Legalization Bill in Washington State

I had missed this news earlier this week.

6 co-sponsors in the State House are introducing a bill that will legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21. The bill will also utilize the existing mechanisms in place for regulating wine and hard liquor to establish a distribution system that makes our existing state run liquor stores the sole distributor. One thing that’s not clear yet is whether there will be any limit on people growing plants for themselves.

Interesting development. Probably not the plan I would have chosen, but this is the great thing about the states being able to try things. If the Feds can be pushed out of the way, we can learn things from each state and the models they choose.

To stay experimentation in things social and economic is a grave responsibility. Denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the Nation. It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country. – Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1932

Lee Rosenberg at HorsesAss has a nice discussion about the case for regulation.

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8 Responses to Legalization Bill in Washington State

  1. claygooding says:

    It will tie a knot in the ONDCP’s tail for sure and move beyond waiting on the congress to move marijuana from schedule 1. They are so bought and paid for that the refusal to remove marijuana from schedule 1 has them looking like the paid for pieces of dog crap they are.

  2. chris says:

    that article you linked to was really good at clearly defining why prohibition doesn’t protect children.

  3. truthtechnician says:

    It’s sad how much influence alcohol has on our drug laws. Why the 21 age minimum? Blatant agism with no supporting argument.

  4. kaptinemo says:

    Truthtech, you can thank MADD for that.

    The problem with democracy is that even if you are in a minority position, if you scream loud enough to be heard over the majority, the pols think you are a majority.

    It’s worse when those minority positions team up with self-serving bureaucrats who promote legislation that (just coincidentally, of course) enhance their budgets and increase their power.

    The alliance between the ‘concerned parents groups’ of the late 1970’s-early 1980’s and the Federal anti-drugs bureaucracies are perfect examples of the latter using the former as ‘booster rockets’ to enhance the bureaucrat’s budgets. The bureaucrats used the parent’s groups to spread misinformation and alarmist propaganda…and earned a windfall as the revenues for those bureaucracies increased, with little of anything going to their cat’s-paws, who then found themselves occupying positions reminiscent of used toilet paper. The term ‘useful idiots’ comes to mind.

    Of course, some groups take a page from the bureaucrats’ Machiavellian manuals and become very wealthy themselves; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (supported largely by tobacco, alcohol and Big Pharma interests) is a perfect example of that process. And they then lobby for ever more punitive sanctions against the largely nonviolent…thus becoming accessories to violence committed against the nonviolent, themselves.

    I wouldn’t want their karma…and I pray nightly that it catches up with them in the worst way…

  5. kaptinemo says:

    For those who want a short treatise on the above observation, I direct the curious to an excellent book review of Dan Baum’s seminal work Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure

    Like Professor Alfred McCoy did with the international drug trade and the connections intelligence agencies had with organized crime in importing contraband substnaces, Mr. Baum laid bare the realities of the American approach to ‘drug control’ as being half-farce, half-tragedy, and details the suborning and eventual prostitution of the ‘concerned parents groups’ at the hands of the bureaucrats, making said groups into the bureaucrat’s (to use a crude prison terminology) ‘bitches’.

    IMHO, Mr. Baum’s book should be in the library of every serious reformer, for, even though it was written over a decade ago, it’s still a powerful indictment of what amounts to the politically ‘faddish’ aspect of drug policy in this country, and of how lies, misinformation and hysteria can become incorporated into modern-day national policy with disastrous results, while real problems are left unattended to fester and bedevil later generations.

  6. ezrydn says:

    The States took us into Drug Prohibition and it looks like it’ll be the States that take us out of it.

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  8. Scot Schurr says:

    Good idea. I like it. Thanks for sharing

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