(courtesy NORML Foundation, http://www.norml.org)
Aug. 26, 1999, Olympia, WA: Marijuana legalization efforts in Washington received a boost as the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) received a hefty donation from a former Microsoft software programmer. Bruce McKinney donated $100,000 to CRRH, sponsor of Initiative 229 (Washington Cannabis Tax Act), to help finance the budding campaign.
If approved, the initiative would permit farmers to cultivate cannabis and allow for marijuana sales in state liquor stores. Ninety percent of taxes generated from the sale of marijuana would go to the state general fund; eight percent would be used for drug treatment programs; one percent would be used for a drug education program for school children; and one percent would finance a committee to promote industrial hemp.
The McKinney donation would be used to pay a professional firm to collect the 180,000 signatures needed by year's end to submit the initiative to the state legislature. If the legislature does not approve the initiative it would be referred to Washington voters in November 2000. "We're urging everyone to come out of the closet and support this effort," said Paul Stanford, CRRH executive director, who is also organizing similar legalization efforts in Oregon.
To date, CRRH has gathered 15,250 signatures for the Oregon initiative (73,261 are necessary) and 17,568 for the Washington Initiative. "The northwestern states have always led the way in marijuana law reform efforts," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "NORML hopes that the citizens in both Oregon and Washington will choose to legally control marijuana through state regulation, rather than continuing a black market."
For more information, please contact Paul Stanford of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp at (503) 235-4606 or http://www.crrh.org.