Thursday, June 23, 2011

Marijuana Prohibition in Washington state: "Big Steps"

Rick Steves at a news conference Wednesday announces the filing of a marijuana legalization initiative. Next to Steves are from left: City Attorney Pete Holmes, lawyer Mark Johnson, Dr. Bob Wood and campaign director Alison Holcomb.

Lee (
Two big announcements over the past 48 hours regarding the eventual death of marijuana prohibition:

- For the first time ever, a bill to end marijuana prohibition is being introduced in Congress. Barney Frank and Ron Paul are introducing a bill that would allow states to make the drug legal, while only focusing on interstate smuggling. I doubt the drug will go anywhere, but it’s certainly a milestone that shows how quickly things are starting to change.

- Here in Washington, a group called New Approach Washington is launching an effort to pass a marijuana legalization initiative. The group is led by former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, and travel show host Rick Steves. The initiative represents the opposite strategy from what Sensible Washington has been trying to do with I-1149. While Sensible Washington focused on creating an initiative that puts the federal government in a difficult situation (by removing all state penalties), New Approach Washington focused on creating something that they feel is more certain to win a statewide vote. MORE...

Howie P.S.: Here's the coverage in Seattle Times:
Washington state would be defying federal drug laws if an initiative filed Wednesday with the Secretary of State to legalize and regulate marijuana is adopted.

But backers said Wednesday that states can take the lead in ending what they call the nation's failed war on drugs, much as individual states, including Washington, repealed Prohibition before the federal government. MORE...
More coverage from the AP and video (02:21) from KING5 News.

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