Follow us:

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

McKenna: Legalization of marijuana not a states’ rights issue

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna said legalization of marijuana is not a states’ rights issue, when asked Tuesday what he’d do as governor if voters approved Initiative 502 in November.

“I don’t think it’s a states’ rights issue. I think you have federal supremacy when it comes to laws like this,” he told reporters in a conference call. “If our state attempts to legalize a product, which is still criminalized under federal law, the feds will move forward and prosecute under federal law.”

I-502 would legalize possession and sale of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. It would impose a steep excise tax on marijuana and cannabis-infused products at new state-licensed marijuana stores, and would allow state-regulated grow farms.

McKenna opposes the measure, as does his Democratic challenger Jay Inslee. When pressed for details about what he’d do if the measure was approved, McKenna declined comment.

“I don’t want to comment on what could happen with a law that’s not going to pass. If it passes in November, we’ll evaluate what actions we need to take,” he said.

McKenna also said Tuesday he would not release his income tax returns.

Inslee released five years of federal income-tax returns last week and called on McKenna to do the same. McKenna has said previously he wouldn’t release the documents, but his campaign indicated last week that he was reconsidering.

On Tuesday, McKenna reaffirmed his earlier position. “It’s a phony issue. Anyone who wants to know what my salary is, what property I own, what debts I have, etc., can look at that on my F1 (financial disclosure reports),” McKenna said.

Those state filings show the value of bank accounts and investments. But they display income and assets only in broad ranges. In McKenna’s case, financial-disclosure forms show his primary income is from his attorney-general salary of $152,000 a year.

When asked if McKenna would release information about donations to charity, McKenna’s campaign manager Randy Pepple noted McKenna previously disclosed he contributed 3 percent of his salary to charity. Then Pepple scolded reporters for asking.

“You know what, no. This just continues you guys wasting ink and air time on a non- issue to the benefit of the Inslee campaign,” he said.

0 Comments | More in homepage, Marijuana, Politics Northwest | Topics: income tax returns, initiative 502, Jay Inslee

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►