Holy mother of crack. Today the Seattle Times zings off its second unequivocal editorial in a week that says Washington needs to legalize pot. They not only support a bill to tax and regulate it, they're now calling out House Speaker Frank Chopp, who represents the 43rd District (AKA Capitol Hill and the U-District, AKA the middle of the most progressive city in the state, AKA the people who want to legalize pot and live in Chopp's district and the people Chopp needs to be listening to) to give the bill a hearing:
REP. Mary Lou Dickerson's bill to legalize marijuana, tax it and sell it to adults through the state liquor stores — House Bill 1550 — deserves a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee. This is the money committee, and Dickerson's bill could create a revenue stream for the state of at least $300 million a year.
The money is not the main reason we favor the bill. As we explained on this page last Sunday, our main reason is that we believe the costs of prohibition in police, courts, jails, gang warfare, civil liberties and blighted lives are too high, especially for a product that lends itself so well to be handled like alcohol.
That is an argument valid anytime. Right now there is a crisis in state spending and revenue, which makes a $300 million river of cash of immediate interest.
Right now, the bill is stuck in another committee, the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee, which is chaired by an ex-cop, anti-pot madman whose delusive excuses for opposing marijuana reveal that the Dickerson's bill is otherwise dead. So it needs to be pulled into the Way and Means Committee.
Who has the power to do that? House Speaker Chopp. He's not just the famously timid speaker of the house. He represents Seattle. But if he can't do this—just get a hearing on an issue that even the Seattle Times and The Stranger agree on—then what's the point of having him down in Olympia?
So please call him and ask for a hearing on House Bill 1550: (360) 786-7920
Email him here.