Kiss the War on Drugs goodbye,
That’s the headline to the statesmanjournal.com‘s OpEd on Washington’s surprise (shocking to many) decision to make marijuana legal.
Or, “Smoke it if you got it — assuming you can get it,” says the Daily Beast.
And No, this isn’t a spoof.
“The Kitsap County prosecutor is the latest law official to drop cases against defendants charged solely with marijuana possession,” says the Daily Chronicle, going on:
“Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge says he doesn’t believe juries will convict pot possession defendants after voters approved initiative 502, which will legalize up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older on Dec. 6.”
Because Washington has been and gone and done it — it’s turned the decades-old anti-marijuana law on its head, becoming just like Holland’s Amsterdam where smoking and using part has been legal privilege of citizens for many moons.
“Marijuana possession is about to be legal in the Evergreen State, just like it’s about to be legal in Colorado,” says the story, continuing.
“Already, prosecutors in King and Pierce counties dropped 220 pending pot-possession cases, knowing it might be tough to get a jury conviction in a state where it’s now legal (even if the law isn’t technically retroactive).
“But when you burn it all down and examine the various catch-22’s of Initiative 502, it becomes pretty readily apparent that Seattle is not about to become America’s Amsterdam—not anytime soon, anyway.”
How’s the new law going to work?
According to the daily beast:
You can’t really buy it. That’s because technically, you’re not allowed to sell it; not until the state develops a licensing system in the coming year and figures out how best to regulate distribution. The law requires weed be sold in standalone storefronts where nothing else is sold, says Seattle City Attorney and initiative co-sponsor Pete Holmes.
You’re not really allowed to grow it, either. Unless, of course, you’re holding a medical marijuana permit, in which case you were already allowed to grow it, just like you are in 17 other states.
You can’t stock up for the apocalypse. Users are allowed 28 grams (an ounce) of plant matter, along with 16 ounces of edible product (think pot brownies) and 72 ounces of infused liquid (they make marijuana olive oil now).
You can’t hotbox your dad’s van. Especially if you’re not 21, because you’re too young to legally possess marijuana, in accordance with I-502. But even if you are 21, it’s illegal under 502 to drive with more than five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, and it might be a little tricky for the people to figure out whether they’ve reached that threshold, at least without a home lab. It’s illegal to drive impaired, and marijuana smoke seeping out of the windows you roll down after California-rolling through that stop sign and getting pulled over, that’s plenty probable cause for a sobriety check, and a blood test.
Or, as Holmes puts it, “If you’re squealing your tires, driving two miles an hour, crossing the center line and the officer smells marijuana smoke” after you get pulled over, 502 won’t help you.
You can’t smoke outside. For the same reasons you can’t drink outside. The law treats Mary Jane just like it does Jim Beam.
You can’t smoke inside. Not in public places, anyway, like bars, restaurants, hospital rooms, and elementary-school gymnasiums. It’s verboten to smoke anything indoors, much less reefer. It’s also not allowed on the same premises where the marijuana is sold.
Initiative 502 passed with 55 per cent of the vote, and allows people over 21 to own a small amount of marijuana for personal use, removes the ban producing, processing, and selling marijuana, subject to licensing and regulation by the liquor control board, and DUI laws now include a drug-driving provision, says the Vancouver Observer.
“Meanwhile in Colorado, Proposition 64, which passed with 53 per cent voting ‘yes’, allows people to grow up to six mature marijuana plants privately in a locked space, buy it from licensed retailers, legally possess up to one ounce of pot, and give as a gift up to one ounce to other adult citizens,” says the story, adding.
“As in Washington, drug-driving laws are included, and Proposition 64 is seen as more liberal than I-502 as it lets people to grow their own marijuana.”
So now What about Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia just across the border from Washington?
“Most Canadians are at odds with the Harper government’s firm stance against marijuana decriminalization, a new poll finds,” Observes the Vancouver Observer.
““It’s fantastic news, Marc and I are overjoyed, a strong message has been sent that it’s time to legalize marijuana. It means that we should take a new approach ourselves and we will work on a Sensible BC campaign to legalize marijuana,” Jodie Emery, wife of BC’s ‘Prince of Pot, is quoted as declaring.’
BC is the only Canadian province that allows popular referendums, and “Emery is working with the Sensible BC Campaign to decriminalize marijuana, with a vote being scheduled for 2014, says the Observer,” adding.
“Meanwhile Vancouver Seed bank owner Rebecca Ambrose said that legalization in America would encourage more Canadians to grow seeds, despite new, tougher drug laws north of the border.”
“It’s proof that our drug laws don’t work,” said Ambrose.
“She also said many Canadian tourists could head south to enjoy a legal joint, putting cash into state coffers, and make politicians realize how much money could have been saved – or even made – by ending marijuana prohibition.
“We’re pretty excited to be honest, especially as Washington borders BC. That’s a big deal, as whenever the Canadian government talks about modernizing drug laws we get an earful from the US about trade embargoes and they economically threaten us if we change them,” said Ambrose.
Will a new Sam Bronfman soon found an empire based on Mary Jane instead of whisky?
Definitely stay tuned
Jon Newton — myblogdammit
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