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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

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November 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Unlikely support and opposition for Initiative 502

Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana use, is on the Nov. 6th ballot in Washington state, but its supporters are not who you’d expect.

SEATTLE — Washington may soon become one of the first states to pass an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana use.

King County Sergeant Cindi West believes that keeping marijuana outlawed is a waste of money and resources that could better be used to prosecute more harmful crime (Photo by MJ Hoecherl / UW Election Eye).

If passed by the voters tomorrow, the initiative would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution and possession for persons over 21. A sales tax of 25 percent would be enforced on all sales and a new DUI standard would also be established, much like the present alcohol DUI standard. Marijuana is currently the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.
Among the groups in support of I-502 is a likely one: young voters, and a seemingly unlikely one: King County law enforcement.

Ironically, when state legislators introduced the initiative last summer, they anticipated much of the support to come from medical marijuana businesses and activists, but that has not been the case.

Businesses that sell medical marijuana and their customers are those that are most strongly opposed to the initiative. They say that the regulations of the drug’s DUI standard would cause users to fail days after smoking, which is not consistent with an alcohol-related DUI.

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Comments | More in State | Topics: I-502, law enforcement, marijuana