touch the medical marijuana law in any way.

  6. To echo Skeptic:

    On December 6, 2012 (thirty days after passage), it will no longer be a crime, and there will be no fine or other civil penalty, for adults 21 and over to possess marijuana in the state of Washington. There will be no requirement to prove that the marijuana was obtained from a licensed retailer. Possession by adults will be entirely legal.

    This will end 9,000-10,000 arrests for misdemeanor marijuana possession that are happening every year in this state, and it will finally give medical marijuana patients protection from arrest without having to produce an authorization or join a state registry.

    The relevant provision is Section 20.

    Alison Holcomb
    Campaign Director
    New Approach Washington
    Yes on I-502

  7. There seems to be some disagreement here regarding where pot can be legally purchased under this legislation. If it is only at state-licensed stores, that would drive business to those stores and away from the black market, but would a person have to carry “proof of purchase” with them in case they are stopped by police? If it could be bought anywhere, including the street (?), then the black market would continue to fluorish, especially if it undercuts the prices at the state-licensed stores….and of course there would then be far less in taxes collected.

    There are too many unknowns and risks in this initiative. I’m voting no.

    In my opinion, instead of legalization the focus should be on getting the feds to move marijuana from “schedule 1” to a schedule which would allow dispensing in pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription, just like any other medication….but only after it is proven in scientific studies to be safe and effective. So far, evidence for efficacy is almost entirely anecdotal.

  8. “It will allow for research and the pharmaceuticalization of cannabis and the development of cannabis based FDA approved medicines such as Sativex. As the government makes a botanically based pharmaceutical available, it will be followed by a complete ban on the growing of medical cannabis as is permitted now under some state medical cannabis laws, including ours.”

    Right there is the nail in the coffin for me. I was planning a “NO” vote already, but the mere fact that by your own admission the supporters of this law want to put the medical marijuana community out of business is the final straw. Forcing people to buy from Big Pharma makes life worse, not better. These people are responsible for much of the medical crisis we presently have.

    Anybody can see this law was crafted by Stoners and is endorsed by people from the criminal justice system who are tired of the court system being bogged down by pot cases. Fine, just admit that.

    I love a good toke as much as the next guy, but this is going to things worse, not better.

  9. Alison you’re wrong on a couple things.

    You WILL have to provide proof WHERE you purchased your product just as you have to have something on you now if you have MMJ. If that were not the case, there would be no need to buy from a state licensed store and the state would get NO revenue.

    There IS no real “state registry” Each legitimate provider has a database with names and the fact they verified your doctor’s letter is on the appropriate paper and that it’s real and the doctor and the like is real. If there were a state registry, the Fed would just raid an office in Olympia and start knocking on the doors of every user across the state.

    State Licensed sounds great in theory, but you are NOT going to be buying weed at the local Safeway or QFC.

    This law WILL send things further under ground. A big NO from a casual user.

  10. I’m with you Calhoun to a point. we DEFINITELY need MJ moved to the appropriate schedule so it can be prescribed by a physician.

    I don’t agree that it should be “instead” of legalization. I just think folks are doing things in the wrong order.

    I guarantee, if Romney and/or McKenna manage to manipulate their way into power, things will get WORSE with I-502 in place, not better.

    I think we can do better than 502

  11. The legislation is very clear. Possession is legal under I-502 regardless of the source. There is no need whatsoever for a receipt or proof of purchase, because buying marijuana is not illegal. Anyone who says otherwise does not know how to read a bill, doesn’t understand it or current law, or is lying.

    Any concern troll can raise an objection. It doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. I-502 will undercut the black market by providing a legal outlet for marijuana purchasing, making selling on the street less profitable and not worth the risk. States taking the lead and legalizing is what is going to push the federal government to make a change. Otherwise we can just sit around and get old while we wait for the feds to reschedule marijuana, which by the way, does not guarantee that arrests will stop for recreational use, or that patients will be able to get it in bud form. If the feds reschedule, we could end up with marijuana as a pharmaceutical product only in pill form.

  12. The black market will have no problem operating around this new legislation if it passes. So we would have 3 (count em, 3!!!!) systems of marijuana distribution in this state: black market dealers/buyers, medical marijuana dealers/buyers, and state distribution stores/consumers. Why thee F&CK is that necessary??? We just shut down the state liquor stores and now we want to create a brand new system of state run distribution centers for marijuana. Crazy talk.

  13. @nicetryalison

    You are just wrong. There is nothing in I-502 that calls for this whatsoever. You also misinterpreted what Alison said. She wasn’t claiming that there is a registry currently in place. She was saying that no one will have to put their name on any list to have arrest protection under I-502. Under the medical marijuana law, patients have no arrest protection unless they are part of a DOH registry. As you point out, there is no DOH registry, and thus, no patient currently has arrest protection. It’s amazing how silly the arguments from the opposition are, and rather tragic that they come from people who claim to support legalization.

  14. @ThisTokerSaysNo

    Jesus Christ you people need to read more carefully. NotSpicoli was saying that rescheduling would allow for the pharmeceuticalization of marijuana, not I-502. No one who supports I-502 wants big pharma to take over marijuana production and sale. He was saying this may be a consequence of NOT supporting I-502.

  15. EXACTLY, ap. It’s absolute stupidity to put the State INTO a business when we just took them OUT of one they had no legitimate reason to “own”

    Skeptic: If you don’t have to provide proof of purchase, then there’s NO need to shop a state store and no tax revenue for the state.

  16. did I read that correctly? scroll to the bottom of the article in this link and check out the tables. According to those tables 15 nanograms is still detectable in the bloodstream and where from 8 hours to 5 days depending on the strength of the product used.

    http://www.sterlingreflabs.com/understandthc.html

    if the 5 nanogram rule is true, that’d pretty much mean ANYtime a regular user was in an accident, a demand could come for a urine and/or blood test and they’d get nailed with a DUI charge.

    is it 5 as the story here states or is it really 50?

  17. The only folks against I502 are dispensary owners who have whipped up their clients with fear tactics over DWIs. THINK – WHO WILL BUY AN AUTHORIZATION WHEN YOU CAN WALK DOWN THE STREET AND BUY THE STUFF AT A STATE STORE?? no one. Now you understand the issue…
    West Coast Wellness understands, he’s closing as we speak – taking his huge profits into retirement out – check the Well Coats Wellness Facebook page!

  18. Tom–that article talks about the major metabolite of THC, measured in urine. The per se limit is for THC itself, in blood. You’re looking at something *completely different*. Without delving into a lecture on pharmacokinetics: different chemical, different body fluid.

    All the peer-reviewed, published literature I can find on the subject (and I’m a pharmacologist, PhD and everything, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking into this) indicates that 5 ng/ml in whole blood is actually a pretty reasonable cutoff. Higher levels than that are only seen within a few hours of smoking in almost every person they look at.

  19. @ Tom and AP. Read the bill. The State will not be in the business any more than it is currently in the liqour business. The liquor control board is able to establish regulations for marijuana, just as it can for booze. The State will not own any grow rooms, distribution, or stores. The liquor control board will offer licenses to private citizens to start grows and open stores. This is no different that have to pay for a business license for your corner convenience store.

    Also, for those that think it isn’t “legalization” until you are allowed to openly grow your own, this is no different than liquor. It is currently illegal to set up a still without proper licensing. Same scenario.

    Vote yes!

  20. There won’t be “State stores.” Private individuals, including those currently owning dispensaries, can obtain a license to run their own stores. Any currently operating dispensary should be able to get a license and sell to anyone over 21. Read the bill and vote yes.

    I think the real opposition from dispensary owners is due to the fact that they are too stoned to read the bill.

  21. There is no science to prove this 5 nanogram/DUI complaint that some of these trolls are trying to levy. I bet not a single one could post a link here proving that we’d all get DUIs with the 5 nanogram limit.

    VOTE YES.

  22. I suspect that many of the concern trolls commenting here are just parroting talking points from the anti-502 organizations without having actually read the text of the initiative itself.

    If you want to have a debate about the consequences of a new initiative, start by ACTUALLY READING IT.

    I was on the fence. I read the initiative. Now this scientist is emphatically voting YES.

  23. American politics are cursed with a permanent frame of “chose one of two options, now and forever”.

    Pass I-502, then in two more years pass “I-503” and improve the law.

    MMJ is a farce for most patients, but it was a useful step towards total legalization. I believe I-502 is a similar step and while imperfect it WILL advance the cause of truly legalizing marijuana by demonstrating what Amsterdam has know for 40 years: pot is safe to civil society.

    The threat of federal prosecution will persist, but I-502 can be another data point in favor of full legalization for all adults.

    lifeguard

    PS — nice balanced article Everett!

  24. you say that no one has read the initiative . or doesn’t know how to read it… but you consistently don’t provide any concrete evidence to support your stance either. lets have an honest moment here and stop getting all internetibly angry.
    trolls aren’t real they are mythological creatures. what are real are the concerns people have at some of the aspects buried in this initiative and hidden by the ideology of a glossy pot friendly washington. it will cost about $250 to apply for the license to grow for state run stores and then $1000 a year to keep that license. You can find this under the Effect of the Proposed Measure, if Approved section of the voter booklet 502 initiative. those growers will be taxed 25% of their revenue. um what? other agriculture does not have taxes like that put on the farmer. then we have under License Revenue Assumptions, that “100 marijuana producers and 55 marijuana processors (half of the marijuana producers processing their own product and five additional processors) are assumed.” no more then this. who do you think will be able to afford the permit and taxes? not any grassroots farm looking to get involved.
    i also saw nothing EITHER WAY about how or if the marijuana bought will be addressed by the authorities. if i had concrete evidence that there would not be prosecution for buying from non state run sources i might feel differently. but it is simply unaddressed. ambiguous space.
    we need a step forward in marijuana legalization. no doubt. but this is some wacky ass waltz dancing around the issues but staying the same shitty ballroom we’ve been in for years. i have patience and i’m willing to wait. i am especially willing to wait to see who gets elected this fall so we can know better how this initiative will be received federally. another time. another initiative.

  25. you say that no one has read the initiative. or doesn’t know how to read it… but you consistently don’t provide any concrete evidence to support your stance either. lets have an honest moment here and stop getting all internetibly angry.
    trolls aren’t real they are mythological creatures. what are real are the concerns people have at some of the aspects buried in this initiative and hidden by the ideology of a glossy pot friendly washington. it will cost about $250 to apply for the license to grow for state run stores and then $1000 a year to keep that license. You can find this under the Effect of the Proposed Measure, if Approved section of the voter booklet 502 initiative. those growers will be taxed 25% of their revenue. um what? other agriculture does not have taxes like that put on the farmer. then we have under License Revenue Assumptions, that “100 marijuana producers and 55 marijuana processors (half of the marijuana producers processing their own product and five additional processors) are assumed.” no more then this. who do you think will be able to afford the permit and taxes? not any grassroots farm looking to get involved.
    i also saw nothing EITHER WAY about how or if the marijuana bought will be addressed by the authorities. if i had concrete evidence that there would not be prosecution for buying from non state run sources i might feel differently. but it is simply unaddressed. ambiguous space.
    we need a step forward in marijuana legalization. no doubt. but this is some wacky ass waltz dancing around the issues but staying in the same shitty ballroom we’ve been in… for years. i have patience and i’m willing to wait. i am especially willing to wait to see who gets elected this fall so we can know better how this initiative will be received federally. another time. another initiative.

  26. @details

    Thank you for bringing concrete facts in, it helps the discussion. But, there are a couple clarifying points that need to be made:

    1 – There is no limit on the number of growers or processors that can be licensed under the proposed regulations. The number of growers and processors assumed in the voter guide is an assumption for the purposes of predicting tax revenue. The voter guide precedes its assumption with: “We lack sufficient data to estimate the number of marijuana producers and marijuana processers who will apply for a license. Therefore, for purposes of this estimate . . .” HOWEVER, the liqour control board can limit the number of retail stores in each county, but any limit imposed must be sufficient to actually discourage black market purchases.

    2- The fact that the initiative does not address purchasing means that purchasing is not regulated. There is absolutely no basis for law enforcement to arrest someone who purchases outside of the regulated system. RCW 69.14.4013 is the statute that makes it a crime to possess a controlled substance. The iniative revises the statute to include a provision that states: “The possession … of usable marijuana … in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in 15(3)is not a violation … of law.” In other words, it is not illegal to possess amounts of marijuana equal to the amounts that can be sold to an individual at a store, but there is no requirement that it must have been purchased at a store to be legal. HOWEVER, selling without a license would be a crime in the same manner it is today.

    Initiative: http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/i502.pdf
    Voter’s Guide: https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/press_and_research/Pre

    VOTE YES!

  27. it will cost about $250 to apply for the license to grow for state run stores and then $1000 a year to keep that license….growers will be taxed 25% of their revenue. um what? other agriculture does not have taxes like that put on the farmer.

    The proper point of comparison here isn’t agriculture, it’s alcohol. Sure, pot is pretty benign, but it is still a mind-altering, controlled substance. You have to have a state license to distil alcohol, too. You have to pay for that license. And you have to pay (considerable) taxes.

    Legalization without significant regulation IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. And that sort of thing comes with a price tag, so it is only right that revenue streams be attached.

    Vote YES on I-502.

  28. While your blood can maintain active levels of THC for 48 hours they only amount to (in the average, long-term user, using 2.0 grams or more per day) on average 2 nano-grams of active THC. Furthermore once the 5 nano-gram level has been reached the blood and tissue cannot maintain that level for more then 6 hours and tend to decrease rapidly after 2-3 hours.

  29. Really how much beer wine and liquor have you purchased from a bootlegger lately.No one is coming after you now for growing a few plants for your own use. Home growing like home brewing may become legal.I can see the law evolving in many ways as time goes by, for now its a good start.

  30. I HAVE read it. Until such a time as you include a protection fo people who have a legitimate need and drop the BS of the 5 nanogram =DUI thing, anybody would be a fool to vote “yes”

    Does ANYbody get the fact that 5 nanograms is a DUI? people who use daily WILL test higher than that.

    Add a protection for people using medical MJ and up the DUI thing and I’d go from no to HELL yeah…

    Based on the response my questions got earlier and the folks all loud and abusive and calling folks trolls and such, just solidifies the fact the initiative was written of the stoner, by the stoner and for the stoner. In reality, the average stoner will still get more product from the “black market” just like they do now.

    This law will do nothing. The amount of revenue for the state isn’t worth such a sucky law.

  31. NotSpicili: Your comments regarding the possible rescheduling of marijuana by the FDA are pure conjecture. If this is ever done, and that’s far from certain, it will at least allow more extensive medical studies to determine if the drug is efective for certain conditions, or not. Where it is now (Schedule 1), studies can be done but only with great difficulty.

    If and when marijuana is proven safe and effective, then it should be sold only in pharmacies, just like any other prescription medicine, perhaps even in its raw, botanical form. Why should it be different than any other medicinal treatment for medical conditions?

    Your concern that, if the above process actually happens, then the government will ban the growing and sale of raw marijuana. Well, hello!, this is already the case….and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. As others have said, if I-502 passes, the feds will surely block it from being implemented.

  32. Several commenters have mentioned that it is now not illegal to BUY marijuana, but only to “possess” it. Isn’t this a false dichotomy? The instant you buy it, you then possess it.

  33. The point that it is not illegal to purchase marijuana is being made in response to those that think it will become a crime for someone to purchase marijuana outside of the regulated system. It won’t be. Smokers will not be punished regardless of where they purchase, but sellers will if not licensed.

  34. Exactly. Some of the criticisms of I-502 are valid, but none of them are dealbreakers and all of them can be fixed once we see how the law works in practice. I-502 is another small forward step on a very long road. Vote yes.

  35. In some states, a liquor bottle has a tax seal over the cap, running down the neck of the bottle. In some states marijuana tax stamps are already in place, and I would suggest — this system will find its way into the Washington program.

    When you pay the 25% mark-up, you are in fact paying for the right to have the tax stamp. If you cant produce the official tax stamp, your weed will be illegal, with the exception of medical marijuana.

    The sad portion of this entire scam, is the fact of the Federal Government not allowing for any of this BS.

    Due to this known and proven fact, you are actually voting for Marijuana DUI. The entire voter law will be thrown out, with exception to the DUI portion.

    You are a fool to believe the government has any plan to have you buying weed in some store, that you dream of each day at 4:20. Its a game about getting you under control, and the state is going to ruin your life, and if you think government is about your happiness, you are sadly mistaken.

    Mark my words dreamers, they are going to suspend every point of the law excpet the DUI portion. Why do you think people that you thought would never get behind this law, are behind this law?

    This is not the way to legalize anything.

  36. Someone wrote, “If you cant produce the official tax stamp, your weed will be illegal, with the exception of medical marijuana.”

    That is inaccurate. “Your weed” was never illegal. In Washington, the act of possessing it was, is, and will be until December 6, 2012.

    Things are not unlawful; actions are. Plants do not violate laws; people do. Production, distribution, and possession of cannabis is now unlawful. In four weeks, possession of up to one ounce of dried cannabis flowers will be lawful for people at least 21 years of age in Washington, and the circumstances under which it was grown and distributed will have no bearing on the legality of that possession.

  37. A substance should not have to be proved safe or effective to be legal. Cannabis is a plant, given to us by our creator. We, (according to the DOI) are made in the image of that creator.
    Therefore, who are “we the people” to tell you the person that we are protecting you from yourself?
    This is just as bad as the seatbelt law that was lobbied by insurance companies.
    I can sell paint thinner, draino, bleach, even nutmeg can be deadly, and can get you high.
    It is completely legal to go skiing or snowboarding in WA which injures and kills countless people.
    The people have been brainwashed into thinking we need “owners”.
    Natural law is very clear in this area, going all the way back to the magna carta, in that, I can violate my own property or body all I want, but cannot violate your property or body in any way.
    All victimless “crimes” should be legal….why? because nobody owns you.