News Updates

Here are a few updates on some recent news items I’ve been following before I head off to Drinking Liberally:

– The marijuana decriminalization bill introduced in the State House is here. After some more asking around, it appears that the bill is being held up by State Representative Chris Hurst (D-31), whose Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee does not plan on holding hearings, or even allowing a vote. I have an email out to his office in the hopes of getting an explanation. As Dominic Holden has pointed out, the bill would potentially save Washington taxpayers roughly $7.5 million per year. And the decriminalization is extremely limited. In fact, the bill’s proposed marijuana possession limits without being a criminal offense would still be more stringent than Ohio’s.

– The pre-trial motions in the Bruce Olson case (previous posts here, here, and here) will be on Monday, January 26 at 9am at the Kitsap County Courthouse (614 Division St. in Port Orchard). Prosecutors are trying to deny Olson’s ability to testify that he’s an authorized medical marijuana patient. Supporters of the Olsons are encouraging people to come to the courthouse to show their support.

Comments

  1. 1

    Tyler spews:

    The marijuana bill has zero chance of passing. Hurst and the vast majority of Democrats aren’t going to touch the subject with a ten-foot pole. They have nothing to gain politically and the potential to lose a lot (especially in a district like Hurst’s).

  2. 2

    busdrivermike spews:

    Yes, let’s do it the old way in regards to weed. After all, it has shown such great results in getting people to stop smoking it.

    And all the war on drugs has done is create the slippery slope that allowed that wonderful piece of legislation called the Patriot Act to exist.

    With Democrats like Hurst, who needs Republicans?

  3. 3

    Tyler spews:

    I’m surprised Roger Goodman isn’t a co-sponsor on that marijuana bill because he’s a big proponent of drug reform laws.

  4. 4

    SeattleJew spews:

    Seems to me that the MJ crew should raise a few dollars and sponsor a referendum.

    I, for one, would love to see the residual radical religionists try to find an expert who would support their position.

    If any real threat existed to such a referendum it would be from some potheads who seemingly have a need to sell their habit as a panacea for all ills.

    Ideally, the referendum would have the sale controlled and a source of $$$ for the state.

    Maybe we could hire Tim Eynman to manage the referendum?

  5. 6

    correctnotright spews:

    @4: Good idea SJ. I agree a referendum would be a good (and funny) idea. Timmy won’t do it though – the BIAW would not approve and there is not enough money to be made off the pro-hemp forces (maybe they could pay him in benefits :)).

  6. 7

    spews:

    First: I would like to see Dom’s numbers indicating $7.5 millions is savings. I don’t believe it. If it is a matter of the State saving money, saving from dicrim is minimal compared to legalization and the ability to tax marijuana. Let us not make a mistake and think decrim is anything like legalization.
    Second: I believe as “busdrivermike” when he writes, “And all the war on drugs has done is create the slippery slope that allowed that wonderful piece of legislation called the Patriot Act to exist.”
    Third: A comprehensive legalization bill should be compiled, including distribution systems and methods through the WA. State Liquor Control Board with all legal retail sale. A method of licensing growers through the Dept. of Health to monitor growing condition, ie; bugs, molds, spray residue and the like. The State would be the only market for these growers. Retail would be through the State Liquor Control Board’s existing outlets (liquor stores).
    In conclusion: This can work. Along with an education campaign explaining the difference between decrim and legal. Will someone with a more articulate pen than I, help compose THE HEMP and MARIJUANA FREEDOM and TAX ACT OF 2009?

  7. 8

    Steve spews:

    @7 I believe that if was legalized there’d soon be commercially available packs of hemp or however the corporations would retail it. That’s what we’d see in stores – state liquor/hemp stores in this state. Homegrowing would likely be treated like home brewing with the state laws governing home brew and wine making expanded to cover hemp and it’s sale – just like someone selling their home-made wine.

  8. 9

    spews:

    I’ve spent a lifetime working with bureaucrats and elected officials. One thing about elected officials – they are good at smiling, listening and then rejecting proposals made to them — unless there is some benefit directly to other causes they have campaigned on.
    Next on their list of important concerns is what will keep them in office. This is what offers us the best opportunity to get support from some of the junior members because they are willing to work somewhat outside of their comfort zone. Also, it could be really beneficial to concentrate on senior members of congress, especially if they are beginning to plan retirement. A bill that carries income from taxes, willingly paid and faithfully collected, might represent the crown jewel in their career.
    One additional point about senior members is they have efficient staffs and rely on them to provide input about issues that count. It’s possible working with those staffs might produce more results than directly conversing with the member themselves.

    Bureaucrats, on the other hand, have no agenda other than the narrow business of the dept. they work for. These are the folks who work alongside the City Councils, County Commissioners and elected officials. They know which buttons in what office will move things along but they don’t get much credit. So, why not spend some time making information available to some of the bureacrats and enlist them to connect a few dots for us?

    This may not be the perfect solution, but it’s attempting to coordinate all this energy and direct the strategic use of the tools we have to deal with.

    Let’s all “Enjoy the Life!!”