An initiative seeking to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana will be decided by voters, Washington state lawmakers said Thursday.
By JONATHAN KAMINSKY, AP
OLYMPIA, Wash. — An initiative seeking to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana will be decided by voters, Washington state lawmakers said Thursday.
If passed, Initiative 502 would make Washington the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. It would place the state at odds with federal law, which bans marijuana use of all kinds.
Rep. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, who chairs the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee that was considering the initiative, said the Legislature would not act on it, meaning it will instead automatically appear on the November ballot.
"We will have more opportunities on the campaign trail this year to discuss this issue," Hunt said.
Because the measure proposes new taxes on marijuana production and consumption, the Legislature would need a two-thirds majority to pass it.
The initiative was certified by the secretary of state's office last month after pro-legalization campaigners turned in more than the 241,153 necessary valid signatures.