United States: Former U.S. attorney McKay backs effort to legalize pot in Washington

By Seattle Times Staff

United States: Former U.S. attorney McKay backs effort to legalize pot in Washington A coalition that includes former U.S. Attorney John McKay, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and travel guide Rick Steves is launching an initiative that would legalize marijuana in Washington state.

The group, led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, decided to push the initiative this spring after Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a medical-marijuana bill that had passed the state Legislature.

"We did some more public-opinion research, looked at the numbers and said, 'Yeah, this is the time,' " said Alison Holcomb, campaign manager for the initiative and drug-policy director of the ACLU of Washington.

The initiative would regulate the recreational use of marijuana in a way similar to how the state regulates alcohol.

It would legalize marijuana for people older than 21, authorize the state Liquor Control Board to regulate and tax marijuana for sale in "stand-alone stores" and extend drunken-driving laws to marijuana, with blood tests to determine how much of the substance's active ingredient is present in a driver's blood.

Taxing sales would bring the state $215 million a year, conservatively estimated, Holmes said.

McKay, who spent five years enforcing federal drug laws as the U.S. attorney in Seattle before he was fired by the Bush administration in early 2007, said he hopes the initiative will help "shame Congress" into ending pot prohibition.

Washington: New Group to Announce Filing of Initiative To Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana

By Alison Holcomb, New Approach Washington

Washington: New Group to Announce Filing of Initiative  To Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana The newly formed political action committee New Approach Washington will hold a press conference to announce the filing of an initiative to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana. The press conference will be held on Wednesday, June 22 at 11:00 AM in the Seattle Public Library, in the Howard S. Wright and Janet W. Ketchum Room (Room 2 on the 4th floor).

The initiative will authorize the Liquor Control Board to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana for sale to adults 21 and over in state-licensed stores.

The initiative is sponsored by individuals prominent in civic life and in public health and legal communities:

• Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes

• John McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington (2001-2007)

• Travel writer Rick Steves

• Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, Washington state legislator, 36th District, prime sponsor of HB 2401 (2010) and HB 1550 (2011)

• Kim Marie Thorburn, MD, MPH, former director of the Spokane Regional Health District (1997-2006)

• Salvador A. Mungia, immediate past president of the Washington State Bar Association

• Mark Johnson, past president of the Washington State Bar Association (2008-2009)

• Robert W. Wood, MD, former director of the HIV/AIDS Program of Public Health – Seattle & King County (1986-2010)

Washington: 'Grammas for Ganja' Advocates Marijuana to be Accepted in Workforce


There is a truth that must be heard! SEATTLE -- A group called "Grammas For Ganja" is fighting to not only have marijuana legalized but for users to be a part of the workforce without the fear of getting fired.

Jeanne Black-Ferguson, 70, is not your typical grandma. She is front and center in the fight, not for herself, but for her grandkids.

"I think when Washington legalizes cannibas across the board we will become one of the wealthiest states in America!" she said. "If one in five are going to be impacted by the criminal justice system for cannibus which one of my five [grandchildren] will be? I already know two of them that are using the plant!"

Black-Ferguson thinks they should be able to use it and get a job. The issue however, it's not that simple.

"I've gone on four interviews in the past two weeks," says Maggie, who did want to give us her last name.

Maggie uses marijuana to ease the pain of a brain tumor. Her doctor's note means nothing to most employers.

Washington: Seattle Times Endorsing Marijuana Legalization Bill

By KING 5 News

Washington: Seattle Times Endorsing Marijuana Legalization Bill SEATTLE – The Seattle Times is endorsing a bill in the Washington state Legislature to legalize marijuana, in an editorial to be published this Sunday.

The paper is coming out in favor of House Bill 1550, which would make it legal to sell pot in liquor stores.

The editorial comes just days after Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said he has stopped prosecuting user-level possession cases.

Legalizing pot would be at odds with federal law and it goes against what most in law enforcement believe -- that pot is a dangerous drug. But the Times editorial board says legalization is really a pro-law enforcement move.

"If you legalize it, then the growers, the distributors, they become part of the regulated system where law enforcement has more control," said Kate Riley with The Seattle Times.

Source: http://www.king5.com/news/local/Seattle-Times-endorsing-marijuana-legali...

Washington: Seattle Hempfest Sues City of Seattle for 2011 Permit

Seattle Hempfest Core Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Seattle Hempfest has filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the City of Seattle, as well as its mayor, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation, director of Seattle Center, and chairperson of the Seattle Special Events Committee. The suit seeks relief under the U.S. Constitution and the Washington Constitution, and was filed in an effort to obtain a 2011 permit to produce the annual free speech rally to reform America’s laws prohibiting cannabis.

The suit asks the city to issue an appropriate permit for Seattle Hempfest in August 2011 and, if necessary, to enjoin Seattle from implementing the "West Thomas Overpass project" in such fashion as to interfere with the use of Myrtle Edwards Park in August 2011. Planned summer construction of the sky-bridge in Myrtle Edwards Park, the location of Hempfest since 1995, has displaced the mammoth event which routinely draws more than 100,000 attendees annually.

Well aware of the slow-moving nature of the Seattle Special Events permit process, Hempfest submitted its special event application earlier than ever, in early November 2010, hoping for a decision within the 60-day period set forth by law. However, after months of negotiations Hempfest organizers find themselves with neither a date or a venue for the annual summer "protestival," which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Washington: Bill Proposes to Sell Pot Through State Liquor Stores

By Joanna Nolasco, Seattle Times

There is a truth that must be heard! State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, is again proposing that the state legalize marijuana and regulate it much like alcohol.

House Bill 1550, filed Tuesday, proposes that pot be sold through state liquor stores to adults aged 21 and over, and that the state Liquor Control Board issue licenses to commercial growers.

Dickerson sponsored similar legislation in the previous legislative session, but the bill was voted down in the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

"We listened to the concerns of law enforcement, medical marijuana patients and others and made several important improvements" to the bill, Dickerson said in a statement. "Our new bill includes provisions for industrial hemp and allows the cultivation of cannabis for personal use, similar to home brewing and wine making."

Dickerson estimates that the measure could raise about $400 million each biennium through sales and licensing fees. The bill proposes to allocate 77 percent of revenue raised to health care and 20 percent to substance abuse and treatment.

Co-sponsors of the bill are: Reps. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland; Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines; Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle; Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo; Mary Helen Roberts, D-Lynnwood; Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle; Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace; Deb Eddy, D-Kirkland; Tami Green, D-Lakewood; Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, and Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien.

Washington: Hemp and Cannabis Initiative Filed

Voters in Washington State Hope to End Hemp and Cannabis Prohibition in 2011

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Washington: Hemp and Cannabis Initiative Filed Members of the organization Sensible Washington have filed their highly-anticipated hemp and cannabis initiative.

The initiative, which would remove all state criminal and civil penalties for the possession, use and sale of hemp and cannabis, was filed in the Secretary of State's office in Olympia, Washington on January 26th. The group has changed last year's initiative to reflect concerns about civil regulations of marijuana and their new initiative has language that clearly directs the State Legislature to regulate the responsible adult use of marijuana. They feel the best way to end prohibition is to simply repeal prohibition language.

Proponents argue that cannabis is safer than alcohol, and its prohibition has failed.

Polling this year affirms that they can win in Washington as soon as legalization is put to the popular vote. Washington is one of the better polling states in the country on the topic of legalizing cannabis, with 52% of the public favoring legal marijuana and only 35% opposed statewide, according to the Sensible Washington website.

Washington: Sen. Kohl-Welles Introduces Medical Marijuana Reform Legislation

By Thea Chard, My Ballard

Washington: Sen. Kohl-Welles Introduces Medical Marijuana Reform Legislation On Tuesday 36th District Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, along with Rep. Jim Moeller of Vancouver and bi-partisan support, introduced new legislation to clarify and provide a strong legal framework for Washington’s existing medical marijuana laws.

The bill, according to Kohl-Welles, reflects the tenth iteration since she first released it last February, incorporating input from patients, providers, advocates, health professionals, government officials, legislators, and law enforcement representatives.

The resulting legislation, Senate Bill 5073 and House Bill 1100 if made into law, would establish a regulatory system for the sale and purchase of medical marijuana to qualified patients.

United States: Gatewood Galbraith - Every Generation Must Re-Win Its Own Freedom

Now's the Time....Whether you support the Teapot Party, Tea Party or any other party, this candidate appeals to a wide variety of voters and is sure to stir up some governmental changes in Kentucky and across the United States.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Washington: Seattle Hempfest 2010: Gatewood Galbraith - Every Generation Must Re-Win It's Own Freedom Gatewood Galbraith is currently campaigning for Kentucky's 2011 gubernatorial race as an Independent, free from any party affiliations, and describes himself as free from hidden agenda. Galbraith is focusing his campaign on young voters by proposing a freeze on college tuition expenditures, a $5,000 educational voucher to high school graduates for college or technical school, and legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes, which he estimates could save the state $500 million to $1 billion in medical costs each year. His pledge is to end the “synthetic subversion” in his state.

Global: Seattle Hempfest 2010: Paul Stanford - Work For Global Cannabis Freedom

Stop the Drug War, Before They Kick In Your Door

By Paul Stanford, Executive Director of THCF for Hemp News

There is a truth that must be heard! My speech at the 2010 Seattle Hempfest is my effort to highlight the historical, scientific and philosophical importance of hemp and cannabis. I honor cannabis reform activists that have passed on, such as Jack Herer and Dr. Tod Mikuriya; those arrested for cannabis, such as cannabis minister Roger Christie of Hawaii, Marc Emery of Canada, and Eddy Lepp of California; and those sentenced to death for cannabis in Malaysia.

Washington: THCF Supports Seattle Hempfest 2010

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Washington: Seattle Hempfest 2010 - Montage The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) is proud to be the main sponsor of the Seattle Hempfest because our mission is to educate the general community about the benefits of the cannabis plant to our society. Hempfest 2010 will be held on August 21st and 22nd, and takes place every year at Myrtle Edwards Park expanding in recent years to include the adjacent parks. Hempfest offers five stages of entertainment, a Hemposium question and answer forum, and hundreds of vendor booths, sure to please a myriad of musical, informational, and entrepreneurial tastes.

The time to act in support of hemp is now, so please reach out and create awareness in your community. The Berlin Wall fell quickly, and together we can end this unjust war on the cannabis plant in the same manner, but we need to unite in solidarity. Vivian McPeak, the event's director declares, "No political or human rights movement in America has made it this far without eventually winning. It's just a matter of time."

Washington: Marijuana Legalization Makes Economic and Common Sense


There is a truth that must be heard! I'm sitting in a chill wind on the corner as people stream by on their way to or from the Bellingham Farmer's Market and it's threatening rain. I observe and am open to conversation but few stop to sign my petition. The rejection is starting to get to me and I gain a new-found respect for the young traveler making his way across an indifferent America.

I have had better luck in friendlier environments, like near the Food Co-op, or outside Uisce on St. Patrick's day. I have collected better than 400 signatures personally, and met a lot of very nice people.

And overwhelmingly the people I speak with agree with and support Initiative 1068, which removes all civil and criminal penalties in Washington state civil and criminal for adult cultivation, possession, use, transport, and sale of "marijuana" - as hemp (English) and cannabis sativa (Latin scientific name) is referred to in the prohibition statutes.

This prohibition of a plant - this attempted obliteration of a crop that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew and that clothed the Revolutionary Army, and provided the paper upon which the Declaration of Independence was drafted - is long overdue to end.

Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, which is actually toxic and addictive. Prohibition creates organized crime, turns the police into racketeers, and diminishes respect for the government. Prohibition is an experiment that has failed dismally.

Washington: Is it time to legalize marijuana?

By KING 5, Up Front

There is a truth that must be heard! The backers of Initiative 1068 say it's time to legalize marijuana. They are trying to gather the signatures to get their measure on the November ballot. The initiative follows failed attempts to decriminalize and legalize pot during the legislative session. In California a similar measure has already qualified for the fall ballot. Initiative 1068 would make it legal for anyone 18 and older to "cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana." What do you think? Is it a good idea or a bad one?

Source: http://www.king5.com/news/up-front/Is-it-time-to-legalize-maijuana-89868...

Washington: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Aims for November Ballot

from Drug War Chronicle, Issue #626, 4/2/10

Washington: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Aims for November Ballot There is a chance, albeit an outside one, that the entire West Coast could go green in November. Last week we noted that the California tax and regulate initiative had made the ballot, and reported on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act initiative's ongoing effort to make the ballot. This week, we turn our attention to Washington state, where yet another marijuana legalization initiative campaign is underway.

Sponsored by Seattle Hempfest head Vivian McPeak, marijuana defense attorneys Douglass Hiatt and Jeffrey Steinborn, and journalist-turned-activist Philip Dawdy and organized under the rubric of Sensible Washington, initiative I-1068 would legalize marijuana by removing marijuana offenses from the state's controlled substances act.

As the official ballot summary puts it:

"This measure would remove state civil and criminal penalties for persons eighteen years or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana. Marijuana would no longer be defined as a 'controlled substance.' Civil and criminal penalties relating to drug paraphernalia and provisions authorizing seizure or forfeiture of property would not apply to marijuana-related offenses committed by persons eighteen years or older. The measure would retain current restrictions and penalties applicable to persons under eighteen."

Washington: Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Gains Unusual Allies

By Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter

Washington: Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Gains Unusual Allies SPOKANE -- Organizers for Initiative 1068 are working to get their proposal to have Washington voters decide whether or not the use and possession of marijuana should be legalized on the ballot, and they’re gaining some unusual allies in their fight.

According to Sensible Washington some deputy prosecutors and a judge have signed their petition as apparently at least some people who enforce our drug laws think it may be time to change them.

Right now if you were caught selling or just possessing this much marijuana here in Spokane you could be charged with a felony, but supporters of I-1068 think voters should have a chance to change all that.

United States: The Prohibition of Our Age

By Rick Steves, Seattle PI Blog

United States: The Prohibition of Our Age Studying how the Dutch retail marijuana (described in my last few blog entries) is fascinating. Learning how another society confronts a persistent problem differently than we do can help us envision how we might deal with the same problem better. I agree with my Dutch friends, who remind me that a society has to make a choice: tolerate alternative lifestyles...or build more prisons. The Netherlands has made its choice. We're still building more prisons. (My Dutch friends needle me with the fact that only the USA and Russia lock up more than one percent of their citizens, while the average per capita incarceration rate in Europe is only a tenth the US rate.)

Travel teaches us a respect for history. And when it comes to drug policy, I hope we can learn from our own prohibitionist past. Back in the 1920s, America's biggest drug problem was alcohol. To combat it, we made booze illegal and instituted Prohibition. By any sober assessment, all that Prohibition produced was grief. By criminalizing a soft drug that people refused to stop enjoying, Prohibition created the mob (Al Capone and company), filled our prisons, and cost our society a lot of money. It was big government at its worst.

United States: Pot vs Alcohol: What are the Costs - and Revenues

By Anna Song, KATU News and KATU.com Staff

United States: Pot vs Alcohol: What are the Costs - and Revenues If you just listen to just one side of the debate to legalize marijuana, you'd think it was a wonder plant.

A common argument is that marijuana is safer than the legal drug alcohol. But do facts back up that assertion?

“Marijuana is safer than alcohol,” Madeleine Martinez of Oregon’s pro-legalization organization NORML said, “no one's ever died of a lethal dose of marijuana.”

Mark Herer, owner of the The Third Eye Shoppe, a classic “head shop” located on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland, said he’s “met a lot of screwed up people in my day, I've met a lot of potheads in my day… most of the potheads I know are not screwed up people.”

Washington state lawmaker Mary Lou Dickerson, 63, is pushing for legalization and equates current marijuana laws to alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s.

“We're treating marijuana like we treated alcohol during prohibition, and it doesn't make sense,” she said.

United States: OR, CA, WA & NV Marijuana Efforts Advance

BY Oregon Tax News,

United States: OR, CA, WA & NV Marijuana Efforts Advance Pot appears to be back on the docket in 2010, as four states debate legalizing marijuana and the impacts such a move could have on businesses and the economy. Business owners are concerned that legalization will make them subject to new discriminatory lawsuits for not hiring workers who use marijuana. Some states however are hopeful that the legalization and the sale of marijuana will bring new tax revenue to the state during difficult economic times.

In Oregon, the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and Oregon NORML have finished gathering the 1,000 sponsorship signatures needed for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2010 (OCTA) to be placed on the ballot. The OCTA, would set aside two percent of the profits from the sale of cannabis in cannabis-only stores for two state commissions that promote industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber, protein and oil. The measure would legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana.

Washington: Lawmakers Hold First-Ever Hearing On Marijuana Legalization

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town for Hemp News

There is a truth that must be heard! Washington State lawmakers on Wednesday heard, for the first time ever, testimony in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults.

Members of the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, in a heavily attended, two-hour hearing, heard arguments in favor of House Bill 2401.

HB 2401 would "remove all existing criminal and civil penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana."

Washington: Activists File Initiative to Legalize Cannabis

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! SEATTLE (AP) - Five activists filed a ballot initiative Monday that would legalize all adult marijuana possession, manufacturing and sales under Washington state law - one of the most sweeping efforts at marijuana reform playing out around the country this year.

Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers and the director of Seattle's annual Hempfest. They call themselves Sensible Washington, and say that in a time of dire budget woes, the state's government should stop spending money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or produce marijuana.

Douglas Hiatt, a lawyer who represents medical marijuana patients, told The Associated Press the proposal would remove all state criminal penalties for adults who possess, grow and distribute pot - no matter how much. Criminal penalties for juveniles who possess marijuana and for those who provide the drug to juveniles would remain in place.

Driving under the influence of the drug also would still be against the law. And marijuana would remain illegal under federal law.

"It basically tells the federal government, 'Hey it's your prohibition - if you want it, you pay for it,'" Hiatt said. "We're tired of screwing around and wasting all this dough."

Volunteers are lining up to collect the more than 241,000 signatures required to place the initiative on the November ballot, Hiatt said.

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