As the City Attorney of Seattle, Tom Carr used his pulpit to campaign against a pot initiative I was running in 2003. Carr said that I-75, which proposed making pot possession the city's lowest enforcement priority, was bad for children and sent a message to ignore state law. He contended that cops and prosecutors shouldn't be influenced by a municipal advisory measure. "This undermines the rule of law and our democratic system," he wrote in one of several anti-I-75 articles. "Change is possible. We can work to make change happen but I-75 is not the way."
If we wanted change—if we wanted legalization, which he didn't oppose—Carr argued the way to do it was by reforming state law. Voters didn't listen to him: They passed I-75 and jettisoned Carr from office, electing pro-legalization Pete Holmes by a two-to-one margin. Now Carr is in Colorado as the city attorney of Boulder.
So what happened when Carr, ostensibly, got exactly what he wanted last fall? What happened when Colorado—just like Washington State—legalized marijuana at the state level with regulated stores and the whole bit? The Denver Post reports:
In a memo to the City Council, City Attorney Tom Carr and Senior Assistant City Attorney Kathy Haddock recommend the city not allow recreational marijuana retail stores in the city for at least the next two years.
Two-thirds of the voters in Boulder supported the legalization law—a law that takes effect this year, not one to be delayed two years. And if Carr had remained in office, he'd probably be doing the same thing in Seattle: trying to ban pot stores despite the wishes of voters. The problem with Carr isn't that he thinks pot should be legalized at the state level (he balks whether its a city law or a state law), it's that he's irrationally anti-pot. And Carr doesn't give a shit about what voters say about it.
Votes matter. And voters were smart to push Carr out of town.