Washington State launches campaign to legalize marijuana

Dec 19 2017, 6:07 am

Vancouver has always been known for having “relaxed” marijuana laws. With 420 rally’s at the art gallery and our “infamous” Marc Emery (Canadian cannabis policy reform advocate), it is interesting to see Washington State (which includes our sister city Seattle) pull something like this before Vancouver. The Washington campaign is running awareness commercials on all major networks. The below information taken from their website shows some of the positives legalization can have;

New Approach Washington is a coalition of Washington citizens who believe that treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, and that it is time for a new approach. We include doctors, lawyers, treatment and prevention experts, business people, and parents. We are united in the belief that Washington should stop wasting law enforcement resources on adults who use marijuana, and instead create a tightly regulated system that takes money away from criminal organizations and generates tax revenue for our state and local governments.

To achieve this goal, we consulted with policy experts, community stakeholders, and leaders within the Washington state legislature, executive agencies, and judiciary to craft a detailed proposal for taking a step in a new direction. In plain language, here is what Initiative 502 will do:

This law legalizes the possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older. The only marijuana that would be legal to sell in this state would be grown by specially-licensed Washington farmers and sold in standalone, marijuana-only stores operated by private Washington businesses licensed and regulated by the state. There would be a 25% sales tax, with 40% of the new revenues going to the state general fund and local budgets, and the remainder dedicated to substance-abuse prevention, research, education and health care. Advertising would be restricted. A new marijuana DUI standard that operates like the alcohol DUI standard would be established.



Unlike the United States, legalizing marijuana in Canada is not up to the individual provinces but our federal government. However, if the law is passed in Washington State, it would be interesting to see the outcome and impact it may have on British Columbia.

Do you think this will have any affect on our province? Should this be something the Canadian government should look into? What do you think?

Felix Kay,
Follow Felix on Twitter: @TheFelixKay