Election 2012: Legalize marijuana? Forum planned at High Point

October 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

Though the election is just a month away – and voting by mail starts in just a few weeks – there have been few discussion forums in West Seattle, despite the prevalence of hot topics. Just got one announcement, though: A forum with presentations and Q/A regarding marijuana-legalization Initiative 502 is set for 5:30-7:30 pm October 18th at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW). On the pro-legalization side will be University of Washington professor emeritus and substance-abuse counselor Roger Roffman; on the anti-legalization side, Steve Freng, who works with the Northwest High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. All welcome.

22 Comments

  1. This is not a ‘legalization’ bill…and it’s especially not good for patients of medical marijuana.

    The press needs to stop saying it is legalization! Even ‘pot mamma’ Alison Holcomb (author of the bill) has changed her wording multiple times regarding the nature of this bill.

    I fully support legalization, but this is NOT the right approach, it’s not good for anyone.

    Comment by k2 — 5:25 pm October 4, 2012 #

  2. OK, what is it then, if setting up stores for the state to sell marijuana is not “legalizing”? Thanks!

    Comment by WSB — 5:26 pm October 4, 2012 #

  3. Those stores already exist, they are called collectives, or dispensaries…it does NOT change the fact that it is still illegal at the federal level, it is still a Schedule I drug, so it is NOT legal.

    No matter what this bill does or says, it will NOT change federal law.

    Comment by k2 — 5:40 pm October 4, 2012 #

  4. OK, that’s what you meant. No, state-run stores don’t exist, they’re private, I’m sure you know that. (And West Seattle just got another one this week.)

    Comment by WSB — 5:53 pm October 4, 2012 #

  5. State run or not, it is not legal ;). Its still illegal federally and will be until we gain momentum by having all states or at least a majority recognize it as medicinal.
    If its worth anything, the main legal council for Norml opposes 502 and repeatedly states this is not a legalization method. He was at the high times cannabis cup and affirmed his (and Norml’s) position.

    Comment by K2 — 6:21 pm October 4, 2012 #

  6. Thought I’d chime in since someone else was speaking out so vocally using my usual username (awkward…). While, of course a state initiative can’t change federal law, this could pave the way for other states to follow suit and act as a practical model for a federal plan that actually works. Additionally, it would be a step closer to putting the pushers and hustlers out of business, thereby keeping pot out of the hands of kids (who are seemingly always at the center of such debates), and keep otherwise contributing members of society out of jail, keeping families together and freeing up the criminal justice system. To naysay a bill that could achieve all that, while also increasing tax revenue, seems suspect of ulterior motives.

    Comment by The Real K2 — 6:32 pm October 4, 2012 #

  7. @WSB let me handle this, I will be as civil as possible.

    @ k2 your statements are false, misleading, and terrible hyperbole

    Voting for state legalization is a logical strategy for federal reform. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justiciability

    Your lying about it not being good for anyone. Eliminating state level arrests, and imprisonment is worth the effort. People shouldn’t be arrested, serve time and have records for simple possession by our own state employees if the people of the state disagree.

    Your spurious argument about patient access is counter to your initial mention of federal legality. Patient access is a red herring brought up by dispensaries who want to retain a relative monopoly under current law, its selfish, and immoral.

    You are correct that it will remain illegal at a federal level, however the initiative is a positive step to ending prohibition that will reduce overall arrests and save money from needless prosecution and imprisonment by Wa state of its citizens.

    Comment by vincent — 7:37 pm October 4, 2012 #

  8. Understandably, there are medical benefits to this drug. So, why cannot patients who need the drug not just get a doctors prescription which is filled at a pharmacy? Just like people do today for other controlled substances?

    It blows my mind that we come all this way to nearly eliminate cigarette smoking in public and then just replace it with something as bad or worse. Further, how many people are educated to the real possibility of reefing and driving? Is that not as dangerous as drinking and driving? How long does THC impart one persons driving versus another? Lots of unanswered questions.

    Legitimate perscribed medicinal use, absoloutely! People who just want to get stoned, unwise.

    Comment by Rumbles — 7:47 pm October 4, 2012 #

  9. I am voting to legalize. Too many people are in prison for minor drug related crimes. Our police and prisons are better used on violent offenders not pot smokers who end up with the munchies. If pot is legalized it will take the underground criminal element out of the equation which is a win for society. It is just like liquor during prohibition – change has to start somewhere – the vote may not legalize pot in the eyes of the feds but if enough states vote to legalize the feds just might listen. This is my opinion and others are entitled to theirs -

    Comment by David — 8:08 pm October 4, 2012 #

  10. Screw what the Feds say. This will be WA state’s act of “nullification”. The law is unjust, it ruins lives, and it has cost us billions of dollars all for the sake of trying to stop people putting drugs in their bodies. We can’t afford it any more and it’s having unintended consequences. Stop the madness. Legalize.

    Comment by vraxvalhalla — 8:54 pm October 4, 2012 #

  11. @k2 and everyone … Washington state and Colo will be test states on how legalization happens. I 502 will pass – its already polling above 50%. What happens after depends on how the Feds want to either handle it or let the states handle it. What passes as part of 502 won’t be the end result. In fact there has been some info already out here were the state won’t be issuing liscenses to sell til at least the end of 2013. Legalization is coming but its going to take some time to work it out. The benefits for WA itself are staggering if WA works it out via the extra revenue to the coffers.

    Comment by chris — 9:22 pm October 4, 2012 #

  12. Rumbles, as far as “reefed driving” goes. I don’t think there’ll be any more of it going on than there is already.

    Comment by Dick — 11:37 pm October 4, 2012 #

  13. American taxpayers are being forced to pay $40 Billion a year for a prohibition that causes 10,000 brutal murders & 800,000 needless arrests each year, but which doesn’t even stop CHILDREN getting marijuana.

    After seventy-five years of prohibition, it’s obvious that the federal marijuana prohibition causes FAR more harm than good and must END! Drug Dealers Don’t Card, Supermarkets Do.

    Comment by Jillian Galloway — 7:29 am October 5, 2012 #

  14. Let it be known and on the record that I am fervently pro-legalization. But not just of the cannabis bud itself but the entire hemp plant. Let me explain:

    I am a responsible pot smoker, however I am currently in Drug Court for misdemeanor cannabis possession (until February) and I can say that it is a ridiculous waste of my state’s (Florida) judicial responsibility and taxpayer money. Though I don’t live in the state, I support Washington State’s Initiative 502, which is on the ballot this November, and would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and over, with a grower-retailer system regulated by the state’s Liquor Control Board and taxed by the state government, with revenues earmarked for state programs from healthcare to substance abuse education and prevention. Projections indicate that revenues for the first full year would exceed $560million! Imagine that, on a NATIONAL scale. Here is a link to the text of the bill itself: http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/107078380

    I believe that legalizing the hemp plant as a whole would be hugely beneficial to the economy, since it would not only bolster the agricultural industry (oh and by the way, the US’s diverse climate regions allow for a variety of marijuana strains of varying potencies, just saying) but to the textile industry as well, making both clothes and paper. We need our leaders to recognize that their stigmas about marijuana are archaic and damaging to our nation’s economy AND people, and trust in the responsibility of the average adult.

    Oh and I did the math, if we take Washington’s projected first full year ($560m) revenue as a MINIMUM baseline and multiply that nationally, we’d be looking at at LEAST $28 BILLION.

    Comment by ProKush — 8:31 am October 5, 2012 #

  15. There are many drugs and medications that are controlled and distributed by trained pharmacists. If marijuana has unique medical benefits then the medical industry should control it. What are the benefits to society of legalization of drugs? Will criminal dealers suddenly become legit businessmen or will they begin selling a new product? What are the costs of currently legalized alcohol and cigarettes in terms of healthcare, police services to drunken violence, social services to families impacted by substance abuse?

    Comment by chris — 9:08 am October 5, 2012 #

  16. In an effort to lighten the mood, did anyone else find it ironic that the forum is being held at “High” Point?

    Comment by Trevor — 9:09 am October 5, 2012 #

  17. I am for legalization, don’t get me wrong.

    I fully understand the impacts of the ‘drug war’ and the resources that imprison people for minor marijuana crimes.

    I oppose prohibition, believe me I do. But as someone who has been a part of this industry in multiple states, this is not a good step forward…Again, I am for legalization, but a few counter arguments for “The Real K2″ and Vincent.

    1) Does alcohol legalization keep it out of kids hands? No, and this bill will do nothing to keep weed out of anyone’s hands, it will make it EASIER! thoughts to the contrary are delusional.

    2) Right now you have hundreds if not thousands of growers providing pot to dispensaries. What do you think will happen when they tax it at the manufacturer, and retail establishments? An ounce of pot will sky rocket to $500+. NOBODY in their right mind will pay that, and the state will NOT license 2000 growers, it is not feasible.

    This fact ALONE will keep the black market in check and make it persist DUE to this ‘legalization’ effort and PUT MORE PEOPLE IN JAIL due to increased law breakers.

    3) If the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) opposes this, how can ANYONE think it is going to help? People won’t even be able to drive to work if they smoked a joint on Friday night, due to the nanogram THC blood level limit!!!

    I want to change the law, I do. Do I have a plan, NO, i’m kind of like Romney in this way. But I am not making ‘spurious’ arguments…believe me I have been on the inside for quite a while, and this is NOT the answer!

    k2

    Comment by k2 — 9:16 am October 5, 2012 #

  18. I just want everyone on here to know the dui provision is setting a dangerous president and could end up placing many non impaired drivers in jail and ruining lives even more so than a posseion charge. the method that would be used is literally junk science cooked up by the drug testing industry. that is why the Colorado legislature voted down per se active THC at 8% this iniative has a per se at 5%. how would you like to get a dui when you are simply no impaired. I support legalization but this puts many people at risk especially medical patients. many whom would be scared to drive a vehicle if this passes

    Comment by Nick — 11:17 am October 5, 2012 #

  19. It’s a PLANT. Federal Mandated Studies have deemed it harmless to humans. In thousands of years there hasn’t been a death attributed to the PLANT. Initiative 502 will drive patients underground and will put the PLANT in a black market status again. Most patients grow their own PLANTS because they can’t afford to pay for it. ITS NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE FOLKS>>> I grow many herbs for health reasons. STATE AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES STAY OUT OF MY GARDEN >>> WHAT DOES THE STATE LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD ABOUT HORTICULTURE? OR THE ROTATION OF MMJ TO PREVENT THE BODY FROM BECOMING ACCUSTOM TO ANY ONE STRAIN.

    Come on! What has the FDA done for you lately…(Keyword: Exitotoxins) Where money is…you will find the true regulators…same goes for this initiative. Written into the proposal you will find that those established in the dispensary and growing for profit will be the only groups who will be able to benefit from the initiative. There are many out there that are against this initiative because it hurts the little guys the individuals. STAY OUT OF THE GARDENS. A SOLUTION IS NEEDED BUT THIS IS NOT IT! Government regulation and intervention is not needed. The state is already making $$$ from arresting people for MMJ. The only negative aspect of this PLANT is the reality created by poor education and a stereo typing that falls in the category of resentful prejudice.

    Comment by KingCoTHCFarmer — 12:24 pm October 5, 2012 #

  20. well said kingcothc farmer I could not agree with you more. also many of the propaganda about cannabis is coming from people who would be out of a job if it became legal so does anyone really think you would get real non bias facts from these people. I say eliminate the prohibitionists and drug warriors jobs and use that money to improve education. educated people are a better investment than prisons and paramilitary police. better educated kids also tend to not abuse drugs and will eventually improve communities they grow up in. the other option suck money out of education and other investments in society and ruin innocent peoples lives by continuing this harmful war on drugs. I-502 is definetly not a solution though it is too restrictive, creates per se dui that will jail even more people who are not intoxicated, and lastly the lady that is supporting is out for her own gain

    Comment by Nick — 12:57 pm October 5, 2012 #

  21. every one who is against the legalization of marijuana are stuburn and stupid its going to be sold anyways and you are not as affected by marijuana as you are as alchol and whether you like it or not it will probably be legalized anyway.

    Comment by anonymous — 9:27 am October 12, 2012 #

  22. I just wrote an essay on why marijuana should be legalized and I used I-502 as my main example … Please read, share and vote for “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Tax Revenue” by Manderstanding. Thanks!!

    http://writersarethenewrockstars.blogspot.com/2012/10/week-5-voting-starts-now.html

    Comment by Cinko — 11:04 am October 25, 2012 #

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