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Marijuana Legalization Billboard Goes Up on I-5 Near Seattle

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #664)
Drug War Issues

Commuters on the busy I-5 freeway near Seattle will get a daily reminder that an effort to legalize marijuana in Washington state is underway. Sensible Washington, the group behind this year's initiative effort that failed to make the ballot, has put up a billboard saying "Because Drug Dealers Don't ID... Legalize in 2011," with the group's web address and a pot leaf superimposed on a state map.

(image courtesy Sensible Washington)
Although Sensible Washington's 2010 initiative effort was hampered by criticism and lack of support from key elements of the state's drug reform community, the group is back and is aiming at getting its initiative on the ballot next year.

The huge, bright yellow billboard is installed at mile marker 138 in Fife, Washington, between Tacoma and Seattle. The double-sided sign faces both north- and south-bound traffic and will be seen by more than a quarter-million vehicles per day.

The billboard will remain up through the November 2011 election. That means commuters passing it twice daily will have seen the message more than 400 times each by Election Day.

"Thanks to generous donations from two Sensible Washington volunteers and support and cooperation of the billboard company, Gotcha Covered Media (thank you!), we now have North- and South-facing billboards at this location through the November 2011 election," the group announced on its web site.

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.


DanDan (not verified)

Here we go again, in WA we trust! Cali dropped the ball and now more states seem to be picking up the ball. My question is, if it's even up for debate and nearly half the country agrees that it should be legal, why do we continue to say "No!! How dare you smoke marijuana, the safest intoxicant known to man, in the privacy of your own home!?!? THAT IS EVIL!" 


It seems to me that after so many people do it, and so many more even accept it, that is when it should stop being a crime. If you want to think to the past, before it was a crime, there never really was anything inherently deviant about smoking weed. Prohibition made a crime out of something that is not a crime or deviant in nature in any way.

Mon, 12/20/2010 - 3:24am Permalink
Anonymous123456 (not verified)

In reply to by DanDan (not verified)

i agree with everthing you say except for calling marijuana an intoxicant. its not. marijuana is not at all toxic to your body, unlike a substance we know as alcohol.

Wed, 01/12/2011 - 2:11pm Permalink

DanDan couldn't be more right. Hey Washington, do it first so us here in New York can follow suit!

And congress should look at it this way: YOU CAN TAX THE PLANT. And then we take those tax revenues and pay off a few billion of our national debt....Who's with me on this one? 

Mon, 12/20/2010 - 6:03am Permalink
BP Storm (not verified)

In reply to by BigThorFromBuffalo (not verified)

I am not with you. I won't pay a tax on pot. Maybe 30-40 years ago, but, by now with all the repression and mayhem that has been created by the Drug Warriors and the Government that backs them, I say F--- them. They can get their money elsewhere. Just get rid of the laws. Forget legalization, just get rid of the laws. We don't have laws on the consumption of corn or sugar or any other commodity. We don't tax the same. Get over it. Besides any amount of Tax revenue is not going to save this country now. The US is over with, it's a done deal, just takes awhile to roll out.

Wed, 12/22/2010 - 6:24pm Permalink
mickey (not verified)

In reply to by BP Storm (not verified)

BP Storm - Try to look at it this way.  If it is legalized, it can and will be subject to the standard sales tax.  And, for example, people who sell it will have to report and pay tax on their income from selling it.  But this is no different than any other product people buy and sell legally.  You can grow your own to avoid these taxes. This is as it should be.  BUT, like you, I object to any additional tax  for buying, selling, or growing JUST BECAUSE it is marijuana.  That is not how it should be.

Wed, 12/22/2010 - 9:27pm Permalink

DanDan pretty much just hit the nail square on the head. The Federal government just doesn't want to give it up...but they don't understand that they CAN TAX THE PLANT and take that money and maybe get us out of a little debt problem that we're having...hmmm? As far as I'm concerned, New York here needs to get its ass in gear, so to speak, to get some form of legalization going on. I'm here in Buffalo and this old city could use a new raw material industry. 


Mon, 12/20/2010 - 6:11am Permalink
BP Storm (not verified)

Since when is the taxes from pot gonna save the US and correct the "National Debt".  This is ludicrous.  My son in California tried to lay the same rap on me and my wife.  How is a 5 billion dollar(if that is what it is) crop gonna generate enough tax income to save a state with many more billions of dollars of debt?  Come on people get real.  And another thing, dealers don't ID and no one else should either.  Pot is not Alchohol or Tobacco.  Anyone that thinks this glorious herb is the same and is dangerous to the young should not be smoking it.  Not at all.  All you are doing is confusing the issue.  Reefer is holy.  It is good for babies in tea.  It is good for you and me.  Even if you are just part of the United States Party Scene at this point in time, weed did not start out with you.  It started out as part of the spiritual raising of conciousness here, and certainly it has a long history of that in other lands.  America has just turned it into a party, it wasn't known for that for all of it's history up until the 1970's.  Besides, you take as 17 year old that has been smoking since he was 14 and tell him he can't have it because he is under age and has to wait till he's 21 and he's just gonna laugh at you, I would have because that was me then and I'm over 60 now.  Besides they don't regulate the wine in the Christian Church when they give it to you at communion when you are 14, why should they try that with the sacrament of herb.  Tear down that billboard and put up one that just says "Get Over It.  Eliminate the drug laws." --God

The only good drug law will be one that guarantees purity to those that are indulging.  All else is bound to fail and just bull anyway.



Wed, 12/22/2010 - 6:42pm Permalink
mickey (not verified)

In reply to by BP Storm (not verified)

BP Storm -- I tend to agree with your assessment of cannabis next to alcohol and tobacco.  But as for how to get cannabis legalized, well, you've got to start with things people can relate to, things that address their daily concerns.  One step at a time.  Also "Get over it" might work with friends and family, a little more formality might be appropriate when addressing the general public.

Wed, 12/22/2010 - 9:36pm Permalink
newageblues (not verified)

or if that's not allowed, you'd still be no worse off than now, and a lot of people would be better off, because of more purity and variety of product, safety while purchasing, lower prices, and what must be the delightful feeling of not being considered a criminal. Hopefully you'd consider voting for a legalization bill that would help others even if it didn't help you. I'd be upset to see a legalization bill that didn't include the ability to grow your own. But if that was all that was offered, I'd probably vote for it. If cannabis is as glorious as you say, legalization of possession should make that obvious to enough people wherever it's legalized that laws against personal use untaxed cannabis gardening  (sooner or later including giving it away for free)  will melt away. And millions of people will learn about the fun and health benefits of gardening. 

Thu, 12/23/2010 - 1:25pm Permalink

In CA, it was the baptists and bootleggers that shot down Prop 19.

Well, the baptists are starting to lighten up with Pat Robertson saying legalization might be a good idea (Praise the Lord and don't bogart?).

And unless I'm really wrong, there are fewer growers and local economies based on illicit grows in WA than there are in CA.

So legalization passage could stand a better chance in WA than CA.

Fri, 12/24/2010 - 3:18pm Permalink
jenniooooooooo… (not verified)

Outlawing drug use is like outlawing oral sex. People want to do it, everyone does it at some point, and you can't stop them. Humans aren't even the only species that gets high, most primates and other animals do too, by means of consuming fermented fruit and sucking poison from insects. Getting high is in our nature.

Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:58pm Permalink

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