WSB Forum » Politics

(56 posts)

I-502: A Discussion for Rational Human Beings

  1. But just how will we know if we're being rational?

    Surely if we're not rational then God will punish us.

    On the other hand, if we are rational, then what do we need God for?


    Well, for now let's set aside these matters and just try to be a little nicer to each other, shall we?

    Or else.


    Now I'm going to make another prediction. Remember: You heard it here first.

    Even though I voted for I-502, I predict it will go down.

    As I was reading the text, I thought it just seemed too complicated to work, and I think most voters will look at it the same way. It's telling that even many people who are for legalization are against this. They claim that it will raise new enforcement issues that didn't even exist before. Whether these claims are justified or not, I suspect they will be persuasive to voters.

    Beyond that, I-502 seems like a big tweak of the nose to the federal government. This is the same government, mind, that's been busily cracking down on medical marijuana establishments, here and in California. So if that's what the Feds are doing to medical marijuana, just imagine what they'd do to "legal" non-medical outfits.

    In weighing the relatively uncertain benefits of legalization against the relatively certain costs of it, I suspect that most voters will go: Eh? Nah.

    How hard is pot to get now, anyway?
    Not that much harder than birth control I bet.
    And in some places, easier.

    From the 12/29/11 issue of the Seattle Times:

    A man on a downtown Seattle sidewalk, yelling that he had OxyContin for sale for $2, asked a woman if he could feel the texture on her pants, and she said sure. They were standing on the east side of Third Avenue between Pike and Pine streets Tuesday.

    mmm . . Think I know that guy. Owes me some $$$ as a matter of fact.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  2. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Think globally, shop locally.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  3. Legalize it, tax it, treat it just like alcohol. There is no sane reason not to do that.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  4. anonyme
    Member Profile

    I'm with Dobro. From what I've read, there are actually some specific guidelines in place this time (unlike the MMJ debacle) like established tests and blood levels for DWH. My only concern is more widespread use in public places, which is already an issue in parks, for example.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  5. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Why? Why tax it? It's a weed. Is this the new trend, we get to "buy" our freedoms from government? If it moves, glitters, breathes, or people want it .. it must be taxed! If the state gets involved, they will price fix just like they do alcohol. The state will overprice a free, natural pain relief therapy. Boo hisss.... Support your local suppliers.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  6. maplesyrup
    Member Profile


    anonyme, public consumption won't be allowed under 502.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  7. anonyme
    Member Profile

    Maple, good to know it won't be allowed, but how will it be enforced? It's illegal now, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. I can't imagine that police will crack down on public use once pot is legal, if they don't do so now. Just wondering, is all.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  8. The details seem to just be in there to make it seem serious. The reality of the final statute will depend on the WA legislature and ultimately how long it will take the current wingnut packed supreme court to die. I don't expect it to be actually "legal" in my lifetime since there are too many people fully involved in and dependent on the "pipeline to disenfranchisement" the laws current prohibition was originally put in place for. In 1936 it was almost entirely non whites that used it.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  9. maplesyrup
    Member Profile


    Well anonyme, I imagine it'll be enforced just like public liquor laws or whatever else the cops choose to enforce. I'm kind of surprised to hear that you see a lot of public consumption now though. (Maybe I need to hang out where you hang out.)

    I do think the police will be keen to enforce the enforceable aspects of the law though, given the way it will likely put us under the feds' microscope.

    And while I'm totally in favor of the initiative even though I don't consume marijuana, I have to admit that you raise an interesting question as to how this law would mesh with the Seattle law that dictates marijuana to be the lowest priority for law enforcement.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  10. Everyone still being rational here?


    Posted 3 years ago #         
  11. 365Stairs
    Member Profile


    Considering the rather large increase of volume required to sustain the medicinal need with an apparent approval; there will be a larger energy draw by the licensed growers.

    Hope they invest in solar...or at least have incentives to do so.

    Kootch...natural it is...but there has to be some sort of tax on the sale or transport...or some item involved...just like booze.

    I approved...

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  12. criminalizing those who grow and/or use marijuana hasn't worked and is incredibly expensive to us as a society.

    it's time to find an approach that does

    i said yes.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  13. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Why does their "HAVE" to be a tax? 365Stairs? The distribution system is working just fine now without a tax.. it is in plentiful supply, prices are stable, at around 250-280 an oz., quality keeps getting better as growers try get better yields and higher THC content..Let's tax your tomato plants too, a rose tax? how about squash and green bean tax? Here's a GREAT approach... live and let live. This will end up as a revenue source... and we all know what happens when the state/city finds a revenue source. More civil rights get violated and police get diverted from public safety to protect a revenue source. An approach that would work? Take pot statutes off the books.. period. If there are no state statutes, we won't be locking anyone up. Cannabis today, camomille tea tax tomorrow!

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  14. kootch..

    tomato plans don't gt taxed unless of course you actually purchase them instead of growing them from see... i think...

    nor would the tomatoes if you were to sell them because they are food..

    but cannabis? Although it may be consumable, it's not food
    and if it is it is sold in the prepared form..
    so it would be taxed.

    unless of course.. your cannabis comes via a medical prescription...
    which i would think is not taxed
    but i have never checked...

    you didn't plan to buy yours on the corner, did you?

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  15. I am against it. If you are healthy and smoke it, you are breaking the law. Hence, you are a drain on society and I hope you get thrown in jail. If you are sick and can use it as medicine, let a doctor prescribe it.

    Hemp should be legal. No problem. But anybody who buys marijuana illegally and uses it is culpable for the murder of many people due to your selfishness.

    I hope you choke on it. It will get you even higher but don't spill the bong water.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  16. I voted for it on the principle of states rights. The federal gov. shouldn't be dictating this to the states.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  17. Talk about a drain on society. The money, resources,jail space, and lives wasted on supressing a drug that is clearly no more harmful than a shot of whiskey or a six-pack (which, whether you like it or not, is completely accepted by our society) is one of the biggest drains we have. Weed is not only medically useful and a social lubricant, it could be making tons of money for the state instead of for a bunch of gangbangers and criminals.

    Like I said, there is no •sane• reason not to legalize and regulate it.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  18. anonyme
    Member Profile

    Plants, including tomato and other food plants, are taxed. Tomatoes ready-to-eat are not.

    About the claims that marijuana is "natural": While marijuana is a plant and may be raised organically, weed is one of the most highly manipulated cultivated crops on the planet. Plants grown today have TCH levels many, many times higher than you would have found 20 years ago. It is no longer a plant that occurs in nature, and it is not a weed. In some ways, I think the claim could be made that pot is a GMO.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  19. anonyme..

    " In some ways, I think the claim could be made that pot is a GMO."

    it is hard sometimes to know if the practice of cultivation through genetics has crossed that line.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  20. HMCRich..

    "But anybody who buys marijuana illegally and uses it is culpable for the murder of many people due to your selfishness."

    the same could have been said of alcohol during prohibition.

    the solution to that was making it legal.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  21. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Decriminalize it and the cartels go out of business. Funny, thing though, when the state gets a whiff of money...all things are possible. I will continue to support local, entrepreneurs, with that fine Wenatchee sunshine produce. The state wants 25% from the grower, 25% from the dispensary, and 25% from the licensed distributors..... gimme a break.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  22. kootch..

    as you are prone to point out
    nothing in life is free.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
                        **** Warning: Too long. Too damn long. ****

    Even if Washingtonians pass I-502, it could still die (ironically enough) because of another drug liberalization effort. I'm talking about medical marijuana.

    You might have heard that purveyors of medical marijuana aren't thrilled about I-502. And that's understandable. If the initiative is approved, and everything goes according to sponsors' plans, that would put a huge dent in the medical marijuana business.

    Think of booze as an analogy. If there were such a thing as prescription booze, would anyone buy it?

    –Well, yes, actually. If booze at the pharmacy cost only half as much as the same booze purchased from a liquor store, then you might see quite a few people turning up at the pharmacy with prescriptions in hand. And that could be just the type of thing we see with medical marijuana prices undercutting retail marijuana. So rather than retail pot putting medical put out of business, I think the reverse will be true, and I'll explain why.

    Reading over the text of I-502, I couldn't find anything that speaks to a change in the law for medical mj dispensaries and how they get their supply. Therefore, if the iniative passes, what we will have are two marijuana price structures and these could turn out to be quite different.

    First, there will be the retail marijuana price, which will be controlled by a combination of three things: (a) the cost of production and distribution (including all licensing fees and taxes on the seller), (b) a hefty 25% sales tax on the buyer, and (c) market forces.

    Next, we will have the medical marijuana price structure, which is subject to different taxes and licensing fees, different costs of production, and so on. My estimate would be that, whatever the retail mj price turns out to be, the medical mj price will be lower.

    Oops. Did I say there would be two price structures? In fact, there will be three. The third one will be the black market price. And yes, there will still be a black market in marijuana, even if that black market does not involve organized crime. Consider that under I-502's provisions, it will still be illegal to grow your own non-medical dope, as many Washingtonians do now. If I-502 passes, do you really think that everyone who's growing their own now (and selling some on the side) will dump their grow gear and head down to the nearest legal pot shop so they can pay two or three times as much for the same product? Of course not. And why would they? Where's the incentive to go legit or quit? Does I-502 increase penalties for illegal producers? Does it increase enforcement?

    –No it doesn't. So what will probably happen if I-502 passes is that the black market will stick around in some form for at least as long as it takes the legal market to become competitive on price. Which could be never. Some users might switch from patronizing illegal dealers to getting their pot from medical dispensaries if that turns out to be cheaper, but if these users don't have a legitimate medical need, that would still be technically illegal. And, more importantly, it would undermine the whole justification for I-502, which was supposed to eliminate by making everything legal. But again: Why would anyone buy an expensive, highly taxed product from a state-controlled store when they could get it cheaper or easier somewhere else?*

    So don't expect to see legal pot shops springing up all over as a result of I-502 passing. And don't expect the black market to disappear overnight, either, if it disappears at all. This new law has the potential to be a huge quagmire, and to set the struggle for nationwide legalization back for years.

    If it passes and doesn't work out as planned, look for a repeal effort within a couple of years.


    *I'm basically making the kootchman's argument here. Except that where he questions taxing mj for ideological reasons, I question it for practical ones.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  24. My primary concern is the same as anonyme's, for selfish reasons: I just don't want to have to walk through clouds of the stuff at the park. While maplesyrup is correct that public consumption is illegal under the initiative, it is defined as a class 3 civil infraction, for which the maximum penalty is $50--perhaps not enough to discourage it, particularly when you consider how difficult it is to get enforcement for violations of the smoking law, leash laws, etc. No provision in the law dedicates any of the proceeds to law enforcement, which already doesn't have the funds to focus on these violations, and must prioritize.

    I still may end up deciding to vote for this initiative; I haven't yet made up my mind. But this selfish concern is the main thing holding me back.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  25. Julie..

    i have the same selfish concern
    although maybe not so selfish since being around too much marijuana smoke tends to send me to the emergency room

    but i don't find the alternative acceptable either

    so i voted of it.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  26. kootchman
    Member Profile

    Well, we certainly have not seen liquor prices come down. The margin is large. I may purchase a bottle for convenience, but for the holidays ... off to Portland with the shopping list. I am not even going to pretend "medical marijuana" is the core issue... it's an excuse. Pot is a recreational diversion. Nothing is free JoB.. this is true.. risk drives up the price and so would government takeover and a monopoly of the pot trade. The state is well aware that medical use is a farce... they want revenue. Consumers will continue to buy whatever offers the best value for them.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  27. kootch..

    ROFLOL.. you actually expected liquor prices to come down when you voted to take them out of state stores and put them in the local grocer?

    " but for the holidays ... off to Portland with the shopping list."

    to the state run liquor store..

    you really do make me chuckle
    thanks. laughing is a good thing on a rainy saturday night as i sit here waiting expectantly for the potatoes in my stew to finish cooking

    the trouble with slow cookers is that they are slow

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  28. maplesyrup
    Member Profile


    Julie, I am curious what your potential reasons for voting for the initiative are. Personally, I'd rather not see it in parks either, especially around my kids. But when I weigh that against the reasons to vote for 502, there's really no argument.

    Anyway, would flagrant violation of this law be in the same league as violation of off leash laws? Random dogs running around do a lot more damage than a bit of smoke that dissipates in a few seconds. And there's not the litter issue you have with cigarette butts.

    Tell you what, we can set up a website to out pot smoking law violators just like the off leash site. :)

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  29. anonyme
    Member Profile

    Maplesyrup, I raised the issue because I have LOTS of personal/professional experience dealing with stoners in public parks and gardens. People who are high are not very different than those who are drunk. They do stupid, destructive things - some by accident, some by altered design, some by a distorted urge to commune with nature, wreaking havoc in the process. And they almost always smoke cigarettes at the same time to disguise the smell of weed, so there are usually butts as well (and food wrappers!). Both produce second hand smoke, which may or may not be welcome by passers-by - which include children.

    Many parks users are minors; I don't know if police, under the new law, would take public consumption by minors any more seriously than they do now - but I doubt it. Roxhill park hosts pot-smoking students all school day long. The Arboretum at SSCC protects student use to such an extent that they now bring bongs to campus.

    No one is saying that this is a life-shattering, deal-breaking issue - but it is a valid concern.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  30. It seems to me that if there is such a problem in the parks and at SSCC... and I can't really speak to that issue because I've not seen a problem in the parks, nor do I frequent SSCC. But if there really is that large a problem, then the lack of any regulation seems to be propagating that problem. I don't see how legalization and regulation could make that any worse. If anything, it seems like legalization and regulation would horn in on the current distribution system and maybe disrupt the current flow.

    I personally think it should be legal and taxed. Why shouldn't the state get $ out of it to help fund our schools, roads, etc. That way you can choose to be taxed and purchase or you can choose not to be taxed and abstain... I like choice! And combined with legalization, I think there should be a HUGE educational effort to make it as socially unacceptable as possible, combined with strong enforcement against use in public places and altered states driving.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  31. Post Script: I just did a little Google work: According to a 2008 Time article, 42% of Americans had smoked weed once or more, an illegal drug in this country, compared with 20% of Dutch residents, where the drug is legal.,8599,1821697,00.html

    It would be interesting to know how (or if) the recession affected that statistic as it has generally been held that affluence is an indicator of drug experimentation.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  32. TanDL

    i think i love you :)

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  33. Why, thank you JoB. I'm trying very hard to be rational these days. :) Mostly I'm thrilled that this election season is almost over!!!!!

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  34. TanDl

    me too.
    i am profoundly weary of all of the hype
    and requests for money from democrats
    who are cooperating in making this election all about the money and not about the issues..

    i am going to take a bath, get dressed and go play with my hubby and dogs...

    i like to do something productive every day ;->

    i need to rest up.
    regardless of which way this election goes
    we are going to have a tough fight getting outside untraceable money back out of our election.

    Americans should at least know who is paying for the ads they are being bombarded with...
    that way they have a better chance of evaluating the source

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  35. Comparisons between booze and pot can be helpful, but they only go so far. Both are "recreational" drugs for example, and both can be addicting. But that's about as far as you'll get with that.

    Pot advocates point out that alcohol (which is legal) does far more damage to society than pot (which is not legal.) Absolutely correct. But on the other hand, if you look only at the total number of people who consume the drug in either case, I believe you'd find that pot smoking does more damage, relatively speaking.

    Consider all the people you know who drink. Now ask yourself: how many of them are problem drinkers?

    Now consider all the people you know who smoke pot. How many of them are problem smokers?

    I know several drunks. Hell, everyone does. But of all the people I know who imbibe any amount of alcohol, the great majority can take it or leave it alone. By contrast, most of the people I know who smoke pot, cannot leave it alone. In other words, they're dependent on the drug.

    Not a reason to villify pot, but something to think about.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  36. maplesyrup, the reasons for which I might end up deciding in favor very much reflect TanDL's point, that legalization and regulation could make control actually easier, and end up reducing the use of this drug. I'm also interested in this argument: by legalizing the production of marijuana in the NW, we might be able to supplant the flow of illegal marijuana from Mexico to the US, even to states where it remains illegal--and cut the profits of the Mexican cartels, which I think would be an overall plus.

    Also, I find it frustrating that it's difficult to get good research information on marijuana as a medical drug, because it's difficult to do the research legally. This makes it difficult to evaluate the claims of medical use for the drug. I think people who have conditions for which marijuana is popularly suggested would benefit from having this thoroughly and independently researched.

    Which brings me to DBP's point. Most of the research I'm finding (but see my point about limited validated research) actually indicates that marijuana is less addicting than alcohol (and far less addicting than tobacco, another legal recreational drug). Another approach to this problem might be to keep all of them legal but control them as drugs--that is, require prescriptions to buy wine or cigarettes. I don't think that one is very likely. I'm not even sure how well it would work. And it's not just the addictiveness that makes these drugs problematic. Plenty of drunk drivers are not alcoholics.

    Lastly, as an aside, I take issue with maplesyrup's "bit of smoke that dissipates in a few seconds". That's what people say about tobacco smoke in parks, but it really doesn't dissipate as quickly as you might think. It hangs around. And if there's a person smoking walking ahead of you on the sidewalk (happens all the time at Lincoln Park and the Junction), well... it's just a constant stream back into your face. So you speed up to get past them, and there's another one ahead of them. If I could stop people smoking tobacco in outdoor public places in exchange for people smoking pot in outdoor public places, I'd take it as a step forward--but having to put up with both--ugh!

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  37. justadumbguy
    Member Profile

    You wrote:

    By contrast, most of the people I know who smoke pot, cannot leave it alone. In other words, they're dependent on the drug.

    I think this is skewed by the fact it is against the law ... I like a beer or two watching the Seahawks but it could just as easily be a little weed ... except well I have a wife, and a kid who I'd like to have learn to respect the law, and a job I'd like to keep, and so the risks simply aren't worth it. If it were legal though that would be different .... as you wrote ...just something to think about.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  38. "But of all the people I know who imbibe any amount of alcohol, the great majority can take it or leave it alone. By contrast, most of the people I know who smoke pot, cannot leave it alone"

    My anecdotal experience is the exact opposite of that so I don't think anything is proven by your assertion.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  39. kootchman
    Member Profile


    "get $ out of it to help fund our schools, roads, etc. That way you can choose to be taxed and purchase or you can choose not to be taxed and abstain.

    Well, we have had prison threats, job loss, no knock warrants approved paid bribes, had sheriffs, local cops confiscate for their personal use.., ... once the state legalizes, there will be no abstaining and no taxes... unless the state makes it cheaper. We can choose to fire up, and not pay taxes, as we have done for over 40 years. So, we throw a scrip in the glove compartment and continue to support the small, family farm as we have done for decades.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  40. DBP..

    "Now consider all the people you know who smoke pot. How many of them are problem smokers?"

    You know people who drink moderately because you can go out to dinner with them and order a drink...
    you can share a drink publicly with them in street side cafes... and privately in your back yard without fear of dsicovery. booze is legal.

    You are far less likely to know people who smoke and/or consume pot moderately because people who use pot moderately generally only break the law privately or within their most intimate circles.

    the broad brush you are using to paint marijuana smoke as more dangerous in spite of the evidence to the contrary makes some pretty rash assumptions.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  41. kootch..

    we don't have to be taxed to benefit financially from legalizing marijuana.

    look what we will save in prosecution and incarceration costs alone

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  42. "Tokers I Have Known"

    by DBP

    You've all been waiting for this one, haven't you?

    C'mon. You know you have!

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  43. kootchman
    Member Profile

    True enough.. so why the hue and cry to tax it? All the legislature has to do is drop it from the penal code... instead of all this hoopla.. if it isn't in the penal code, there is no harm and no foul. The measure is designed to squeeze another dime.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  44. Toker #1: DBP


    Very occasional toker since age 13. Dealt some hash to his big brother's high school friends.

    Big brother confronts friends: "Don't sell dope to my little bro!"

    Friends reply: "Dude! He's selling dope to us!"

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  45. maplesyrup
    Member Profile


    anonyme & Julie: I wasn't trying to invalidate your concerns. I was saying that I don't think smoking in a park is as serious as letting a dog run around (and I have a dog) or throwing cigarette butts on the ground.

    Still, I think in the issues you cited, the problem is with the behavior and not the substance. Just like with alcohol, for every idiot that stands out with drunken behavior there are 9 more who can consume it responsibly.

    I hope you both vote for 502. :)

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  46. A lot of you have brought up some good points about legalizing. However, it's not really legalizing it. The only legal part about 502 is making it "okay" to smoke within the confines of your own home. The way I see for voting for it to be legalized is pretty much this. It's something different, something new, and something that is harmless. I'd like to compare this to the presidential election so please bare with me here. More increasingly people are finding themselves not wanting to vote for the primary candidates that are just the same regurgitated politicians from before *more or less* most people want something new, and at the very least 502 is new. Everyone can speculate all that they want whether it's going to be good or if it's going to be bad. The only way we'll actually find this out is if it is legalized, maybe it will get better maybe it won't. There's always going to be the option to vote again against it.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  47. Toker #2: My father-in-law


    This guy died long ago and I never met him, so everything I know about him is through my wife.

    He was what they now call "dual diagnosis" -- meaning that, in addition to being mentally ill, he was addicted to drugs. Several of them, in fact. His drug of choice was alcohol, but he was very fond of pot as well, because he could grow that easily on the family's little backwoods farm.

    He was so fond of pot, in fact, that even when the rice crop failed and the family was threatened with starvation, he would spare no effort to protect his cannabis plants from being plowed under. If you know anything about addiction, that one will ring a bell.

    After going on a bender and gambling away the family fortune one night, f-in-law hung himself from a tree on the side of a dirt road headed out of town. My wife was 7 years old at the time, and she and her siblings were crying when they heard the news about their daddy. When their mother saw this, she started chasing the kids around the house, whacking them on their backs with a shoe.

    "Don't cry for that bastard!" she wailed through angry tears. "He never gave us anything but grief!"

    Sound like a scene out of Angela's Ashes? Huh. Yeah.

    In fact, this was but a minor gale in the sustained Category 5 Shit Hurricane that was my wife's childhood.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  48. DBP - I'm unsure what you're trying to prove with that post. Your father-in-law sounds like he was an alcoholic. Also it sounds like he wasn't ready as a parent if he can't take care of himself. Marijuana isn't physically addictive, if anything it's a mental issue to let go or not to let go. With I-502 it's still going to be illegal to grow. I'm sorry about what your wife went through as a child. I have a brother that sounds exactly like your father-in-law and I can easily tell you that it was most likely the alcohol that drove him to that point. But for the most part, you cannot contribute someone who has mental problems along with several drugs addictions to someone who isn't an alcoholic, doesn't have several drug addictions, and someone who isn't mentally-ill.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  49. trim

    where is that like button when you need it...

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  50. On facebook, I'm sure you could like one of my posts

    Posted 3 years ago #         

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