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Actively support WA I-1068 (Marijuana Reform Act Initiative)

Submitted by David Borden on
Sensible Washington and I-1068 deserve and need your active support. The initiative text is readable on the site and this is a clean civil liberties initiative with provisions for genuine public safety issues. I-1068 doesn't conflict with federal law as it basically just removes existing marijuana related state civil and criminal penalties for adults. If voted into law it will be implementable though I imagine the state and federal governments will undermine it to the best of their ability. This is a volunteer effort provoked by a challenge from a prosecutor to the defense attorney of a medical marijuana patient. I think it has a chance of qualifying for the ballot and passing if it does qualify. It won't qualify if people don't actively gather signatures and help in other ways. If you are eligible to vote in Washington, sign and circulate petitions. If you think you aren't eligible to vote check your status. The state hasn't publicized it but last year a law took effect automatically restoring felon voting rights for people not in prison or on community custody. Spread the word. Get petitions and hit the pavement wherever you can. Public sidewalks outside of post offices, fairs and street events, outside big box stores, inside or outside malls, wherever people are and you have a legal right to gather signatures or can get permission from a property owner/leaser. If you've got a small business gather signatures there if practical, even if you aren't willing to be listed on Sensible Washington's website this can be very effective. If you can't do any of those things perhaps you can donate money, donate use of property (shelter from the rain to gather signatures can be extremely valuable), endorse it, publicize it, provide services of some sort or advice from your experience elsewhere. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. Be an activist. Statement of Purpose. (1) The People of the State of Washington are concerned about the millions of dollars spent each year to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate people for marijuana offenses. It is widely accepted that marijuana is a benign therapeutic substance that, unlike other legal substances such as tobacco and alcohol, has never caused a single death. (2) In 1998, the People recognized the medicinal benefits of marijuana by approving and enacting Initiative 692, codified at RCW 69.51A, which authorized the medical use of marijuana by qualified patients. Since RCW 69.51A only provides an affirmative defense, it has proven ineffective at protecting qualified patients from arrest and prosecution. (3) Several bills have been introduced in the legislature seeking decriminalization of marijuana, but none of the bills have been permitted to reach the floor of the legislature for a vote. (4) Under current law: (a) Washington citizens face the prospect of arrest, prosecution and incarceration, as well as the loss of employment and important parental and property rights, for marijuana offenses. (b) Under current law, Washington farmers and landowners are prohibited from growing industrial hemp on their land, depriving them of the ability to grow a valuable, environmentally-friendly crop. (5) The People intend to remove all existing civil and criminal penalties for adults eighteen years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana, without impacting existing laws proscribing dangerous activities while under the influence of marijuana or certain conduct that exposes younger persons to marijuana.

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