I want to legalize marijuana
as much as the next guy so much more than the next guy that I’m willing to hollow out his head to make a skull bong.
But I’m a skeptic about the timeline to legalize pot—from illegal to totally legal, in our legislature, which is afraid of its own shadow?—anytime soon. Small steps, baby steps... stoned steps to legalization.
But State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36, Queen Anne and Ballard) wants to go all the way—RIGHT NOW.
According to a bill she intends to pre-file this month for the 2011 legislative session, “We would legalize it, regulate it, and tax it,” she says. “I am serious. We have been wasting scores of millions of dollars on arresting and jailing people who have done nothing more than smoke marijuana recreationally. That has ended up harming people and costing taxpayers tremendously. So it’s a very high cost to individuals and to taxpayers—it’s a wrongheaded policy that simply needs to be changed. People need to stick their neck out and say enough already and people are starting to do that. You will see that we will have a very good sponsor [for a companion bill to legalize marijuana] in the senate, someone who is very well respected. I am dead serious about this."
Dickerson expects the bill will pass—she was unflinching when faced with my skepticism based on the failure of less aggressive pot bills—because polling this year showed 54 percent support to legalize marijuana in Washington, she says. She’s working with the ACLU and she plans another round of polling before the session begins in January. “If we don’t pass it this year, there’s a possibility we will take our case to the people in the initiative process in 2012,” she says.
God, I love me some Mary Lou Dickerson.