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Women’s Rights Legal Organization Endorses Washington Marijuana Initiative I-502

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New Approach WashingtonLegal Voice Endorses I‐502

Legal Voice announced today that it is endorsing Initiative 502, a ballot measure that would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana use for adults in Washington State.

“Passage of I‐502 will help women by addressing marijuana use as a public health matter. Our current laws harm families by putting women behind bars for using drugs, instead of providing much‐needed treatment for women with drug problems,” said Lisa M. Stone, Executive Director of Legal Voice.

“This approach has not made our communities safer; rather, it has increased the number of women who are separated from their children and in some cases must give birth in inhumane conditions. And the impact of current drug policies falls on poor women and women of color disproportionately,” added Stone.

Research shows that largely due to our drug policy, women are the fastest growing prison population. Reducing incarceration of women for drug offenses would reduce the separation of women from their children and families. In Washington, the number of women in prison increased 84% from 1995‐2005, largely as a result of changes to our drug policy. Nationwide, an estimated 85% of women who are incarcerated are mothers, and more than half have children under 18.

Over the past 25 years, state and federal drug laws have led to a dramatic increase in the number of incarcerated women. While drug use by women actually declined from 1986‐1996, the number of women incarcerated in state facilities for drug offenses increased by 888% during that time, compared to a rise of 129% for non‐drug related offenses.

Women’s drug use is often triggered by domestic violence and other trauma. But instead of being treated for the abuse and resulting addiction, women arrested for drug offenses are displaced into the criminal justice system. During incarceration, only one in five women with a history of substance abuse receives treatment for substance abuse; the percentage is even lower (one in eight) in federal prison.

Legal Voice is a women’s rights legal organization that pursues justice for all women and girls in the Northwest through ground‐breaking litigation, legislative advocacy, and educational tools to help individuals understand their legal rights.

Press Release From Allison Holcomb, Campaign Director, New Approach Washington

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  1. I guess you wouldn’t have worry about getting a response since you constantly hide behind a screen name. You work for NORML, Mr. Henson, and NORML is supporting this piece of crap. In the spirit of open disclosure, you might want to mention that you and NORML have a horse in this race. If NORML can get this bill passed they’ll claim victory and then do what they always do…..beg for more money. They are grifters, nothing more.

    I can guarantee you that we’ll be on every college campus between now and November 6th and we’ll be passing out literature letting everyone know that AB-NORML supported a bill that called for a per se DUID law that could ruin their lives….and most of these college students are under 21. NORML apparently doesn’t give a crap about THEM….you’re willing to just throw them under the bus. So much for future contributers. We’ll also be passing out all the wonderful articles that NORML produced telling everyone just how bad per se DUID laws are and why we should fight against them…. except in Washington, where you support them!

    NORML is the most hypocritical organization in America and your buddy Keith Stroup is a real piece of work….and a proven snitch. Didn’t he get fired from NORML for snitching?

    If anyone would like to read about Mr. Stroup and the sordid history of these NORML grifters, you can read about them here:

    http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/highinamerica1.htm

  2. The good news is that they will probably look at who wrote the letter, consider its alarmist tone, find our about the writer, look at the hundreds of other endorsements and the reasons why they did so, and then they will ignore your letter or politely blow you off.

  3. Here is my letter to the president of Legal Voice:

    Dear Ms. Byers,

    I was extremely disappointed to hear that your organization voted to support I-502 without at least giving us the opportunity to present the other side of this contentious issue.

    The group that will suffer the most are mothers who are also medical cannabis patients. Under I-502, all patients will be guilty of DUID every time they get behind the wheel. There will no longer be necessary to prove that they’re impaired. If you’re a mother and have your kids with you when you arrested for DUID, they’ll be impounding your car, taking you to the nearest hospital for a blood test and they’ll be calling Child Protective Services to take your kids. If the test shows that you’re at 5ng/ml, you’re automatically guilty of DUID and they will then charge you with “reckless endangerment”. At that point they’ll be placing your kids in foster homes. The chances of a patient being able to come up with the money for both a criminal attorney, as well as a family court attorney, to get your kids back, is slim and none.

    Now consider the fact that you were not impaired in the slightest when you were pulled over. You’ve now lost your children and you have a criminal DUID on your record that will make it nearly impossible to find employment to pay even one attorney, let alone two. It will truly be a nightmare for countless mothers here in Washington.

    If you’re a female under 21, you will be guilty of DUID if you have ANY THC in your blood. This applies to patients as well as non-patients. Active THC can stay in your blood for 30 days or longer and you will have no way of knowing if you are driving “impaired”. New Approach Washington knows this and they’re concealing it from the public. We have the studies.

    This is a terrible hoax to play on an unsuspecting public and thousands of unimpaired women will suffer as a result of this law.

    I would love the opportunity to address your group and present the other side….whether I’m able to change your mind or not. You should at least have the facts.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Sarich
    Spokesman/Manager
    NO ON I-502 Committee
    206-612-9044

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