An initiative to legalize and tax marijuana in Washington State was buoyed this weekend by $1.25 million in new donations, allowing the campaign to place a big TV ad buy for August. Initiative 502, the first marijuana-legalization initiative to make the state ballot, raised the money from just four donors.
I-502, on the November ballot, would legalize possession and sale of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. It would impose a steep excise tax on marijuana and cannabis-infused products at new state-licensed marijuana stores, and would allow state-regulated grow farms. The tax-and-regulate approach to marijuana legalization has drawn strong support from longtime drug-reform advocates. But not everyone on the pro-pot side is happy.
Several prominent marijuana-legalization advocates and some in the medical-marijuana industry object to a proposed new limit on active THC in the bloodstream, arguing it would effectively criminalize driving by medical-marijuana patients. Philip Dawdy, who previously ran a campaign to decriminalize marijuana, said he was helping organize opposition to I-502. A new group, Safe Access Alliance, would file with state campaign regulators this week, and will be fundraising soon, he said. The excise taxes imposed by I-502 would dramatically increase costs on patients, said Dawdy.
“I-502 made a serious miscalculation,” said Dawdy. “They calculated that getting the votes of soccer moms were more important than medical-marijuana patients.”
A new statewide poll, paid for by KING 5, finds 55 percent support for I-502 versus 32 percent opposition. Previous polls found firmer opposition, but a spokesperson said attitudes change when voters understand I-502’s safeguards, including a ban on marijuana sales to people under 21. “People are getting more comfortable when they take a closer look,” she said.
Now you have to love this. We’re not even re-legal [yet] and here we are having a family fight — in public — over the new by-laws. You can’t have a fight over by-laws until you are legal, so, I think, maybe, we are getting there? What do you think? And, if anyone cares, the set nano-limit for driving is a bad, bad idea. But the arbitrary test makes the established powers happy. The powers that be want a test like the breathalyzer. A test, especially a sciencey test that makes thinking unnecessary and you guilty. There is no need for such a thing for pot; to test for impairment there is nothing quite as effective as a roadside sobriety test. So tell me why you need to test anywhere else?
For regular pot users the arbitrary nano-limit test is a time bomb. You may have to give blood after an accident, maybe to a cop or maybe in an ER. Poor you, you have THC waste products in your system. You may be guilty of a DUI even if you are not impaired from THC at the time of the accident. HMJ has covered this before and you can find that story here.
Original source material is here.
[images: Google images Washington State]
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