This is an election in which Washington state could change the national dialogue on two issues: marijuana and same sex marriage.
I support Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana and Referendum 74 to legalize same-sex marriage. As a recent editorial board inductee, I’m behind the curve.
Our editorial board has supported marijuana legalization since February 2011, and our board’s support for same-sex couples’ rights began way back in 2000. Here are links to all of our editorials calling for an end to marijuana prohibition.
Marijuana prohibition disproportionately criminalizes African Americans and Latinos, as our op ed writer, St. Louis University of Law professor, SpearIt wrote. Keeping it illegal has not kept it out of the hands of adults or teenagers. Using marijuana is no more intoxicating than drinking alcohol. And if you’re too young to have seen the movie “The Untouchables,” then watch HBO’s series “Boardwalk Empire” to get an idea of the criminal enterprises we’re enabling with our prohibition laws. Or read this op ed on how Canadian experts believe our passage of I-502 will cripple organized crime in British Columbia. It’s written by Evan Wood, a professor of medicine at University of British Columbia, and David Bratzer, a Canadian police officer.
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We have also given space for the opposition to provide their perspective, in this op ed by doctors Robert DuPont and Andrea Barthwell on the addictive properties of marijuana and in an op ed by Anthony Martinelli of Sensible Washington on why I-502 is bad policy.
But I still think you should vote yes on I-502.
Check out this interactive map comparing marijuana laws in all 50 states from the Associated Press.