I-502 is not legalization. Nothing is legal except possession of under an ounce of State store-bought marijuana.
by Ed Rosenthal, Guru of Ganja
EdRosenthal.com Friday, August 29, 2014
“In mid-August, 2014 I attended Seattle Hempfest. It was the first Hempfest since the implementation of I-502, which passed by popular vote in 2012 and “legalized” marijuana in the State of Washington. What Washington has is not legalization and it is clear to me we must define what legalization really means to users of marijuana through a Marijuana Users Bill of Rights before any more legalization laws of this kind pass.
This year’s festival was probably the lamest one held in Seattle since the end of the Drug War. It was a marijuana festival with only two small designated consumption areas and although there were no cops around, most people (with the exception of yours truly) didn’t light up in public areas. Instead people snuck behind vendor tents, lit up backstage or down by the water – out of sight – remembrances of high school past. All the result of I-502.
Don’t let anyone say this is legalization. Nothing is legal except possession of under an ounce of store-bought marijuana.
In Washington State, legalization means possession of 28 grams is legal, 29 is a misdemeanor and 40 grams or more is a felony. Smoking in public is a misdemeanor. Home growing is a felony. The state commission is trying to eliminate medical marijuana as a separate category. Patients will be subject to the same confiscatory taxes as adult users. Driving with a minimum amount of non-intoxicating analog in blood results in a DUI. I call this the “Chauffer Employment Act” because no one who uses regularly can pass the blood test.
As you can see, this is hardly legalization. It was the big lie put together by do-gooder social activists who were ignorant about the issue, took no advice from stakeholders and worked mainly with prosecutors and their kind. As a result, the law is awful, stinks of pork juice, and actually worsens the situation of the average Washington State marijuana user. This is why marijuana users should never vote for a bill that prosecutors and cops like, it’s just not in their interest.
Now, some of the same people who brought this travesty to Washington State are attempting to carpetbag their way into California to create the same sort of “legalization”. It will not happen. No pasaran!
It’s up to the people who have a stake in this issue, the marijuana users, to create a bill that creates a realistic, workable law that protects the interests of the people—whether or not they use marijuana.
It’s not our job to placate the criminal justice system, they have no stake in this and they have no expertise to add to the discussion. The only thing they have been taught is how to recognize marijuana, bust people for it, and sadistically ruin people’s lives in a job that they chose. Most of them have irrational prejudices against marijuana and have, at best, ambivalent attitudes about people who use it. When the 2016 initiative passes in California, cops won’t have to be concerned about enforcing the law because they will not be enforcing a law. Instead marijuana will be subject to civil regulation, not criminal. Cops will be able to get back to protecting and serving their communities.
Some people, such as the Washington State wimps, want us to keep the cops happy. Pardon me, but I don’t think we have to compromise with them. We have the votes and, though they might grunt and squeal, I feel about as willing to compromise with the criminal justice system as it has with us in this 77-year fight. Marijuana will be legal and the cops will not be part of the solution. As Amy Poehler is renowned for saying, “I don’t fucking care if you like it.”
My main concern is that we create an initiative that will pass and be effective. So, after talking with other activists, I developed the Marijuana Initiative Bill of Rights. I think that we can develop a consensus around this and work outwards from there. Hopefully this can be used as a template for the 2016 California Initiative and other initiatives around the country.
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