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

October 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Upcoming marijuana legalization debates for Initiative 502

As I wrote about last week, there is no organized law enforcement opposition to Initiative 502 and legalizing marijuana sales. But that doesn’t mean there’s no push-back: it’s just mostly coming from within the marijuana legalization community. Below is a list of debates scheduled for the next several weeks around the state, with expected pro/con speakers. (This is preliminary list, subject to change).

In addition, travel guru/marijuana advocate Rick Steves is barnstorming the state on behalf of I-502 next week appearing at pro-legalization rallies.

Monday, Oct. 8, 6:00 p.m. -The League of Women Voters of Benton and Franklin Counties, Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Tri-City Herald are hosting a debate on I-502, other initiatives and a Congressional race. Columbia Basin College Gjerde Center. Pro: I-502 campaign manager Alison Holcomb; con: No on 502 spokesman and medical marijana enterpreneur Steve Sarich

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7:00-9:00 p.m.League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County is hosting a debate on I-502, King County Sheriff and a King County levy at Seattle University Wyckoff Auditorium in the Bannan Engineering Building. Pro: Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. Con: TBD.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6:00-7:30 p.m. – Seattle CityClub ia hosting an I-502 debate, Kane Hall, University of Washington. Pro: Pete Holmes and Rev. Leslie Braxton of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship. Con: Steve Sarich and Snohomish County Regional Drug Task Force Commander Pat Slack.

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Thurston County Mainstream Republicans hosting a debate on I-502 and other ballot measures, Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia. Pro: Former Thurston County deputy prosecuting attorney Ken Valz. Con: Tom Zweiger, retired Washington State Patrol narcotics detective.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, noon to 1 p.m. Seattle Times politics team’s live chat. Pro Initiative 502, former U.S. Attorney John McKay; con, Derek Franklin, substance abuse expert.

Wednesday Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. - League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County is hosting a debate at University of Washington-Tacoma, Philip Hall, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma. Pro: Alison Holcomb. Con: TBD.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 7:00-9:00 p.m. - League of Women Voters of Pullman and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce are hosting a debate on state ballot measures.  Pullman City Council Chambers, 325 SE Paradise St., Pullman. Pro:  Tonia Winchester, I-502 outreach director. Con: Douglas Hiatt, criminal defense attorney/marijuana legalization advocate.

Thursday, Oct. 18, 6:00-7:30 p.m. – I-502 debate at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle WA 98126. Pro: Roger Roffman, UW emeritus professor/drug abuse researcher. Con: Steve Freng, prevention/treatment manager of Northwest HIDTA.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 11:30 a.m. - Richmond Beach Congregational Church is hosting an I-502 debate, 1512 Northwest 195th Street, Shoreline. Pro: Pete Holmes. Con: Anthony Martinelli, communications director for Sensible Washington/marijuana legalization advocate.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - Clover Park Technical College is hosting an I-502 debate, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, Building 23, Atrium. Pro: Alison Holcomb. Con: Steve Sarich.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m. - League of Women Voters of Thurston County hosting ballot initiatives forum, including I-502. Traditions Cafe, 300 5th Ave. SW, Olympia. Pro: Alison Holcomb. Con: Anthony Martinelli or Douglas Hiatt.

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