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russell lester

Orchardist, Grange

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Debate: Washington state's legalization of marijuana

Yesterday in WA state I-502 was passed. What are the pros and cons as you see them of this act? What should the federal government do?

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.

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Closing Statement from russell lester

So far the biggest change I have personally seen is that their are more people open about their use of pot, and to tell the truth a general improvement in mood and communication. Some of my friends have reacted with a powerful pro democracy sentiment that was absent in them prior to the passage by this state of legal recreational pot use and gay marriage, a strong identification with Washington State and unprecedented loyalty to the state. There remains a lot of curiosity as to the Federal response and to the longer term effects. What if for example this has the unintended consequence of affecting the federal supremacy of law? I am very grateful to all who contributed and read this conversation thank you.

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    Gail . 50+

    • +1
    Nov 8 2012: .
    Pros:
    Black market with its violence goes away.
    Income stream improves
    Hard drug usage should decline of the Netherlands and Portugal are reliable evidence.
    State will be spending a lot less on prisons
    People will start making even better decisions because minds will open.

    Cons:
    • Nov 8 2012: Cons;
      The black market will not go away for those trying to profit in on this by selling the stuff tax free and unlimited by age.
      Hard drug use will not disappear.
      An open mind is not dependent on drugs, and an open mind is only beneficial when it's rational, not busy having a snack attack and hallucinating.

      Question;
      Anyone else find it ironic that substance abuse prevention will be one of the uses for the revenue?
      • Nov 9 2012: 1. Is there now a black market for selling tobacco and alcohol to under-aged people?
        2. "TED Lover" said "decline", not "disappear". How is this a Con?
        3. "TED Lover" did not say that only those using drugs have open minds. I don't use hallucinogens. I'm very open-minded about other people using it. As a society, when people learn that it's OK to use drugs (responsibly), they will become more open-minded and tolerant.

        "Anyone else find it ironic that substance abuse prevention will be one of the uses for the revenue?"
        Given that the US now has nationalized healthcare, NO. If the healthcare were a free industry, I would have found it ironic.
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        Nov 10 2012: "Anyone else find it ironic that substance abuse prevention will be one of the uses for the revenue?"

        No, that's the benefit of legal taxation. Currently, no taxes are paid, and non drug users, are forced to pay for the rehab of drug users. By taxing marijuana to pay for rehab programs it puts the responsibillity for rehab on users and dealers, rather than non users. I find it ironic, that people still find it ironic though.

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