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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: marijuana legalization

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May 22, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Wrap your head around this: Marijuana laws in Washington and Oregon

Matt Lewis collecting petitions at the Saturday market in Portland on May 13, 2012.(Photo by A.V. Crofts/UW Election Eye)

Washington and Oregon both legalized medical marijuana in 1998. Since then, there’s been amendments, initiatives, petitions, and proposals. Here’s a breakdown of the laws in our neighboring states, and a look at what lessons Washington can learn from Oregon as we consider legalization.

PORTLAND — During our second day in Portland, with temperatures nearing 90 degrees making it feel more like July than May, the UWEE team found a man collecting signatures at the Saturday Market. He was advocating for two initiatives that would make the Oregon marijuana law more lenient. We had seen similar efforts all over town.

Marijuana legalization will also be one of the hot-button issue in Washington this election season: Initiative-502 will be on your ballot in November.

According to New Approach Washington, a group supporting the ballot initiative, I-502 “would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana and marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.”

Phew — that’s a mouthful. In simpler terms, I-502 would legalize marijuana in Washington.

Well, sort of. 

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