By Sensible Washington
The non-profit political organization Sensible Washington announced recently that they will be running a statewide initiative to repeal adult cannabis prohibition in Washington State, to be filed in January, 2013, as an Initiative to the People.
Similar to last year’s I-1149, and 2010’s I-1068, this initiative would repeal the civil and criminal penalties related to adult cannabis use and possession. It would remove cannabis from the state’s list of controlled substances, without altering legal penalties for minors and for those driving while under the influence. Sensible Washington is taking input from the community on any potential alterations to the initiative language.
Preparation for this initiative, including volunteer recruitment, will begin immediately.
“We’re confident in the base and infrastructure that we’ve built over the past several years. We have thousands of volunteers throughout the state, and they want us to run. They want to give the public a true alternative to prohibition and the many harms associated with it,” said Sensible Washington in a recent press release, “We have the volunteer power, and fundraising potential, to get this done, and we’re confident that if given the opportunity, the voters of Washington State will vote to repeal the socially and economically devastating policy of cannabis prohibition.”
Since their inception in 2010, Sensible Washington has garnered the endorsements of individuals such as Seattle’s former Chief of Police Norm Stamper and Washington State Representative Roger Goodman, as well as organizations such as the Washington State Democratic Party and NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).
In November, 2012, voters in Washington State will be deciding the fate of another marijuana measure, Initiative 502. Sensible Washington plans to continue forth whether or not it passes, “Initiative 502 has caused a massive rift in the cannabis reform community and we want to give people a viable alternative”, said Sensible Washington regarding this issue, “If it[I-502] fails in November, we want to assure the public that moving forward, there’s an option available in our state for legalizing cannabis. If I-502 does pass, cannabis would remain a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, which we’re not comfortable with and will work towards correcting.”
After filing in January, Sensible Washington would have until early July to collect the necessary signatures to put this initiative on the November, 2013 general election ballot.