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Washington State Drug Reformer Roger Goodman to Run for US Congress

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #671)
Consequences of Prohibition

Washington state Rep. Roger Goodman (D) has announced that he is seeking the Democratic Party nomination to challenge US Rep. Dave Reichert (R), a two-term congressman who represents Washington's 8th congressional district. Although he doesn't emphasize it heavily on his campaign web pages, Goodman is a champion of drug policy reform.

Roger Goodman
His reform record is long and impressive. An attorney, Goodman served as the executive director of the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission in the late 1990s and was elected to the National Association of Sentencing Commissions. While with the state commission, he published major reports on prison capacity and sentencing policy, helped to increase availability of drug treatment in prisons, and shepherded 14 other sentencing-related bills through the legislature.

Goodman followed up the sentencing stint by leading the King County Bar Association's Drug Policy Project, which coordinated a groundbreaking initiative to take a critical look at drug laws and promote cheaper, more effective, and more humane drug policies. In doing so, he helped create an impressive coalition of over 20 professional and civic organizations that has spurred the legislature to reduce imprisonment of drug offenders and shift funding into drug treatment.

A state representative since 2006, Goodman is cosponsor of a marijuana legalization bill currently before the legislature, and is supporting a pending medical marijuana dispensary bill. Last session, he helped push through a 911 Good Samaritan drug overdose prevention bill, and is seeking similar legislation to help prevent alcohol overdoses. He continues to work for sentencing reform in the legislature as well.

While Goodman is aiming at the 8th congressional district, that could change because of redistricting. He told the Chronicle he could end up in one of three different districts, but said he was confident he could win in any of them.

(This article was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Jillian Galloway (not verified)

Marijuana has been repeatedly proven to NOT cause cancer, heart disease, brain damage, liver disease, emphysema, or overdoses, and its addictive potential is about on par with coffee. The DEA is 100% misinformed when it calls marijuana "extremely harmful"!

The marijuana prohibition empowers drug dealers and cartels, and makes our children LESS safe! Because of the failings of the prohibition, our children now have easier access to marijuana than to alcohol!   We parents have been patient long enough, we must speak up and demand that marijuana be legally sold to adults in gas stations and supermarkets just as beer and wine are today!

We need laws based on LOGIC, not ideology! We need to Legalize Adult Marijuana sales!!

Tue, 02/15/2011 - 7:07pm Permalink
Anonymous3 (not verified)

In reply to by Jillian Galloway (not verified)

And I can just tell that, that first post is a mother, I love it. Lets go people, educate yourself. Stop believing what people tell you and find out for yourself. Stop being ignorant. Alcohol and tobacco kills millions, and marijuana hasn't harmed a single soul. What the Fuck America

Tue, 02/15/2011 - 8:54pm Permalink


Marijuana is the safest drug with actual benefits for the user as opposed to alcohol which is dangerous, causes addiction, birth defects, and affects literally every organ in the body.  Groups are organizing all over the country to speak their minds on reforming pot laws.  I drew up a very cool poster for the cause which you can check out on my artist’s blog at  Drop in and let me know what you think!

Tue, 02/15/2011 - 10:31pm Permalink
Anonymous2 (not verified)

In reply to by Brandt (not verified)

Whoa!!! Let's be fair to alcohol for a second... 1) If applied appropriately it can reduce heart disease which is the leading killer of humans outside of religious wars. 2) If applied appropriately it is responsible for more 'hook-ups' than all dating websites combined. 3) If applied inappropriately it is highly affective at teaching people the meaning behind the phrase, 'self-indulgence is the path to understanding.' Would you stand in the way of a person's self examination? 

Fri, 05/13/2011 - 4:06pm Permalink
darkcycle (not verified)

In order to move this debate forward and keep legalization in the discussion we need to do whatever we can to support pro-legalization candidates for National office. Dave Riechert is a slug-like do-nothing corporate whore of a politician and the worst sort of tough on drugs sheriff you could ever fear living under. Nothing would be better than to send him packing for the hinterlands (he doesn't even live in the district he represents). If you're a Washington voter, help this guy out with your support and your vote. If you're not from Washington, you can still contribute $$ to his campaign. When we can get them tossed out of office, then they'll listen.

Tue, 02/15/2011 - 11:00pm Permalink
Brent (not verified)

I ask this of our current policy since right now any teenager can call any number of friends and within a half hr have a bag of pot, anywhere in the USA! They get that pot from other kids that are given pot from a dealer, in the street, that doesnt card or look at ID, doesnt care what age the kids are and is there anytime, even Sundays to hand out the drugs all day.

Now ask yourself how we can stop it and think what otehr thing in history can show us what to do? You dont have to go too far its happening now. While teens are getting their drugs everywhere we have cut tobacco use in half and still the numbers are falling today. Wow drug use is going up, tobacco use is going down, what the, HOW? Well we did have to arrest one single person or bust in a single door or shoot a single person or pet to do it. We did criminalize it no, we controlled it, regulated it, added we card laws fines and took taxes from it and started educating our kids about tobaccos harmful effects. 

So the question is, why have we spent the last 74yrs criminalizing a plant and the people surrounding it when all this time we could have controlled it, regulated it, taxed the crap out of it and more important than all that, educated our kids about it and kept them safer from an unregulated black market that uses kids to sell to other kids. You can debate all the stuff you want, gateway, addiction, medical issues and benefits but thats all just trivial when you see the damage to our country and the fact our kids are not safe due to this failed policy of a Drug War. I much rather have pot on a shelf in a store with a big 18 only on it than being sold on the corner to my kids period. 

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 12:02am Permalink
newageblues (not verified)

the hell with that "tax the crap out of it" stuff. Aside from that being a punishment cannabis users just don't deserve, illegal dealers and cartels will still be competitive if the tax is too high. The right to a personal untaxed cannabis garden has to be safeguarded too.

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 2:26am Permalink

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