Oct 262012
 

Students For Sensible Drug Policy And Steve DeAngelo Endorse Washington Initiative 502

I saw two big endorsements for Washington I-502 come across Twitter. Below is an endorsement article by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), as well as a an article and video from Steve DeAngelo from Harborside Health Center:

By Devon Tackels, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Students for Sensible Drug Policy endorses Initiative 502, Washington’s historic marijuana regulation ballot measure, which will make the state among the first in the nation to license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession, for persons over twenty-one years of age. (Click here to keep reading)

I-502: Too Important To Lose

Endorsement by Steve DeAngelo

On July 9th, Harborside Health Center became the latest of hundreds of dispensaries nationwide that have been threatened with property seizure by the US Department of Justice. By that time, similar threats had already succeeded in intimidating over 600 California dispensaries into shutting their doors, and dozens more in Colorado and Washington. But Harborside has no intention of closing—we will never abandon our patients. So we filed our own lawsuit against the Feds—on behalf of ourselves and every other medical cannabis patient in the country, and we convinced the City of Oakland to join our action; and now it is the Feds who will have to defend themselves in court.

I have been so focused on resisting the current federal crackdown, which threatens all the gains we have made, that I have for too long neglected to speak out in support of Initiative 502. Today, I call on all my fans and supporters; all sincere activists; all lovers of cannabis and freedom, all medical cannabis patients; and all those who provide patients with the medicine their doctors recommended for them: please do all you can to pass Initiative 502.

No initiative is perfect, including 502. There are certainly elements of it that I wish were not present. But politics is not the art of wishful thinking. Politics is the art of the possible. Our community should always vigorously debate our strategic options, but once a pro cannabis measure makes it on the ballot, we cannot allow differences over details to sabotage the unity that is necessary for victory.

We learned that lesson the hard way in California, with the loss of Prop 19. Major segments of the cannabis community voted against Prop 19, believing it would endanger their medical cannabis status, or lead to corporate takeover. Today, many of those same people and organizations have been put out of business by the federal crackdown that followed our loss at the polls. Elections have consequences, and we cannot afford to lose even one of them—even those we have some disagreement with.

If 502 is voted down, the world will hear this message: “Another Progressive West Coast State Voted Against Reforming Cannabis Laws” or “Voters Say: Keep It Illegal”. They will not hear that 502 failed to adequately protect patients, or about the DUI provision, or any other small details. They will hear that the cannabis reform movement suffered another loss at the polls. Given recent history, it is virtually certain that such an outcome would result in the same kind of crackdown in Washington, that we have seen in California—where we have lost over 35% of our dispensaries.

The best way to preserve the rights we have already won, and extend those rights to all those who need and deserve them, is to campaign and vote for Initiative 502. Take it from one who has lived through it—if we lose this election, it will invite further federal crackdowns. The brunt of those crackdowns will fall on medical cannabis providers in Washington, just as it has in California. Let’s send a resounding message of unity. Let’s make it clear to the Feds that the people of Washington are ready to chart their own course to a sane cannabis policy, and want an end to the intimidation and crackdowns. Let’s make it clear to the Feds that we are one people, bound together by one plant, sharing one destiny, completely determined to claim our rights and defend one another. Our time is now!

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Thomas/100002651451924 John Thomas

    Bravo, Steve DeAngelo! — This is marijuana reform.

    The only thing that will ever provide real protection to medical marijuana patients is to end ALL of the fraudulent prohibition.

  • Ms. Cannabistan

    Someone explain to me why a California cannabis activist’s thoughts are important in Washington State?
    WE’RE LEGALIZING IT – get working on your state!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Thomas/100002651451924 John Thomas

      Because DeAngelo was instrumental in getting Prop 19 on the ballot, contributing most of his personal savings – over a $1 million – to the effort. It broke the ground for the three re-legalization initiatives this year.