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Seattle Mayor Says It's Time to Legalize Marijuana

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #723)
Consequences of Prohibition

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (D) used his state of the city address last Tuesday night to make a heartfelt plea for marijuana legalization. The mayor's remarks came as a new poll showed that an initiative that would legalize marijuana is favored by voters.

Mike McGinn
"It is time we were honest about the problems we face with the drug trade. Drugs are a source of criminal profit, and that has led to shootings and even murders. Just like we learned in the 1920s with the prohibition of alcohol, prohibition of marijuana is fueling violent activity," McGinn said in his prepared remarks.

"Seattle is the kind of place that isn't afraid to try a different approach," he continued. "We support safe access to medical marijuana and made enforcement of possession of marijuana for personal purposes our lowest enforcement priority. But we've learned in the past year that with the federal war on drugs still intact, and with our kids still getting gunned down on the streets, we need to do more.

"I know every one of the city council members sitting to my left and right believe as I do: It's time for this state to legalize marijuana, and stop the violence, stop the incarceration, stop the erosion of civil liberties, and urge the federal government to stop the failed war on drugs."

Mayor McGinn's remarks came as Washingtonians prepare to decide the issue for themselves in the November elections. A marijuana legalization initiative, I-502, has already been approved for the ballot. Sponsored by New Approach Washington, the initiative would create a system of state-licensed and -regulated marijuana commerce and allow adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce.

A Public Policy Polling survey released this week shows the initiative leading, although not with a majority. In the poll, 47% of voters said they're currently inclined to vote yes on the measure, with 39% saying they are opposed.

A similar initiative is poised to make the ballot in Colorado, having handed in four times the number of signatures it needed for its final push, while legalization initiative signature-gathering campaigns are underway in California, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and Oregon.

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.


malcolmkyle (not verified)


Jury Nullification is a constitutional doctrine that allows juries to acquit defendants who are technically guilty but do not deserve punishment. - All non-violent 'drug offenders' who are not selling to children - be they users, dealers or importers - clearly belong in this category. 
If you sincerely believe that prohibition is a dangerous and counter-productive policy then you must stop helping to enforce it. When it comes to acquittals, you, the juror, have the very last word! 
* It only takes one juror to prevent a guilty verdict. 
* You are not lawfully required to disclose your voting intention before taking your seat on a jury.
* You are also not required to give a reason to the other jurors for your position when voting - just simply state you find the accused not guilty.
* Jurors must understand that it is their opinion, their vote. If the Judge and the other jurors disapprove, too bad. There is no punishment for having a dissenting opinion.
We must create what we can no longer afford to wait for - PLEASE VOTE TO ACQUIT!
Thu, 02/23/2012 - 6:18pm Permalink
Paul Pot (not verified)

For a while now we have only seen retired officials coming out and calling for an end to the drug war.

Now we are witnessing a real milestone when incumbent officials, leaders in fact, are calling for change.
11 Sth American leaders recently called for a ''regulated market'' in a joint statement.

In spite of the fact that the US congress has no time for this issue, world opinion may suddenly come to force congress and the U.N. into action.
Support reform initiatives in your state.
Legalize in 2012.



Fri, 02/24/2012 - 2:11am Permalink
Callum Yeater (not verified)

I say its time...its about darn time. I say that the states legalize and when the fed comes busting down doors the states have a right to start arresting the fedssss

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 3:25pm Permalink
Big Al (not verified)

Bravo to Mike McGinn the city council, everyone who organized this effort and of course the signatories. Thanks for the report Phillip Smith and the platform

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 8:39pm Permalink
Anon (not verified)

This guy gets it.  The more freedom that exists -- the more business that is created, the better the economy.  The more oppressive the law, the more obstacles that get in the way for legitimate businesses and citizens, the worse the economy becomes.  The first place that legalizes marijuana and defends it, will have created a huge economic stimulus that will impact not only with monetary fundamentals of a new industry, but will also create a psychological effect among the people of hope and new opportunity.  Legalize marijuana Seattle and watch a new gold rush develop. 

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 10:46am Permalink
Carl (not verified)

POT ----- I destroy homes, tear families apart, take your children, and that's just the start. I'm more costly than diamonds, more costly than gold, the sorrow I bring is a sight to behold, and if u need me, reme...mber I'm easily found. I live all around you, in schools and in town. I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and maybe next door. My power is awesome; try me.......... you'll see, but if you do, you may never break free. Just try me once and I might let you go, but try me twice, and I'll own your soul. When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie. You do what you have to just to get high. The crimes you'll commit, for my narcotic charms will be worth the pleasure you'll feel in your arms. You'll lie to your mother; you'll steal from your dad When you see their tears, you should feel sad. But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised, I'll be your conscience, I'll teach you my ways. I take kids from parents, and parents from kids, I turn people from god, and separate from friends. I'll take everything from you, your looks and your pride, I'll be with you always, right by your side. You'll give up everything your family, your home, your friends, your money, then you'll be alone. I'll take and take, till you have nothing more to give. When I'm finished with you you'll be lucky to live. If you try me be warned this is no game. If given the chance, I'll drive you insane. I'll ravish your body; I'll control your mind. I'll own you completely; your soul will be mine. The nightmares I'll give you while lying in bed, the voices you'll hear from inside your head, the sweats, the shakes, the visions you'll see; I want you to know, these are all gifts from me, But then it's too late, and you'll know in your heart, that you are mine, and we shall not part. You'll regret that you tried me, they always do, but you came to me, not I to you. You knew this would happen. Many times you were told, but you challenged my power, and chose to be bold. You could have said no, and just walked away, If you could live that day over, now what would you say? I'll be your master; you will be my slave, I'll even go with you, when you go to your grave. Now that you have met me , what will you do? Will you try me or not? Its all up to you. I can bring you more misery than words can tell. Come take my hand, let me lead you to hell...

-William Shakespeare

(This profound piece of literature was found next to the body of Mr. Shakespeare when he was discovered dead from an overdose of figgy pudding after smoking pots).

I've been a pots head for years. I wish to God the pusher who "turned me on" to the pots would have just shot me in the head.
I lie, cheat, steal and murder for a hit of pots.
And no matter how much candy, cookies and junk food I eat, my munchies are insatiable.

If you are on the pots, get help. Lifelong suboxone maintenance will heal your pots receptors.

Pots addiction is not a sin. But it is a disease. And a crime. Those who smoke the pots are criminally insane and deserve compassionate persecution.

Help them "hit bottom". Quickly. Tough love is in order here. Zero tolerance.

A drug free America IS possible. Life here can be as squeaky clean and wholesome as it was portrayed to be on television in the 1950s.

Distribute copies of this poem and make everyone in this great land read it, memorize it, and recite it.

Wake up America!

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 9:07pm Permalink
Marsh (not verified)

In reply to by Carl (not verified)

Dude you are tripping...the reason you did all of this things when you were a "pots" head is because you must be very stupid. I know a lot of people who smoke weed every day (for years) and they are just fine. They go to school, they have jobs, friends, they don't steal money or murder...I repet, you must be a moron in general if you did those things. Don't blame a plant, blame you, dumbass.

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 6:57am Permalink
Anon (not verified)

In reply to by Carl (not verified)

Hey you weak minded, brain washed by agenda driven (rather than science based) drug counselors, pot is medicine.  Not the fkg devil, you dweeb.  My suggestion to you is that you learn some self control, self responsibility and moderation, then you will be strong enough for pots.  Until then, you belong in diapers. 

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 10:32am Permalink
Alex Rai (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

lol, that comment just made my frickin' day. Thanks for that.

You know what is less funny though? Every greedy Lawyer and his dog gives that same line to a Judge every time their client (who incidentally smokes the pots) is also a common thief or social degenerate. Don't throw him in jail, the drugs did it, he just needs treatment! Honestly.

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 10:51pm Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

You must be frantic with worry about what alcohol is really doing to people, all that killing and maiming stuff, of innocents and abusers alike. That rant you passed along was originally written for alcohol or hard drugs, and that's where it belongs, but of course it doesn't apply to everyone who uses them either.

Or maybe your post was meant as parody?

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 12:51pm Permalink
Carl (not verified)

In reply to by saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

Wow. A dim spark of conscious awareness arrives. One out of three replies ain't bad. For pots heads.

"Maybe" a parody? :-)

Methinks you pots heads should refrain from "wake and bake"

Shakespeare dead, in 1616, from a figgy pudding OD was one of many clues.

Sherlock Holmes used cocaine and morphine. But not pots. I see why.

Actually I've smoked the pots thousands of times. I've also experimented with opium and heroin. Thousands of times.

I don't really "lie, cheat, steal or kill". For pots. Or opium. Or heroin.

Stay in school kids. And don't smoke the pots til your homework is finished.


Fri, 03/02/2012 - 10:19pm Permalink
Anon (not verified)

In reply to by Carl (not verified)

You are just sick.  You should NOT be giving children advice.

You my poor friend are a habitual abuser.  I bet you abuse everything in your life.  I bet you are overweight and you abuse food.  You certainly must abuse alcohol.  I bet you abuse toilet paper; and you must abuse the environment, along with your energy consumption.  And you most definitely must abuse sex.  I certainly hope that you do not abuse people.  Has not a counselor told you that you need to take responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings and actions?  Stop blaming everything but yourself.  Take charge of your life.

Sat, 03/03/2012 - 12:23am Permalink
Carl (not verified)

In reply to by Anon (not verified)

I'm looking for a good therapist, Anon. How much would you charge (hourly)? And before I run out of pots. :-)



Sat, 03/03/2012 - 12:54am Permalink
Alex Rai (not verified)

In reply to by Carl (not verified)

You don't even make sense, probably intentional, but I'll humour you.

I don't smokes the pots, but I totally support the right of anyone else to do so. In fact, the few times a year friends convince me to smoke the pots, my poor mind congeals in horror and I am reminded why I don't like the pots... but I fully support the right of anyone else to smoke da pots.


Just have a personal preference for LSD and ketamine that's all. And two universities degrees and a job... and no I don't steal shit.

Sat, 03/03/2012 - 1:27am Permalink
Carl (not verified)

In reply to by Alex Rai (not verified)

Drop some acid. Then my writing will make sense. If you read it in the mirror, backwards.

How do I know you don't steal stuff from work?

Do you work in a ketamine factory? I applied at one. But they wanted two university degrees. I only have none.

Sat, 03/03/2012 - 2:00am Permalink
William Aiken (not verified)

As a resident of Upstate New York State, I have had suffered with local Mayors who truly believe in the drug war and have approved the use of SWAT style raids employing violent and lethal tactics on it's citizens that were thought to be using or selling small amounts of marijuana..In spite of being ridiculed and shamed by the local newspaper for endorsing these raids where live bullets were fired in order to kill the victims family pet dog, both candidates running for Mayor in our city thought these raids were a justified use of police resources.


 I wish there were more open minded politicians like this  Mayor in  Seattle. Everyone representing me in office is years away from this kind of progressive approach to marijuana. Even after I shared a very personal story of how my father who passed away at 81 with my Assemblyman. My father who died as thin as a rail could have benefited from medical marijuana to stimulate his appetite. .I urged him to support a very restrictive bill to allow marijuana for people in situations like my Dad. My assemblyman wrote back saying that he was more concerned about loopholes like those in California and ended up voting against the bill.

Another politician in the State of Washington, who isn't inhibited by the reefer madness crowd is Roger Goodman. He's an Assemblyman running for Congress. If there are no candidates in my State or District with common sense on this issue, than I will give my support to Candidates in a State that do offer one.

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 4:40pm Permalink
Gary Mason (not verified)

Drug use during PRE prohibition was never the problem. Citizen negative behavior was ushered off the streets by cost effective police armed with words and a stick. Driving while impaired was handled without much incident and the need for flack jackets and hit squads never threatened the community. Only very wealthy, powerful, clandestine special interest groups saw a PROFIT to be had in drug prohibition. Rockefeller gained an oil industry monopoly by giving a 3 million $ check to Women's Groups to point out drug evils. Drug prohibition made the oil industry rich. Diesel and Henry Ford's first engines ran on, now illegal, nonpolluting alcohol and hempseed oil fuels. A well known white supremacy special interest group found burning crosses a slow and process and drug laws meant non white families would starve when their non white husbands went to prison. We can all agree drug prohibition worked for the oil industry and genocide. Prohibition doesn't promise you anything. It implies if. We can all agree Rockefeller and white supremacist love the Federal government  stuck on it's course blocking world wide hemp seed oil, securing the oil monopoly and filling prisons. We can all agree that for every bust, a line of replacement drug business men impatiently waits stretching beyond the horizon and the horizon beyond. Drug prohibition causes a business atmosphere of "supply and demand." It takes American drug industry and gives Mexico it's very own drug monopoly and billions. So we can agree toxic special interests groups and Mexican drug lords love drug prohibition. So far drug prohibition is less and less about drug use. We can agree the drug war budget is uncapped and steals from healthcare, education and all human interests. We can all agree everyone has drugs. Yes? Expensive Policing to stop drug industry continues to fail. We the people see the drug prohibition experiment as a 1920's ancient and obsolete law erected by self serving special interests groups, unwilling to stop their carnage.


I respectfully request Rockefeller Industries and holdings to immediately supply hemp startup finances for family farms.   Return to family farming and the original clean fuel.  Return, restore America.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 9:53pm Permalink

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