– Initiative 1068 has been filed. It removes the criminal penalties for adult marijuana use. If enough signatures are gathered, Washington voters will join California voters this November in deciding whether to make it legal for adults to possess and use marijuana. Pete Guither has an interesting write-up on what the federal government might do in response. For now, the Obama Administration’s current strategy appears to be to bury their heads in the sand and pretend none of this is happening.
UPDATE: There will be a volunteer kickoff meeting in Seattle on February 17 (and in Spokane on February 10) to get people started with the signature gathering process.
– The State Senate passed ESSB 5516, which prevents people from being charged with drug crimes if they are reporting a medical emergency. On a less optimistic note, they passed a stricter law against driving while using handheld cell phones, even though a study this week showed that those laws don’t do anything to reduce accidents. [via Balko]
– The sight of ACORN pimp James O’Keefe – a young man whose ties to white nationalists are starting to be exposed – sitting across from Sean Hannity explaining that his arrest last week was just a “misunderstanding” says pretty much everything you need to know about the state of conservatism, race, and justice among the American right. As I watched that happen, my first thought was “when do the ACORN folks get their chance to sit across from Hannity and plead their case?” Compared to what O’Keefe just got caught doing (even just the parts he’s admitted to), what those ACORN workers did was petty. One can imagine what Hannity would say if four ACORN workers were busted trying to mess with the phones in Senator Mitch McConnell’s office. But that inequity never adds up to anyone in the Fox News alternate universe. Their world is one in which whites live by one set of rules involving the ideas of redemption, trust, and innocence until proven guilty, and everyone else is a potential terrorist.