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Signature Gathering For Washington’s Cannabis Child Protection Act Starts Today

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signature gatheringThe Washington State Cannabis Child Protection Act

The Cannabis Child Protection Act seeks to protect minors from the effects of the cannabis economy and get cannabis out of schools and away from kids. Proponents of I-1223 and I-514 will begin collecting signatures to do just that starting Tuesday April 3, 2012 at 5pm across Washington State. In addition to downloadable pdf’s on the website, campaign representatives will be distributing preprinted petitions and answering questions from the general public. Distribution will occur simultaneously in Tacoma, Seattle, Bellingham, Ellensburg and Spokane followed by Olympia, Vancouver, Yakima, Moses Lake and other cities and towns in the coming days.

Both initiatives need 241,153 valid signatures from registered Washington voters in order to qualify. I-1223 has until July 6, 2012 to qualify to this Novembers vote, while I-514’s deadline is January 6, 2013 to be before the Legislature a short time later. The Act is seen as a calmer, more reasonable alternative than Initiative 502, which already will be appearing on the November ballot. The proponents expect that many concerned with the provisions of I-502 and that the public at large concerned for their children will all support this alternative.

Most teenagers can quickly get marijuana with relative ease at a time when many patients authorized to grow, possess and use cannabis have a difficult time finding any due to law enforcement efforts that have closed down safe access for the states authorized medical marijuana patients. Allowing all adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use cannabis while retaining penalties for minors and those that engage them regarding cannabis will change that and allow medical marijuana patients and all adults at least 21 years old to get cannabis from any adult they choose. Law Enforcement will then be available to focus on adults that transact with younger people.

The campaign intends to collect signatures on both initiatives at the same time. If successful I-1223 will be on the November ballot while I-514 will be before the Legislature in January. Should the effort fall short in July, I-514 will continue through the end of the year to qualify.

The text of the initiatives on the CannabisChildProtectionAct.org website speaks to the uninformed voter to explain why we have come to this point and why this reform is needed. The changes in the law that follow all relate back to this language.

Regarding adult use, the Act sets a maximum canopy size for individual grows of 400 square feet or about 20’X20′ in size, but not in public view.

State and local officials would be restricted from cooperating on federal investigations that involve activity that would not be crimes under the new state law. They would not be restricted from cooperating on other crimes, such as importation of marijuana from other countries or states or grows over 400 square feet more common to cartel type operations. These individual small gardens would be the source of legal cannabis for those over 21.

Penalties for minors start with a $250 infraction rising to gross misdemeanors so that minors do not come of age with felony charges for cannabis on their record. Adults would face Class B and C felony charges for engaging minors while free to engage other adults regarding cannabis.

Parents would have the ability to guide their children’s exposure for spiritual and social use of cannabis (like wine at a religious ceremony or family celebration). Much of the proposed law mirrors the way that accepted current law does regarding alcohol use by minors now.

PDF’s will be available for download by individuals or groups. The campaign is accepting donations to pay professional signature gatherers as well.

The full text of the initiative can be found online along with donation and volunteer information. YesOn1223.org and YesOn514.org will redirect to the home page at CannabisChildProtectionAct.org

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