The movement to legalize marijuana gained more momentum this week with a nod from the King County Sheriff and another $1 million in donations, the Seattle Times is reporting.
Steve Strachan, who is running for election, told the Times Monday he would vote for Initiative 502, which would “bring clarity” to the conflicting state and federal laws regarding marijuana. “I think the current situation is bad for the rule of law, bad for the criminal justice system and and it sends a bad message to our kids.”
Strachan also said as a former school resource officer, he knows that marijuana is easier for kids to get than alcohol.
“With alcohol being highly regulated, we’re able to have a more reasonable discussion about it, in societies and in our families. If we treat marijuana like people are already informally treating it, you can make choices based on boundaries set by parents… (Currently) people are sort of winking at it. It lives it this kind of limbo –- its illegal, but also not. I think discussions will lead to better outcomes than the really ambiguous, confusing messages we’re sending to our kids.”
Strachan’s opponent, longtime Sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart, has also endorsed I-502.
According to the Secretary of State office’s website, I-502 would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over 21; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.
The effort to legalize marijuana also received an influx of money last week. With his $670,000 donation, Peter Lewis, the Progressive Insurance founder and marijuana-legalization advocate, has given $1.55 million to the cause, which has raised a total of nearly $4 million, the Times said.
The only organized opposition to I-502 is by a group of medical marijuana patients and retailers. No on 502 has raised $5,760.
Now that both candidates for King County Sheriff have endorsed I-502, are you more or less likely to support the measure? Which way will you vote? Tell us in comments.