Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Marijuana legalization initiative to turn signatures next week

Promoters of Iniatiative 502 are preparing to turn in at least 100,000 more signatures than required to make the ballot next week, meaning Washingtonians will most likely get a chance to vote up or down on legalizing marijuana in 2012.

I-502’s campaign director, Alison Holcomb, said she has on hand about 340,000 signatures, but expects more to arrive from paid and volunteer gatherers before a Dec. 29 hand-over to the Secretary of State in Olympia. Election law requires 241,153 valid signatures, but the Secretary of State recommends at turning in 320,000 to account for bogus or duplicate signatures. If the signatures check out, I-502 first heads to the 2012 state Legislature which could pass it or, more likely, kick it to the November ballot.

I-502 would legalize and regulate sale of small amounts of marijuana to people 21 and older  in newly created state-licensed pot shops. The state Liquor Control Board would license grow farms and marijuana food processors as well. A heavy tax scheme would generate an estimated $80 million in general-fund dollars as well as about $135 million for health care, drug treatment and research.

Legalization campaigns in several other states —  including Colorado and California — are also under way, aiming for an election when the youth vote is highest.

I-502, called New Approach Washington, has high-profile backers but is running into increasing opposition from medical-marijuana advocates who object to the initiative’s newly set driving-while-stoned provisions.

 

Comments | More in Government, The Blotter | Topics: marijuana, politics

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.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

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 ►