Ric Smith Makes Bold Prediction on Voter Initiative to Legalize Marijuana

The Washington State legislature recently has considered certain bills to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.  House Bill 1177, introduced by Mary Lou Dickerson, a Democrat of Seattle, would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and make it an infraction similar to a speeding ticket.  Similarly, HB 2401 would legalize the drug outright.

But Ric Smith, of the group Sensible Washington, didn’t sound too interested.  He has pushed for a voter initiative that would legalize marijuana.   The voter initiative would attempt to collect enough signatures directly from voters to have the law put on the ballot for a direct vote of the people.  While others at a legislative hearing pushed the legislators to pass the law, Smith told them “We’re going to take it out of your hands, and we’re sorry about that…”  He continued:  “Just wait for our initiative; it’ll take care of everything.”  (See story).   Is he correct?  Will the voter’s pass an initiative that would legalize marijuana?

It may have sounded like Ric Smith was telling the legislature to take a hike, but this was probably not his intent.  After the hearing, I noticed Sensible Washington’s website posted the statement “Sensible Washington certainly appreciates the hard work of legislators who have supported these measures….”

The group Sensible Washington is gathering signatures to put the issue before the voters in the November 2010 general election.  The measure would remove all criminal penalties under Washington law for the adult use of marijuana as well as the possession and cultivation of marijuana.

What do you think?

4 Responses to “Ric Smith Makes Bold Prediction on Voter Initiative to Legalize Marijuana”

  • Dave:

    Cannabis was criminalized in the 30’s due to the Hearst and DuPont empires fearing that the Hemp fibers would interfere in their business. Hearst holding vast timber holdings, and DuPont developing the use of Synthetic fiber, and other products that you could make naturally using Hemp.

    Perpetuated by 8 decades of lies, mis-direction, and being labeled the same as a narcotic has definitely changed how mainstream folks view this plant.

    What’s sad is that coffee is more addictive, alcohol and tobacco have killed untold numbers of people. Yet, all three of those substances are readily available, and happily taxed by every state, county and municipality across this land.

    However, grow a plant, or simply posses an ounce of this plant, and in some states you have committed a Felony. While, in 13 states, or 26% of the country, you can use Cannabis legally to help treat medical problems.

    It’s time to focus law enforcement on truly harmful substances that threaten our families and the general populace.

    Benefits of legalized Cannabis would be immediate. You would relieve a burden on the court and prison systems. This would free up funds being wasted to arrest, prosecute, and house “criminal marijuana users”.

    The state would have an additional revenue stream, that it can control and regulate the way it already does alcohol, 21 and over, available only in liquor stores. Additionally, you would remove the criminal element to Cannabis, effectively diminishing a sector of the drug trade. It would also be much easier for medical mariuana patients who can’t grow their own medicine to obtain it without fear of arrest.

  • Medical marijuana is really a really good drug for a whole lot of people, it doesn’t matter what folks say. I know family and friends who have been helped with medical cannabis.

  • Medical marijuana is actually quite a great medicine for a great deal of people, it does not matter what folks think. I know family and friends who have been helped with medical cannabis.

  • We need to buy more hemp products to support the industry and make people aware of how great and useful hemp is.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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