Saturday, June 26, 2010

WA "Democrats Endorse Pot Legalization Initiative"

Bucking the recommendation of their executive board, delegates to the Washington State Democratic Convention endorsed I-1068 (the marijuana legalization initiative) with 62 percent “yes” vote (314 to 185). The executive board had given no recommendation on the initiative because “the committee was even more split than the delegates,” according to State Vice Chair Sharon Smith.

There was a small political skirmish here in Vancouver this afternoon—delegates made motions to consider 1068 separately, to extend debate, and to officially endorse the initiative. Smith said that, “we expected this to come to a floor discussion. There are some things that are clearly Democratic party values, and then there are things like this that aren’t so clear.”

One convention delegate worried that a 1068 endorsement might have broader implications statewide–that Democratic candidates would be associated with this endorsement: “It’s going to make it harder.”

Delegates also considered the two liquor privatization initiatives separately, and eventually opposed both I-1100 and I-1105.
Howie P.S.: We'll have to wait and see if this endorsement helps to get I-1068 on the statewide November ballot and helps turn out the newer, younger voters like the Obama campaign did. Some early polling has shown that a majority of likely voters statewide support I-1068 while their eastern Washington counterparts do not. Andrew (NPI Advocate) is blogging from the convention floor.

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