Today, Sensible Washington traveled to Olympia to try, try again, and file an initiative to legalize marijuana for adult use in Washington state. “Please be mainstream in your dress and appearance,” their blog urges supporters. Last year, I-1068 came in about 50,000 signatures short of qualifying for the ballot. The group was also criticized for “leaving out” regulatory concerns.
This time,” reports AP, “the initiative would direct the state Legislature to develop such regulations, including possibly taxing marijuana sales.”
That may not be too difficult, if Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles succeeds with her legislation to regulate medical marijuana: “Senate Bill 5073 and House Bill 1100 would establish a regulatory system for the sale and purchase of medical marijuana for qualifying patients.” If adopted, that framework could be adapted to account for non-medical sales.
But–trifecta!–Ballard’s Kohl-Welles has been one-upped in marijuana friendliness by Ballard’s Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, who is introducing a bill to outright legalize it. Dickerson gave this a shot last year, but the bill failed to make it out of committee. But, try, try again, she’s back and so is the state’s deficit, so her argument that taxing marijuana could bring in $400 million per biennium may make a few legislators pause and reflect. Dickerson’s HB 1550 would place marijuana under the Liquor Control Board, who have experience with controlled substances.
Early reactions to Dickerson’s bill have been muted in part by its length: 120 pages. Sensible Washington spokesman Philip Dawdy said that while he had not yet read the bill, the group was enthusiastic about seeing so much energy devoted to marijuana legalization and regulation.