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March 19, 2013 at 3:42 PM
The House committee overseeing the state’s marijuana law today heard feedback about a bill that would change state regulations.
Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, introduced House Bill 2000 to modify Initiative 502, a voter-passed measure allowing the sale and possession of marijuana for adults. He said he introduced the bill to preempt the “myriad of problems” the Washington State Liquor Control Board will face while implementing the initiative, especially given the lack of marijuana regulation the state has long had.
“We really have done nothing to regulate marijuana in Washington state,” Hurst said. “I could walk to downtown Olympia and find someone to sell him marijuana within five minutes.”
HB 2000 would change where businesses could legally sell marijuana. Under I-502, marijuana can’t be sold within 1000 feet of certain public facilities, including schools, parks, playgrounds and transit centers. HB 2000 would cut that distance to 500 feet, except near schools.
February 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Legislative items to watch this week: unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans
This week the state Legislature will once again consider a diverse assortment of topics. Various committees will hold hearings on bills covering unmanned drones, marijuana convictions and unemployed veterans.
Two weeks after Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn grounded the Seattle Police Department’s unmanned drown program, the House and Senate will hold hearings on legislation to outline regulations on the aircraft. Senate Bill 5782 will be heard by the Law & Justice Committee on Wednesday. House Bill 1771 will be heard by the Public Safety Committee on Thursday.
The House Public Safety Committee will further explore the implications of Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana use, in a Wednesday meeting. Representatives will consider House Bill 1661 removing misdemeanor marijuana convictions from people’s criminal records. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien.
Legislators in the House will hear a bill aimed at bolstering the state’s economy and putting veterans to work with bills that provide tax cuts for businesses hiring unemployed workers. House Bill 1615, proposed by Port Orchard Republican Jan Angel, will go before the Finance Committee on Friday.
February 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM
This week, legislators will address some old topics, such as workers compensation and abortion, and open up some new ones, such as marijuana legalization.
Senators could debate three of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus’ worker compensation bills on the floor today. One of the bills is Senate Bill 5128, changing compensation for injured workers. The bill sponsored by Sen. Janea Holmquist Newbry, R-Moses Lake, was passed out of committee last week and amended on the Senate floor last Friday.
The Senate Law & Justice Committee will begin discussing Senate Bill 5156, requiring parental notification for minors seeking abortions. The bill was revised last week after Republicans faced criticism for a clause apparently repealing laws making abortion legal in Washington. A public hearing for the bill will be held on Feb. 6.
Members of the House will begin to address marijuana legalization this week with a work session on impaired driving in the Public Safety Committee on Feb. 6. Legislators will also polish the marijuana law with House Bill 1597, which makes technical corrections to the law. Public hearing on the bill will take place in the Committee on Government Accountability & Oversight on Feb. 7.
October 17, 2012 at 5:22 AM
Still undecided about Initiative 502, the marijuana legalization, regulation and taxation measure on the November ballot?
Join us today, Wednesday, at noon for a live chat on the initiative and its impacts. What happens to law enforcement in our state if the measure passes, how do thing change? What about young people? Does a yes vote on I-502 make young people more or less likely to think it’s OK to smoke pot? Is it a gateway drug? How have our laws worked until now?
Participating in Wednesday’s live chat and discussion on the ballot measure is John McKay who joined the faculty of Seattle University Law School after he resigned along with eight other United States Attorneys in 2007. He teaches and lectures nationally on terrorism, ethics and leadership. A graduate of the University of Washington, he earned his J.D. at Creighton University. He is an original sponsor and supporter of I-502.
Also with us Wednesday at noon, and taking questions from readers, will be Derek Franklin president of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention. He has worked in the mental health and substance abuse fields for over 20 years as a child and family therapist, chemical dependency treatment provider and prevention professional. He is opposed to I-502.
Moderators will be Times reporter Jonathan Martin, who is covering the marijuana initiative, and myself. Please join us for a lively discussion. Feel free to send questions in advance to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
October 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM
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.
August 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM
Join representatives from two sides of the marijuana legalization debate next Monday, Aug. 20, at noon, to talk about the pros and cons of Initiative 502, moderated by The Seattle Times political team. I-502 is on the November ballot. It would legalize, regulate and tax recreational marijuana use.
Participants include Alison Holcomb, drug policy director for the ACLU of Washington, currently on loan to the I-502 campaign.
She has served on the King County Bar Association’s Drug Policy Project, and the Seattle City Council’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel and Jail Capacity Study Advisory Group.
Also joining us is Kevin Sabet, the former senior adviser to Director Gil Kerlikowske (former chief of Seattle police) of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Sabet is currently an assistant professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida and a senior consultant to the UN and grassroots organizations.
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