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

December 19, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Ad in New York Times thanks Washington voters for drug reform’s “best year ever”

A national drug-reform group that helped fund Initiative 502 is taking out a full-page ad in Thursday’s New York Times to thank Washington and Colorado voters for having “performed a national service.”

The ad by the Drug Policy Alliance also thanks former President Clinton, evangelist Pat Robertson and the presidents of Columbia, Guatemala and Uruguay for making statements that support the group’s call to change U.S. drug laws. A political arm of Drug Policy Alliance donated $1.6 million to I-502, more than a quarter of the campaign’s total fundraising.

In a statement, Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann called 2012 the “best year ever” for drug reform.

 “Voters in Washington and Colorado did more than just make history last month by voting to end their states’ marijuana prohibition laws and attempt instead to regulate marijuana as a legal commodity. They performed a national service by catapulting the national conversation about drug policy to a new level of urgency and political significance.”

Washington’s new law took effect Dec. 6, de-criminalizing possession of one ounce of marijuana. Rules for a regulated and taxed recreational marijuana market — with licensed growers, retailers and food processors —  are being worked on now. The state Liquor Control Board is taking public comments on the marijuana producer license through February.

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