Seattle voters approved Initiative 75 yesterday by 59 percent to 41 percent.
The new city ordinance will make marijuana laws, as they relate to adult personal use, the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority. Seattle becomes the largest city in the U.S. with such a law.
“Seattleites don’t think adults should go to jail for marijuana,” said Dominic Holden, campaign manager for I-75. “Voters agreed with us that law enforcement has more important priorities.” Others at the smoke-free I-75 victory party in Belltown saw something broader in the vote. “It gets people to think more rationally about our drug laws,” said Andy Ko, head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. “Our drug laws are so knee-jerk.”
Update: Thanks to Tim Meehan for this little gem. Philip Dawdy of the Seattle Weekly reports a rather unusual moment while our Drug Czar was in Seattle campaigning against I-75.
“The real issue is should we legalize marijuana,” Walters said. “Let’s have a debate about that.”
Dawdy seems to consider this statement as a possible chink in the armor (to even mention the idea of debate, when the feds have run from debate at every turn).
I believe, however, that it is mere rhetoric, similar to Walters’ repeated reference to medical marijuana as a “lie,” claiming that all medical marijuana activists want is legalization. After his debate statement, it appears that he was surprised when asked how the White House would support the debate process, and he immediately went back to blaming drug policy reformers.
If John Walters ever decides to debate marijuana legalization, there are plenty of people willing to take him on, including myself. I’ll pay my own way. Just tell me when and where, Mr. Drug Czar, and I’ll be ready.