Anti-Pot Campaign to Be Funded by Doctors, Lawyers, and Maybe Medical Pot Dispensaries

Comments

1
When patients can self medicate they won't need specialized MediMari doctors, paid advocates or dispensaries. The opposition is protecting its profits.
2
Even the potheads have profits to look after, I guess. It's too bad they're looking to profit on the backs of thousands of responsible cannabis users who'd like the cops to leave them to their business. It's also too bad their argument is specious. If the number of micrograms of active THC specified in the law is *really* their only gripe... it seems sort of throwing the baby out with the bathwater to torpedo the entire initiative. One almost wonders if this is a shill campaign. One hopes so. That would be brilliant.
3
So they're opposing a law that would save 10,000 arrests FOR POSSESSION annually because it might also result in a few more needless DUIs. Anyone else see a little flaw in that logic?
4
@1: Yep. It's a very profitable new industry.
5
I used to be wary of the DUI provision until it was pointed out to me that the current acceptable limit for driving under the influence of marijuana is ZERO nanograms.
6
Yay, NORML (http://stash.norml.org/norml-endorses-wa…). Boo, selfish "medical marijuana" profiteers and I-got-mine-screw-y'all "patients."
7
DUIs are the fear of urban white people. Felony drug convictions are the fear of urban black people. Guess which one is going to win?
8
@5: Hernandez: The difference is that now, prosecutors must prove that you were impaired in order for you to be convicted. If this passes, someone with 5 ng/ml or more of blood THC content while driving *will be guilty* whether or not he is impaired at the time. There will no longer be the need to convince a jury that someone was impaired while driving, only that the blood test was accurate.

Cops pull people over on false pretenses all the time. They don't need probable cause to stop someone on the road -- they'll happily make it up.
9
Lawyers love prohibition. We are all hostage's of lawyers.
10
Privileged urban medical marijuana patients and providers that know how to work the system (and in some cases are making a ton of money with the current setup) aren't too worried any more about being arrested, so they no longer care about 10,000 poor and/or minority and/or suburan and rural people that are getting arrested for possession or dealing under the current system.

This doesn't surprise me in the least, although it is damn depressing.
11
this is america. this is the drug war. anyone who thinks that the cops won't abuse the hell out of the (completely bullshit) dui provisions has been living under a rock for 30 years. this is the drive or smoke law. it is a terrible piece of legislation & it will be horribly abused by the cops if history is any guide (and it always is).
12
@11

So it's worse than what we have now? Really?

Fear of a potentially abusable DUI law is somehow worse than a complete prohibition that drags tens of thousands of people through the court system and costs us billions of dollars as a nation?

We have to start ending this stupid "drug war" we have going somehow. Which strategy do you think will work better? A broadly based but imperfect initiative that has a real chance to pass even though it might not be exactly what we want, or some non-existant perfect legalization that as far as I can tell has no chance to pass for years if not decades.

Sometimes grownups have to chose between two less than perfect options. Your choice right now is the current initiative or no changes. There is no other real choice.

13
God forbid we start an industry that would make available a market for better field sobriety/impairmen tests
14
screw this, medical should be changed to legal for all (at least all grown adults)... and pot DUI should be thrown out (until there is a valid measure of impairment), because this 5 nanograms measurement is BS, not SCIENCE. c'mon people
15
Listen folks: Marijuana in Washington State is legal. This bill only clarifies who sets the standards for this industry.

I think the system we have right now is working fairly well, thank you very much. If you can't bother yourself to get a card, then risk prosecution.
16
@13: Jen: If this passes, there will be no need to test whether or not someone is impaired by THC, only to test how much of it is in his or her blood.
17
Sometimes grownups have to chose between two less than perfect options.


You're wasting your time trying to argue that to psd.

There will no longer be the need to convince a jury that someone was impaired while driving, only that the blood test was accurate.


You obviously know nothing about how DUI cases are actually prosecuted. If cops don't cover their bases with field sobriety tests, even with a breathalyzer, any halfway decent attorney can get his/her client off the hook.
18
@7: Good point - cops never issue felony DUIs to black people.
19
@17: If cops don't cover their bases with field sobriety tests, even with a breathalyzer.

Ok, now you're just making shit up.

First of all, you don't even have to agree to a field sobriety test or a breath test when you are pulled over. The only thing you are legally obligated to do is submit to a test in their lab, should they decide to arrest you.

Second, the lab test is all that's required to convict of DUI. If all you have is a field test or a result from the handheld breathalyzer in the cop car, the defendant will walk as both of those methods are demonstrably unreliable.

Third, to get a defendant off of DUI, a good lawyer will ultimately have to cast doubt on the lab test, or argue procedural error. Unless your field sobriety test comes with video showing someone who is obviously bombed, it's impact on the judgment will be marginal. Same goes for hand-held breathalyzer results, which are effectively overridden by the more accurate lab results.
20
@13 I'm willing to go with imperfect if I don't have to buy from the black market for recreational use. I'm 27 and have never, ever, operated a car. I've driven boats, but not cars.

Cars & drugs are consumer privileges. Choose. Live in the great wide open, or be my neighbor on the bus line.
21
@3: In Washington state:

Possession under 40 grams:
Misdemeanor with 1-90 days jail, $250-$500 fine.

First offense DUI:
Misdemeanor with 1-365 days jail, $350-$5000 fine, license suspended for 90 days, mandatory DUI school.

Also, DUI charges are prosecuted vigorously. Possession charges not so much, and not at all in King County.

See the problem with your logic?

As a pot smoker, I'd rather take my chances with arrest for possession than bogus DUIs. Or, you know, get a medical card.

22
@20: if I don't have to buy from the black market for recreational use

You don't have to buy from the black market. Just get a card - the dispensaries don't follow you around to make sure you don't have any fun while high.

Then wait for a legalization initiative that doesn't make things worse for those of us who need to use the car a day after eating a pot brownie.
23
I think it is very important to point out that not all drivers with a THC blood content are high, even if their THC blood content is through the roof. Many patients medicate on a regular basis due to their physical medical needs. This does not mean 12 hours after they medicate they are still impaired. This means THC remains in the blood stream long after impairment fades, leaving what would be considered instantly incriminating evidence in their bodies, should I-502 and these people be caught driving.

Also, I feel it is important to point out the fact that certain individuals will process the THC through their bodies slower than others, most specifically women over men, and also individuals with more body mass. Women will retain THC at a more elongated rate than men, leaving them more susceptible to persecution (and prosecution) should this initiative pass. I-502 is gender biased. That's what happens when you don't base your initiative on science though, just mere propaganda.

Another major issue with this initiative is the fact that it REMOVES ANY PERSONS ABILITY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES IN COURT OVER THESE DUI CHARGES. So, patients who are caught driving unimpaired but over the limit will not have the opportunity (or the right) to present a defense by their attorney to prove their innocence or unimpairment, nor will any other non-patient persons. This is toeing the line on constitutionality. All persons are granted the right to a fair trial, except if I-502 passes. EVEN THOSE CHARGED WITH DUI FOR ALCOHOL ARE ALLOWED TO PRESENT A DEFENSE. So, this initiative is not just aligning cannabis with alcohol in the penalties for driving under the influence, it is going 10 steps beyond that, to leave drunk drivers with a defense and the ability to get away scott-free yet leaving cannabis consumers caught driving quite potentially unimpaired no opportunity to defend themselves, to prove innocence, to even raise the questionability that they are not guilty of driving impaired.

What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

There are also the aspects of descrimination from law enforcement officers that would be allowed to run rampant should I-502 pass and hand them free reign of drivers' bodily fluids. Since they will know once they prove an individual is over the allotted THC blood content limit that individual will immediately and instantly become guilty of a DUI, with no chance to legally defend themselves, they will have no reason not to stop any person they choose, regardless of probable cause. There is no way to deny the harassment our citizens suffer at the hands of police officers with biases - whether they dislike you for your sexual orientation, or your gender, or your ethnicity, or your religion, or the color of your hair, or whether they just want to "BEAT THE MEXICAN PISS OUT OF YOU" - SPD OFFICER , they will have the ability to pull you over for it, and if you are a patient or a cannabis consumer over the limit, you will be the one
who suffers the legal penalties. Even if you aren't impaired.

Beyond being a gender-discriminating, medical patient incriminating, over-all stigma-enforcing bad peice of law, this initiative is fine. Oh yeah, except the fact that IF YOU GIVE AWAY CANNABIS, EVEN TO ANOTHER ADULT, YOU ARE STILL A CRIMINAL. Even if you bought it at a LCB regulated location, within the possession limitations presented by I-502. Somehow this smacks of a falsity when we're presented with the claims that this would be "legalization". Legalization does not mean 2 full grown adults can buy the same "legally acceptable" amount og cannabis and trade and still be considered criminals. Once again, they have gone far and beyond aligning cannabis with alcohol, and presented cannabis consumers with another stigma-based penalty alcohol consumers need not fret over. It is completely legal to give alcohol away freely.

So, in closing, I would like to state that it is incredibly misleading to represent those opposing I-502 solely as "anti-legalization", especially when there is no offer of legalization being put on the table, nor is it in any patient or cannabis consumers' best interest to support this initiative, unless they are above law enforcement officers' descriminatory biases, or are willing to sacrifice their rights to personal mobility via driving their own vehicles.
24

20 things for cannabis consumers who drive to consider if they don't want to get pulled over, blood tested etc.

1. Quit smoking and start vaporizing. It's healthier and less smelly.
2. Never smoke in your car. Don't try to cover up smell with air fresheners.
3. If you smoke at home, take a shower/brush teeth/change clothes before driving.
4. If you wear patchouli at home, take a shower/change clothes before driving.
5. Guys should keep hair short and face shaved. No dreadlocks for men or women.
6. Dress like you're going to church. No reggae stuff, pot leaves, hippie clothes etc.
7. Don't drive an old piece of junk car OR one that is too nice. Think station wagon.
8. Turn radio up only when driving fast, always turn down when parked/going slowly.
9. If you get pulled over, turn your radio to a country western station.
10. Take all liberal/progressive stickers off your car.
11. Replace with support the troops, American flag or Christian related stickers.
12. Avoid carrying marijuana/pipes/rolling papers in your car.
13. After visiting a dispensary, put everything you bought in the trunk of your car.
14. Order from a medical cannabis delivery service if one is available in your area.
15. Stop driving whenever possible. Shop less frequently.
16. Walk, bike, take busses and cabs.
17. Carpool with friends and family.
18. Find a designated driver who doesn't use pot. Buy them lunch/gas/something nice.
19. Make the switch from alcohol to marijuana because couchlock saves lives.
20. Smoke weed everyday. Legalize it. Cannabis is safer than aspirin.
25
No on 502 couldn't find a spokeperson who can cite the studies he's referring to? LAME. We're doomed.
26
I responded to Dominic a couple hours after his e-mail inquiry regarding the study I mentioned where individuals can fail the 0 ng/ml test for patients under 21 even 6 days after smoking, but it must not have been quick enough:

"Hey Dominic, please checkout http://www.patientsagainsti502.org/resou….

Please also checkout http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19804…, which is a study showing that 6 days after consuming cannabis, 24% had detecable active THC in their system, meaning they would fail a 0 ng test which is imposed upon those under 21, despite voters in our state declaring the access to medicinal cannabis for those under this age. These tests also are not based on medical patients, which are likely to consume cannabis at much higher rates than those tested in this study. Other studies on this website also make it very clear that the limit, whether 0 ng for those under 21, or the 5 ng limit for adults, is absolutely not based on science, which makes taking away our defense in court (not even including rebuttable presumption) all the more unacceptable."
27
Dom, this is such an underhanded smear piece it's unbelievable. Lawyers getting rich? Give me a break. These are volunteers and idealists trying to bring some clarity to the debate. You want to talk about money? Who's letting Progressive Insurance CEO Peter Lewis bankroll this million-dollar publicity stunt? Who just bought NORML's endorsement for a $50k donation? And what the hell ever happened to the video we were promised from KCTS/Seattle Weekly "Toke Signals" debate on I-502 last August?
http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweek…

@3 - The overwhelming majority of possession busts occur at traffic stops. The arrests will not go away, they'll just turn into DUI busts. If anything they'll increase because the burden of proof will be so much lower.
@5 - That's not a true statement. Currently, the state must demonstrate impairment. With a strict liability set at 5 ng, say goodbye to a habituation defense or a jury trial. You're impaired by law, despite the caveats of every study you'll find about impairment varying from user to user.
@6 - Green DUIs will be visited upon any poor person, minority, hippie, or young person a cop chooses to pull over. 16-20 yos have it especially rough, as the unscientific standard for impairment is anything over zero. Under I-502, there's no longer any ability to argue you weren't impaired.
@13 The longstanding question of how to measure impairment from THC has not been magically solved by New Approach Washington.
@20 There won't be a legal market to buy from after the Feds preempt the entire system. That means back to the black market...and greater risks for you coming back from your dealer's house. Don't weave, don't look tired, don't use multiple air fresheners, check your taillights, and whatever you do, don't get caught Driving While Black. Smell of pot? Bloodshot eyes? "Your honor, my professional experience as an officer left me no doubt that what I smelled was burnt marijuana."

NAW wants you to believe you can regulate illegal activity. That's like setting a limit on ransom notes. Let's not confuse a tiny bubble of exemption from penalties as "legalization". Purchase limits? No homegrow? No passing a joint? Sounds like decrim to me, The Original Half-Baked Loaf (tm). You want to legalize cannabis in this state? Repeal prohibition like we did in 1932 (Initiative 61).
http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Wa…

Bottom line: if you're a frequent toker, the cops can now arrest and convict you, impaired or not, and you won't be able to say boo about it in court. Aren't you already safe enough on your couch? Why put yourself at greater risk of arrest and conviction when you know we'll just get sent back to the black market when the government puts the kibosh on the entire licensing scheme?
28
Gotta say, Ima starting to see how the DUI thang is a sticking point for some folk.
29
I think it is very important to point out that not all drivers with a THC blood content are high, even if their THC blood content is through the roof. Many patients medicate on a regular basis due to their physical medical needs. This does not mean 12 hours after they medicate they are still impaired. This means THC remains in the blood stream long after impairment fades, leaving what would be considered instantly incriminating evidence in their bodies, should I-502 pass and these people be caught driving.

Also, I feel it is important to point out the fact that certain individuals will process the THC through their bodies slower than others, most specifically women over men, and also individuals with more body mass. Women will retain THC at a more elongated rate than men, leaving them more susceptible to persecution (and prosecution) should this initiative pass. I-502 is gender biased. That's what happens when you don't base your initiative on science though, just mere propaganda.

Another major issue with this initiative is the fact that it REMOVES ANY PERSONS ABILITY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES IN COURT OVER THESE DUI CHARGES. So, patients who are caught driving unimpaired but over the limit will not have the opportunity (or the right) to present a defense by their attorney to prove their innocence or unimpairment, nor will any other non-patient persons. This is toeing the line on constitutionality. All persons are granted the right to a fair trial, except if I-502 passes. EVEN THOSE CHARGED WITH DUI FOR ALCOHOL ARE ALLOWED TO PRESENT A DEFENSE. So, this initiative is not just aligning cannabis with alcohol in the penalties for driving under the influence, it is going 10 steps beyond that, to leave drunk drivers with a defense and the ability to get away scott-free yet leaving cannabis consumers caught driving quite potentially unimpaired no opportunity to defend themselves, to prove innocence, to even raise the questionability that they are not guilty of driving impaired.

What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

There are also the aspects of descrimination from law enforcement officers that would be allowed to run rampant should I-502 pass and hand them free reign of drivers' bodily fluids. Since they will know once they prove an individual is over the allotted THC blood content limit that individual will immediately and instantly become guilty of a DUI, with no chance to legally defend themselves, they will have no reason not to stop any person they choose, regardless of probable cause. There is no way to deny the harassment our citizens suffer at the hands of police officers with biases - whether they dislike you for your sexual orientation, or your gender, or your ethnicity, or your religion, or the color of your hair, or whether they just want to "BEAT THE MEXICAN PISS OUT OF YOU" - SPD OFFICER , they will have the ability to pull you over for it, and if you are a patient or a cannabis consumer over the limit, you will be the one
who suffers the legal penalties. Even if you aren't impaired.

Beyond being a gender-discriminating, medical patient incriminating, over-all stigma-enforcing bad peice of law, this initiative is fine. Oh yeah, except the fact that IF YOU GIVE AWAY CANNABIS, EVEN TO ANOTHER ADULT, YOU ARE STILL A CRIMINAL. Even if you bought it at a LCB regulated location, within the possession limitations presented by I-502. Somehow this smacks of a falsity when we're presented with the claims that this would be "legalization". Legalization does not mean 2 full grown adults can buy the same "legally acceptable" amount of cannabis and trade and still be considered criminals. Once again, they have gone far and beyond aligning cannabis with alcohol, and presented cannabis consumers with another stigma-based penalty alcohol consumers need not fret over. It is completely legal to give alcohol away freely.

So, in closing, I would like to state that it is incredibly misleading to represent those opposing I-502 solely as "anti-legalization", especially when there is no offer of legalization being put on the table, nor is it in any patient or cannabis consumers' best interest to support this initiative, unless they are above law enforcement officers' descriminatory biases, or are willing to sacrifice their rights to personal mobility via driving their own vehicles.
30
"However, he has not yet provided copies of that study."

The burden of proof here is on the state that THC doesn't react the way we've studied FOR DECADES, that THC in your blood clings to the fat cells in your body. This is science 101 dude, you don't need a study it's why when you go and take a piss test they can tell if you've smoked in the last 30 days, THC has active and both inactive qualities IT'S NOT CURRENTLY POSSIBLE TO DETECT WITH A BLOOD TEST IF THE THC WAS ACTIVE OR INACTIVE. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying and such a defense would totally hold up in court if a case was ever let to get that far.

Is it possible not high people who drive in a manner to get pulled over will get caught up in this law? No doubt. Would it be anyway worse than the system we have now? Oh hell no dawg. For those interested in civil liberties THIS IS THE BILL TO VOTE FOR. This will piss the feds off, this will make marijuana LEGAL (state wise) and this will put us far ahead of California unless they pass their bill as well. This is a nobrainer unless you're voting for your own pocket book. I say this knowing full well many of my friends will not have an income anymore if marijuana is sold like alcohol and tobacco. ALL SAID FRIENDS WILL BE VOTING AGAINST THIS BILL ONLY BECAUSE THEY MAKE SO MUCH MONEY. They're so happy they can ally with the haters. You can make the difference by voting for this imperfect bill in the name of legalizing this 3000 year old plant that not a single fucking person has ever in the history of humanity. It's a win win for me. Either I continue the ability to make massive tax free profits, or I can finally buy my drug of choice in the store like alcoholics and caffeine addicts. I'm confident we can change the legislation if it's really out of control I just can't imagine it's any worse than what we have.
31
Dominic,
You are so disingenuous when you claim time and time again that Sensible Washington's initiative contained no regulations. True, there are no regulations written into Sensible Washington's initiatives and there never will be. Once passed, the legislature will write the regulations. Obviously, the legislature is not going to sit by and twiddle its thumbs and not regulate.
You have always known this--always--and yet you continue to put it out there that we're trying to pass a free-for-all bill.
Sensible Washington has always believed that it is the legislature's responsibility to regulate, and now you're seeing why. The voters of this state will never agree on a set of regulations. Obviously, what is right for you--this set of regulations that Alison has so carefully crafted--is appalling to others. We, as voters will never agree on the regulations. Plus, the regulations should not be voted on by a misinformed public.
So do the world a favor and rephrase your assertions to read something like "Sensible Washington's initiatives include no regulations because they intend for the legislators in Olympia to craft sensible regulation." That would be an improvement.
32
I think it is very important to point out that not all drivers with a THC blood content are high, even if their THC blood content is through the roof. Many patients medicate on a regular basis due to their physical medical needs. This does not mean 12 hours after they medicate they are still impaired. This means THC remains in the blood stream long after impairment fades, leaving what would be considered instantly incriminating evidence in their bodies, should I-502 pass and these people be caught driving.

Also, I feel it is important to point out the fact that certain individuals will process the THC through their bodies slower than others, most specifically women over men, and also individuals with more body mass. Women will retain THC at a more elongated rate than men, leaving them more susceptible to persecution (and prosecution) should this initiative pass. I-502 is gender biased. That's what happens when you don't base your initiative on science though, just mere propaganda.

Another major issue with this initiative is the fact that it REMOVES ANY PERSONS ABILITY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES IN COURT OVER THESE DUI CHARGES. So, patients who are caught driving unimpaired but over the limit will not have the opportunity (or the right) to present a defense by their attorney to prove their innocence or unimpairment, nor will any other non-patient persons. This is toeing the line on constitutionality. All persons are granted the right to a fair trial, except if I-502 passes. EVEN THOSE CHARGED WITH DUI FOR ALCOHOL ARE ALLOWED TO PRESENT A DEFENSE. So, this initiative is not just aligning cannabis with alcohol in the penalties for driving under the influence, it is going 10 steps beyond that, to leave drunk drivers with a defense and the ability to get away scott-free yet leaving cannabis consumers caught driving quite potentially unimpaired no opportunity to defend themselves, to prove innocence, to even raise the questionability that they are not guilty of driving impaired.

What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

There are also the aspects of descrimination from law enforcement officers that would be allowed to run rampant should I-502 pass and hand them free reign of drivers' bodily fluids. Since they will know once they prove an individual is over the allotted THC blood content limit that individual will immediately and instantly become guilty of a DUI, with no chance to legally defend themselves, they will have no reason not to stop any person they choose, regardless of probable cause. There is no way to deny the harassment our citizens suffer at the hands of police officers with biases - whether they dislike you for your sexual orientation, or your gender, or your ethnicity, or your religion, or the color of your hair, or whether they just want to "BEAT THE MEXICAN PISS OUT OF YOU" - SPD OFFICER , they will have the ability to pull you over for it, and if you are a patient or a cannabis consumer over the limit, you will be the one
who suffers the legal penalties. Even if you aren't impaired.

Beyond being a gender-discriminating, medical patient incriminating, over-all stigma-enforcing bad peice of law, this initiative is fine. Oh yeah, except the fact that IF YOU GIVE AWAY CANNABIS, EVEN TO ANOTHER ADULT, YOU ARE STILL A CRIMINAL. Even if you bought it at a LCB regulated location, within the possession limitations presented by I-502. Somehow this smacks of a falsity when we're presented with the claims that this would be "legalization". Legalization does not mean 2 full grown adults can buy the same "legally acceptable" amount of cannabis and trade and still be considered criminals. Once again, they have gone far and beyond aligning cannabis with alcohol, and presented cannabis consumers with another stigma-based penalty alcohol consumers need not fret over. It is completely legal to give alcohol away freely.

So, in closing, I would like to state that it is incredibly misleading to represent those opposing I-502 solely as "anti-legalization", especially when there is no offer of legalization being put on the table, nor is it in any patient or cannabis consumers' best interest to support this initiative, unless they are above law enforcement officers' descriminatory biases, or are willing to sacrifice their rights to personal mobility via driving their own vehicles.
33
Please look at this post, the responses, and the fate of Prop 19 in 2010.

This is why cannabis will never be legal in the United States, at least, not in my lifetime(I'm 36, btw). The states that have quasi-legal cannabis will never move forward to full legalization and that means that there will be no domino effect to spread to the other states. This means that there will be no widespread pressure to legalize like there was with alcohol.

I hope you guys like chatting with DEA officers at 4AM. The backlash has already started in California. And the out of state support that the cannabis movements on the east coast had is dwindling fast.
34
@15: "Listen folks: Marijuana in Washington State is legal."

Why do you make things up? It doesn't add to your point, only detracts.
35
Actually, some driving studies show that some drivers perform better when under the influence of cannabis. Google "Robbe, Maastricht, driving" and read the study for yourself.
36
The fear is profiling leading to DUI arrests. It's a subcultural fear that is a leftover from the 70s and 80s, and we need to actively fight it. We need to stop letting fear of prejudice keep us from being who we are. If you accept who you are and own it, IT GETS BETTER.
37
@15 - 10000 arrests a year for marijuana posession, folks who don't want to have to lie and claim to be a medical patient, is A-OK with you?
38
The reason to oppose I-502 is simple; it is a poorly written initiative. Not only are statutes written, that lead to a discriminatory and indefensible DUI policy; but also includes language that requires federal cooperation by state agencies. Any potential business applicant can be subject to self-incrimination, which is a violation of rights under both the state and U.S. constitutions.

I-502 does not create any legal protections against federal prosections. Considering the current threats from the Department of Justice, not only would business applicants face potential charges for manufacture and delivery of a federally controlled substance; but state agencies, their employees, and possibly elected officials, could face charges of aiding and abetting the manufacture, distribution, and delivery of a controlled substance, in addition to money laundering.

Problems with I-502 are not limited to what is included in the language, rather, what has been left out. Chief among these, is the absence of rebuttable presumption for DUI, but also no mention anywhere, for the allowance of "gifting", or "sharing" of marijuana.

By not including rebuttable presumption in the DUI defense, NAW has effectively handed prosecutors a law to guarantee conviction rates. This is the part that makes guilt automatic and takes away your defense in court. You will still have a hearing, but it will be to mitigate penalties, not to establish guilt or innocence; the penalty for which is a gross misdemeanor. Guilt will be established by an arbitrary number that does not prove impairment.

I-502 establishes a strictly controlled, and licensed network for the cultivation, distribution, and retail of cannabis. Only those licensed by the state are allowed to handle cannabis within their respective job function. No person, after point of sale can lawfully sell, deliver, or distribute cannabis; since there are no allowances for gifting or sharing, anyone that violates these terms are subject to a class B felony. As ridiculous as it sounds, this means, if you pass the pipe to your friends, or share your marijuana in any way, you have committed a felony delivery.

Supporters of I-502 try to diminish concerns by citing that law enforcement will need probable cause. The truth behind probable cause is that it is left to the experience of the law enforcement officer, and the opinion of a judge as to whether or not there was justification. I-502 creates laws that can be exploited any time a jurisdiction needs to fill quota. Profiling of medical marijuana patients, minorities, and young adults, can potentially lead to new abuses of police power.

Another argument is to "not let the perfect be the enemy of the good", but the reality of I-502 is, not only is it not "perfect", it is not even "good".
I-502 will not survive constitutional challenges, or federal preemption. There will not be any legal means of production, distribution, or retail sales of cannabis.

All that will remain, if I-502 passes will be a legal exception for the possession of up to one ounce, and indefensible DUI statutes. Many possession cases currently result from traffic stops. What happens if both the driver and a passenger each are in possession of an ounce, are they then over the one ounce limit? Who knows? What happens if an ounce gets wet, then weighs more than the allowable limit? Isn't the smell of marijuana "probable cause" for many in law enforcement?

The point is, I-502 is not well though out. Washington State voters were lied to when they unwittingly signed an initiative that claimed to "legalize" marijuana. It only creates a legal exception for possession of up to one ounce. Any other activity outside of the strictly regulated network for cultivation, distribution or licensed sales is prohibited, and all civil and criminal penalties remain under state law.

The real enemy we should all direct our attention to, is the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA); yet the voices of opposition from within the pro-cannabis community have been subject to allegorical smears, and the reputations of long-time activists have been denigrated by supporters of this poorly written initiative.

Support for I-502 from national campaigns, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, and NORML, needs to be understood at face value. Their support is less an endorsement of the actual language, rather than a chance for a perceived victory, and how that "win" will look on a national scale. They are looking for a symbolic victory, without regard to the ramifications that will incur in our state upon the implementation of an indefensible and discriminatory DUI.

Many of the faults of this initiative have been admitted by New Approach Washington themselves, but when concerns for unconstitutionality, preemption, and the strict DUI provisions are brought up in public, supporters are quick to dismiss these claims either by citing bogus answers, or by resorting to name calling and innuendo to undermine the credibility of their critics; tactics that prove their deficiency by not having honest answers to hard questions.

Charges that the opposition approves of stoned driving is completely ludicrous. None of us have ever implied that driving impaired should ever be acceptable behavior. What we ARE saying is that current DUI laws already allow for green DUI convictions, so leave the current law in place, until such time that science can actually prove cannabis impairment.

To claim that opposition comes from those that are profiting from the current system is equally absurd. Opposition is coming from long-time activists that have a vested interest in seeing to the successful end of cannabis prohibition, are familiar with the content of I-502, and have concluded that it is so heavily flawed, that it does not merit support.

To think that the bill can be fixed later is also not realistic. By state law, nothing about I-502 can be "fixed" for two years. There is no historical evidence that any DUI statute has ever been relaxed, once in place, they only become more strict. Does anyone really think a legislator is would be willing to risk their reputation by proposing a bill to change alcohol DUI from 0.08, back to 0.10? No - it will never happen!

I-502 creates a trade off, for those that are currently tried as possession cases; and instead creates a new class of criminal charges, largely at the expense of medical marijuana patients, and frequent non-medical users, through the DUI provisions. This is in addition to any marijuana-related business applicant, or regulatory agent of the state, for dealing with a federally controlled substance.

For us that consider ourselves to be marijuana law reform "purists", our goal is to end criminal penalties for all, and not by introducing laws that trade one class of "criminals", by defining another. I-502 does not meet these standards, and therefore has been met with opposition by many in the pro-cannabis movement. We have an obligation to get this right the first time, especially if we are to be a model for other states to follow.

It is important for everyone to remember, we are friends on opposite sides of an argument. We will get past this unfortunate disagreement, and we better prepare to become friends again to fight for what is right, regardless the outcome. When prohibitionist campaigns come out against legalization, we will all be fighting together to defend against their false claims and propaganda, even if we disagree on I-502; so lets make a concerted effort to stick to the facts, without name calling, unfounded assertions, or unwarranted attacks.
39
"that lead to a discriminatory and indefensible DUI policy"

Which currently allows people to be high as fucking kites and drive legally, right?
40
@39: "High as fucking kites" is not defined in Washington law. It is currently unlawful to drive while impaired by THC.

If 502 passes, it will still be unlawful to drive while impaired by THC, and it will also be unlawful to drive 1) while *not* impaired and your blood THC content is 5 ng/ml or higher, or 2) when *not* impaired and there is *any* amount of THC in your blood and you're less than 21 years old.
41
@38

"It is important for everyone to remember, we are friends on opposite sides of an argument. We will get past this unfortunate disagreement, and we better prepare to become friends again to fight for what is right, regardless the outcome. When prohibitionist campaigns come out against legalization, we will all be fighting together to defend against their false claims and propaganda, even if we disagree on I-502; so lets make a concerted effort to stick to the facts, without name calling, unfounded assertions, or unwarranted attacks. "

No we won't. Not if Prop 19 is any indicator. I am honestly beginning to believe that this is a serious schism that may not be fixable.

The way I see it we can't even really agree on what is "right".

For example,

I think that having cannabis regulated pretty much like alcohol would be awesome and is a realistic goal. I think that trying to have cannabis treated like oregano is a great way to keep cannabis illegal. We'll submit the initiatives and they will fail.

However, other people believe that any law that doesn't treat cannabis like oregano is totally unacceptable and should be resisted tooth and nail.

How can these two views be reconciled, again?
42
As Phil mentioned, under current laws it is illegal to drive "high as fucking kites", however; As of now we still havce the right to defend ourselves in court should we be accused of a THC DUI to prove whether we are impaired or not, just like any person being accused of an alcohol-based DUI. Our legal structure, under the constitution, states each individual is entitled to a fair trial, regardless of the offense.

If I-502 were to pass, again as Phil said, it would still be illegal to drive high, and additionally it would be illegal to drive sober if you have consumed enough cannabis over the past few days-few hours to result in a higher than 5ng THC blood content (think patients). Beyond persecuting people who simply have THC in their blood, potentially left over from days past, meaning there is no scientific possible way they could still be impaired from it, I-502 would do something so under-handed, it is beyond morally questionable, and definitely constitutionally questionable.

I-502, if passed, will remove each individual, patient or otherwise, from their rights and ability to defend themselves in court over any charges of a THC DUI. This means you do not get to present a defense, your lawyer does not get to argue your case, and you are instantly considered guilty the minute your blood test comes up positive, before you ever get a "fair trial". This is such a heinous thing to do, it leaves one wondering what scruples the people who wrote this initiative have, if any. The authors of I-502 specifically and intentionally composed it so that it would remove individuals' rights to present a defense in court.

Unless you suppot your constitutional right to a fair trial dissipating, or you appreciate the lack of ability to present a defense to charges that will negatively impact the rest of your life, you should strongly oppose I-502.
43
@40: "it will also be unlawful to drive 1) while *not* impaired and your blood THC content is 5 ng/ml or higher, or 2) when *not* impaired and there is *any* amount of THC in your blood and you're less than 21 years old."

Good.

"while not impaired", my ass.
44
@43: Ayn, could you please be more specific about of which, if any, part of that you dispute the accuracy?
45
"As of now we still havce the right to defend ourselves in court should we be accused of a THC DUI to prove whether we are impaired or not, just like any person being accused of an alcohol-based DUI. Our legal structure, under the constitution, states each individual is entitled to a fair trial, regardless of the offense. "

And you will in the future.

"If I-502 were to pass, again as Phil said, it would still be illegal to drive high, and additionally it would be illegal to drive sober if you have consumed enough cannabis over the past few days-few hours to result in a higher than 5ng THC blood content"

Yes, if you've taken more than that in a few hours, you should not be driving.

"(think patients)"

I am. If you're under that much pain, you don't need to be driving anyway.
46
And if you got blazed the night before, you shouldn't get popped the next day.
http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/201…
http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/12/sea…

If you choose to ignore the science, that's your business, but the studies are clear: 'Individual blood levels show considerable intersubject variability.'
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16105…
http://norml.org/library/item/cannabis-a…

Heavy users get habituated, and do not demonstrate impairment. Here's Mimi Meiwes driving the Canna-bus after medicating:
https://sensiblewashington.org/blog/unca…

Cast your vote as you like, but you might want to stop and get the facts first.
47
@46: "And if you got blazed the night before, you shouldn't get popped the next day."

Ok?

What's your point?

"Heavy users get habituated, and do not demonstrate impairment"

Stoner science is the worst shitty pesudoscience.
48
@40 - Phil M really knows his stuff! It looks like he's been reading the research on this topic, much like I did, and came to the same conclusion as NORML. I-502's DUI proposal is "arbitrary, unnecessary and unscientific."