I would like to award The Political Junkie’s first official endorsement of 2011
Vote Yes on Initiative I-1149
Basics: This initiative is as about as straightforward as they can get. Remove the civil and criminal penalties associated adult marijuana laws. You can read the text of the initiative here. The main sponsor of the initiative, Sensible Washington, has a website talking about the benefits. This initiative would free up our law enforcement to focus on violent crime, and save our state millions by reducing our incarcerated population.
Straight Talk: Smoking pot is dumb, but certainly not criminal. This isn’t endorsing drug use, it refocusing our efforts elsewhere. Marijuana should be treated like Alcohol. If you catch kids, arrest them for minor in possession. If you catch someone driving while high, slap them with Driving Under the Influence. Other than that, live and let live.
Counterpoint: What about Federal Law? Won’t Marijuana still be illegal according to the feds? Yes. Yes it will, but for pointless and harmful laws to change, someone has to challenge them. I imagine it will be a legal tangle for a while, but Washingtonians don’t shirk away from a good fight, and this would be doing the right thing.
Bottom Line: Sign Initiative I-1149. I will be bringing around copies with me wherever I go these next couple of months. Sign it, and then if it makes it on the ballot, vote for it.
I wrote a longer post urging full legalization here.
I plan on writing these posts as I sort out who I am going to vote for locally. Stay tuned for more endorsements. I reserve the right to change my mind.