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NORML Endorses Washington’s I-502 Legalization Initiative (UPDATED) | The NORML Stash Blog

I am the producer of The NORML Network, the host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, and NORML's Outreach Coordinator. I'm married, live in Portland, Oregon, and I am a registered medical marijuana caregiver in this state. I've worked days as an IT geek and nights as a professional musician. Previously, I have been the host of my own political talk radio show on satellite radio. I've been the High Times "Freedom Fighter of the Month" and I travel across the country to educate people on marijuana reform. I've dedicated my life to bringing an end to adult marijuana prohibition and re-legalizing cannabis hemp, and I'm honored to be chosen by NORML to give voice to the Marijuana Nation and to speak for those who can't speak up.


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96 responses to “NORML Endorses Washington’s I-502 Legalization Initiative (UPDATED)”

  1. AC Repair Louisville

    Good blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high
    quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

  2. Carol Taylor

    This opinion/summary of I-502 is one of the best I have seen for laying out the pros and cons of this bill. I agree it is not perfect, but it will move us forward and result in fewer arrests for both patients and non-patients in the state of Washington. Ultimately, to allow people the freedom to consume and grow a medicinal herb that neither harms them or anyone else is what we all want. I feel that I-502 moves us closer to that time.

  3. Marc’s US Prosecutor Pushes for Legalization; Exclusive Newspaper Articles about Marc & Prison Life | The Puffington Host

    [...] Dominic Holden called “Smokeless in Seattle” and NORML’s Russ Belville’s blog on why supporting I-502 with your vote this November is essential. I think Russ Belville is the [...]

  4. Marc’s US Prosecutor Pushes for Legalization; Exclusive Newspaper Articles about Marc & Prison Life

    [...] Dominic Holden called “Smokeless in Seattle” and NORML’s Russ Belville’s blog on why supporting I-502 with your vote this November is essential. I think Russ Belville is the [...]

  5. chad

    Thank you, I don’t think it could be put any more clearly.
    I live in Texas and we’ll never see medical marijuana unless a number of states outright legalize, if then. Voting against I-502 means voting against sick people across the country. Hell, across the world.

    “self-absorbed” indeed :-|

  6. Neal Feldman

    Russ – Yes it is throwing patients under the bus.

    Maybe we should seize all money from anyone worth $100 million or mnore and divide it amongst the 350 million folks in the US? After all the vast majority benefit and less than 5% would be harmed, right?

    What I-502 does is legalize cannabis for everyone EXCEPT MMJ PATIENTS. MMJ patients will effectively be precluded from driving, even if not impaired, because most MMJ patience will test over 5ng 24/7/365.25. As soon as they are tested, or refuse a test, their license is POOFED!

    It is not just throwing MMJ patients under the bus, it is kicking them in the teeth and THEN throwing them under the bus… with the self-absorbed ‘legalizers’ promoting I-502 telling MMJ patients who do not like this to just shut up and vote in favor of something drastically against their own best interests just so some recreational potheads won’t get hassled.

    Sorry but only the weak-willed and the moronic would do such a thing.

    The authors could have exempted MMJ patients from the limit or stated a much higher limit for MMJ patients, but they did not. As such the DUI-C per se crap is nothing but a poison pill and if the measure fails, as I expect it to, it will be primarily due to this poison pill in the initiative.

  7. HorsesAss.Org » Blog Archive » Driving Me Crazy

    [...] one of the oldest and most respected marijuana law reform organizations in the United States, has officially endorsed I-502. As expected, this has created another backlash from those within the reform community who [...]

  8. BNelson0403

    @Recreational Russ,

    Thank you. I appreciate your comments and rebuttals. Just wanted to let you know there are lots of people who agree with and applaud your efforts. Please don’t let these hypocrites wear your down, keep up the good fight.

    @BNelson0403

  9. Steve Sarich

    I know it may not appear so lately, but I try to limit my public comments on “legalization” to issues that have a direct impact on patients. If you’ll drop me an email or give me a call, I’ll be happy to discuss Sensible Washington issues with you.

    I’d also welcome your thoughts on how we can un-schedule cannabis. A rescheduling hearing may not be the best method since the governor completely dominates any decision made by the Board of Pharmacy….there might as well be mannequins in those chairs….at least it would cost the taxpayers less money.

    The committee that decides which medical conditions qualify is also controlled completely by the governor. We are taking steps to impose rules on this committee, which currently makes up the rules as they go along (and I have that straight from the DOH).

    I look forward to hearing from you….

    Steve
    steve@cannacare.org

  10. xcannabis.com
  11. xcannabis.com

    @Steve Sarich,

    Im glad that we are on the same page with rescheduling. I like the way Timothy Leary approached a similar situation in 1969. I also think HR 2306 is a good match for our end goal. There are ways to un-schedule it, I just hope we find it soon!

    I agree about the ever-changing definition of “legalization”. We need to stick to on definition and one strategy and follow it to the end. Good words Steve.
    Another thing that we disagree on is Sensible Washington. I think that the approach that they are taking, to change laws on a state level has worked in the past with the repeal of the 18th Amendment. It started at a state level first. What do you think about that?

  12. xcannabis.com

    “What always flummoxes me is the cognitive dissonance needed by our haters to hold these two thoughts simultaneously:
    1) NORML shoulda done X,Y,Z, because with NORML’s support it woulda made it!
    2) NORML hasn’t done anything for legalization in forty years.”

    – You say that you gave as much support to I-502, as you did for SW. Whether that is fact or fiction, doesn’t matter. Its water under the bridge.
    I just think that Sensible Washington was proposing exactly what NORML has said to have always supported. I think going balls out for Prop19 could have been equally applied to SW in 2011 when there wasn’t much going on politically. Thats my complaint. I think I-502 deserves no support, but that is just my opinion. If NORML supports it fine. But my overall point is, that Sensible Washington’s plan fits the NORML agenda more it seems. And it is similar to the Portugal model, so we know it works.

    “Make up your mind! Either we’re a powerful org that can help pass legalization or we’re a fading dinosaur that doesn’t matter. If it’s the latter, why do you give two shits what we do or don’t endorse? If it’s the former, why do you criticize us for supporting the best shot at legalization in our lifetime? We are not NORPSDUIDL, we are NORML. Per se DUID sucks, no doubt about that, but would you rather be a criminal all the time or a legal cannabis consumer fighting to amend a bad DUID standard?”

    You seem to be confusing my comments and other people’s comments.
    None the less, I have contributed money to NORML despite having a family and other pending responsibilities. I support NORML and I have said that I am glad that they have been active for 40 years, many of times.

    I am concerned about these DUID laws. I think that they hurt more than help even in the big scope of things.

    1. It is well known that most possession arrests come from traffic stops
    2. Instead of getting a possession ticket, there will be a DUID charge in place of it.

    Serves to reason anyway. And the defense in court is shot compared to current laws. If you have 5+ NG in your blood, thats the end of the story, there is no impairment defense. Current laws lets someone dispute the impairment charge a little easier.

  13. ray christl cambodia medical kanja

    Russ, we have our differences,yet on this I support you & NORML– Ryan is flaky on these initiative issues. He’s a guy who gave up cannabis for Jesus,yet when he needed it desperately for his health, came back on board the cannabis is good bandwagon.

    There is a bunch of ‘sour grapes’ rebellion against I-502 when the SenWah 2011 & 2012 initiatives, we’d all like to see pass, isn’t adopted by petitioners. The triangulation on this I-502 is a strategic position the ‘I got mine’ crowd abhors,but will signal to the world that America LEGALIZES by the people— possession of sacred cannabis.

    Had a difficult time with the great Vivian McPeak yesterday,and all his logical fallacy–which included me being told that since I don’t live in Wah,your opinion isn’t valid. I was comparing a person like me holding his nose and voting for WarBama because the alternative is Gingrich/Santorum–think it’s a fair analogy. We all see how the loss in California delayed our victory ,& this is shaping up to be another hellish imbroglio.

  14. steve Sarich

    Ryan, we don’t disagree AT ALL on the issue of “rescheduling”. The goal of “rescheduling” should be to REMOVE cannabis from ANY schedule. It doesn’t qualify as a scheduled drug and scheduling it as a Schedule II does us more damage that we’re already dealing with. We need to work together to UNSCHEDULE it….but we may need to go through the rescheduling proceedure to get there unless you have a better idea. I’m all ears on this one. It’s a priority.

    And I’m totally frustrated with the people who will throw anyone under the bus for the constantly changing definition of “legalization”. First we were going to protect those young people just starting out their lives who would have their futures ruined by a “drug” arrest. Now, under the new NORML definition of legalization, they’ll just have to “suck it up and take one for the stoner team” if they’re under 21 or a patient.

    That’s just totally unacceptable. Why does everyone need to get thrown under the bus just to comply with the new and everchanging definition of “legalization” that NORML and the ACLU come up with?

    All of you the subscribe to Reprehensible Russ’s “new and improved” definition of “legalization, but decide which of your principles your willing to compromise. NORML is apparently willing to hire Russ to sell you the idea that giving up your priniciples is a courageous thing that needs to be done in the name of legalization….and the NORML attorney base that needs the extra income.

    There may be a more disreputable organizations than NORML out there somewhere (MPP comes to mind). It might be the Republican National Committee, or the Democratic National Committee, or the Ku Klux Klan, but I’ve never seen any of those organizations shift their primary goals as quickly, or as often, as NORML has over the last ten years.

    The word “HO” comes to mind. If you can’t grow the plant…it’s not legalization. If you’re an 18 year old college student that will have his life ruined over a simple pot bust….and NORML is willing to throw you under the bus because you’re an 18-20 college student….STOP SENDING THEM MONEY TO DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS!!! They are SELLING YOU OUT!!!

    You’re in college now…it’s time you understood that you don’t send money to people who are willing to sell out your rights whenever it’s expedient for them…and having you PAY their salaries to do it! Reprehensible Russ is PAID to parrot the NORML line….and you’re paying his salary.

    When NORML asks you for your money next time….”Just say NO!” I think it’s time that Russ got a real job.

    Look….a REAL legalization bill, that doesn’t remove what little remains of your rights, will come along. It’s not my job to write that. My job is to protect patients. But I assure you that SOMEONE, and it won’t be anyone at NORML, will come up with good legislation that you can support, both with your vote and with your money.

    I’m not suggesting you hold out for “perfect”, but I’m certainly saying that you should at least hold out for “acceptable”….or “reasonable”….or something that won’t endanger you even more than you currently are today.

    Even Russ had his definition of “legalization”. It was no surprise that he gave up his own definitiion of “legalization” for a “paycheck”. Yes Russ….you are a sell-out to the cause.

    Steve

    P.S. Russ…”infused products” are far different than “concentrates” (like hash). The concentrates aren’t even mentioned in the initiative so you won’t be getting your “16 ounces of legal hash”. In fact, it doesn’t appear that you’ll be legal to buy any concentrates whatsoever according to the initiative. If you can find that I’m wrong, please post it.

    Sorry, Russ. Blame Alison and McKay….not me.

  15. xcannabis.com

    Like I said, if the NORML organization had supported the Washington initiatives with as much vigor as Prop19 or I-502, I honestly think it would have been much different.

    I think its great that over the 3 years of SW working on initiatives, there were 7 blog posts, and a couple of interviews, from the most trafficked legalization website in the world and such.

    Last year I posted this about it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0gumCNIFWU

    I don’t have much more to say.

  16. xcannabis.com

    “I posted this correction to one of your earlier posts about I-502, but perhaps you didn’t see it. I want to make sure you and your readers understand that I-502 does not create a state monopoly on growing, processing, or selling marijuana. The state Liquor Control Board simply licenses and regulates privately-owned and -operated farms, shops, and stores, much as it licenses and regulates wineries and distilleries. The state is not involved in the actual growing, processing, or selling, and state employees will not own or operate any of those businesses (at least, not in their capacities as state employees).”

    I just had a flash back of SB 5073!

  17. xcannabis.com

    Colorado rejected this 5ng limit and good for them!

    And why would the ACLU use new penalties to convince voters to decrease penalties? Reckless driving laws ALREADY protect WA roads!

    RCW 46.61.500
    Reckless driving — Penalty.

    (1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.

    (2) The license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than thirty days.

    (3)(a) Except as provided under (b) of this subsection, a person convicted of reckless driving who has one or more prior offenses as defined in RCW 46.61.5055(14) within seven years shall be required, under RCW 46.20.720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the person if the conviction is the result of a charge that was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.504, or an equivalent local ordinance.

    (b) A person convicted of reckless driving shall be required, under RCW 46.20.720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the person if the conviction is the result of a charge that was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.520 committed while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or RCW 46.61.522 committed while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.

    [2011 c 293 § 4; 2011 c 96 § 34; 1990 c 291 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 136 § 85; 1967 c 32 § 67; 1965 ex.s. c 155 § 59.]

  18. xcannabis.com

    I remember you interviewing Don Skakie for I-505, long after Sensible Washington had two initiatives come and then go. I remember you interviewing Doug Hiatt when he wasn’t even running an initiative, long after SW’s initiative failed to get enough signatures. But that was just a promotion of NAW’s I-505, because Alison Holcomb was on that interview too.

    So maybe I am missing all of the support that NORML has given to Washington’s TRUE legalization initiatives that actually got hundreds of thousands of signatures without any major backers, and without a lot of NORML’s support.

    I think that SW could have been more successful if NORML would have given I-1068 and I-1149 as much support as NAW has gotten, or as much support as Prop19 got. And in 2011 it was an off year, there were no major campaigns going on, and nothing national. So that was a perfect time to support Sensible Washington with vigor.

    I know you are upset about patients against legalization and all of that.
    Heck I’ve been saying the same things that Allen St. Pierre said in that private email, for a lot longer than he has, and I’ve said what I have said PUBLICLY.

    This is one of my recent videos about that:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMbkQsC4Mk4

    Im not one of those “We’ve got ours” people.

    I just think I-502 over stepped some serious boundries.

    Colorado recently rejected 5ng limits too. And for good reason. Even the main sponsor Claire Levy came out against such strict limits with HB 1261.

    The ACLU could have reassured voters that the roads would be safe with this measure without including new DUID laws, and blood tests. Reckless Driving laws cover that issue quite well, and with stiff penalties.

    We can agree to disagree. I am starting a monthly subscription to NORML, donating $4.20 per month. It’s not much. But I just wanted you to know I appreciate you, even if we disagree.

  19. xcannabis.com
  20. xcannabis.com

    Steve typically I disagree with you. I disagree with the RE-scheduling of cannabis in Washington and in the USA. I think instead we need to only UN-schedule.

    However you have made some very rational points here. The way they downplay the DUID provisions is disgusting. The reason that Colorado shot down HB 1261 is because of the DUID provisions that were almost exactly the same as in I-502.

    http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/03/marijuana_thc_driving_impairment_limits_claire_levy.php

    Even Claire Levy (the original sponsor of this) came out against it in the long run.

    NORML and the ACLU have been working on a few bad laws in Washington, and they don’t seem to question or protest any of the negative provisions, regardless of how negative they are.

    At least Colorado has it’s senses about it all.

  21. xcannabis.com

    Thanks dnL. You are very correct. I don’t make money off medical marijuana being protected as an exclusive class of people. In fact, I make media for a few marijuana related companies. I make t-shirts and websites. And if there were more marijuana businesses, I would be more blessed not less blessed.
    But I started my business Emerald Sun a few years ago to support marijuana businesses and legalization. I closed that business down when I had more kids and when I got too busy in my career. In fact, that website doesn’t even exist any more. But since I first started supporting NORML I have had two more kids, and I started working about 350 hours per month. So I rarely have time for this any more.

    But I-502 is very close to my life in many ways. I just have not been able to support this law. I supported Prop 19, I-1068, I-1149, I-505 and I am supporting Regulate Marijuana Like Wine and CCHI, as well as Washington State Safe Cannabis Act 2012 .

    I can’t support I-502 because it does more harm than good in my opinion. I’ve done a lot of research on it and it is something that (as Pete Holmes said about SW) “Worries me terribly”.

    All that the ACLU you had to do to get my support and other people’s support is leave the dangerous DUID provisions out. If they thought that they needed to convince people that they would be safe on the roads is tell them about Reckless Driving laws in Washington.

    RCW 46.61.500
    Reckless driving — Penalty.

    (1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.

    (2) The license or permit to drive or any nonresident privilege of any person convicted of reckless driving shall be suspended by the department for not less than thirty days.

    (3)(a) Except as provided under (b) of this subsection, a person convicted of reckless driving who has one or more prior offenses as defined in RCW 46.61.5055(14) within seven years shall be required, under RCW 46.20.720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the person if the conviction is the result of a charge that was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.504, or an equivalent local ordinance.

    (b) A person convicted of reckless driving shall be required, under RCW 46.20.720, to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles operated by the person if the conviction is the result of a charge that was originally filed as a violation of RCW 46.61.520 committed while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or RCW 46.61.522 committed while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug.

    [2011 c 293 § 4; 2011 c 96 § 34; 1990 c 291 § 1; 1979 ex.s. c 136 § 85; 1967 c 32 § 67; 1965 ex.s. c 155 § 59.]

    Geeze, they are all lawyers by the way. Surely they knew about these laws?

  22. xcannabis.com

    “Whatever, Ryan, the whole point of my comment was to enlighten you that Russ didn’t know who he was talking to. As much as you think you are being transparent, it’s clear from listening to the conversation that Russ didn’t know it was YOU DURING the conversation. So WHATEVER. ”

    I wasn’t there to talk about me. I answered every question that they asked me. I didn’t conceal any thing. If I wanted to talk about my site xCannabis.com, that would have been OFF TOPIC.

    But geeze I had just made several videos for Russ and posted them in this thread before calling into the show. I didn’t alter my voice. And right now especially my voice is pretty unique with me having a cold and all. Its unique otherwise too.

    “It’s a little selfish of you to assume that Russ would recognize your voice when you said your name, or put it together with one of the many profiles or names you use. Get over it, you weren’t clear enough or Russ would have explained who you were to the listeners. We all know you, Ryan. ”

    Other profiles. You have yellowjuana cake, and darla ruff. You have more than I have. In fact I have changed my name on FaceBook ONCE to “Friar Ryan”, and I would have changed it to “Reverend Ryan” but Facebook wouldn’t let me.

    I realize people are slinging “sock puppetry” like Russ and Steve Sarich spoke about. But I am always real, and honest. I’ve never played that sock puppet roll.

    “I have a vivid and horrific memory of pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had with you. It’s because you can’t agree to disagree. No matter what, if I disagree with you, even on the tiniest of points, you will use that point to try and poke me into submission. It’s what you do. ”

    Yes you always like to censor comments and then play victim. Which is why I use my screen capture software to record our conversations. Just before you started censoring me about I-502, I have an email from you thanking me for sticking up for you when you were arguing with someone else.

    “Now, as for your whining about being hung up on . . . try to stay on topic next time and don’t yell. Good luck.”

    Good luck staying on topic, when you have tried to make this conversation about me. It’s not about me. Its about I-502.

    I made a recent post about it here:

    http://xcannabis.com/2012/02/back-when-norml-fought-for-real-liberty/

  23. Steve Sarich

    “So I see there’s another legalization bill. I’m reading the seemingly nit-picky criticisms of it from some of the MMJ crowd. I’m following Russ’ snarky (yet entertaining) rebuttals. Deja Vu. Where in the hell have I seen this before?”

    Definitiion of “stupid stoner”: Anyone who threatens the medical marijuana community for not supporting a bill that claims “legalization” and then readily admits he hasn’t even read the bill. :wacky:

    There are those who simply respond to the word “legalization” like one of Pavlov’s dogs…nothing more than a conditioned response. “It’s says legalization….it MUST be good….who needs to bother reading it?”.

    Supporters of the initiative downplay the DUID provisions in this bill. They contend that maybe this shiny new tool for law enforcement will not be aggressively used by the police. Now it’s possible that the police wouldn’t use a powerful new tool against cannabis users, but that has certainly not been my experience over the last 10 years. And this isn’t just a patient issue. This will negatively impact anyone who smokes. The only difference with patients is that they will always be guilty when tested. But we will never agree on this issue.

    Since it’s not likely that many have actually read the initiative, maybe we should disect the bill a bit and look at what the authors have to say about it. NAW has produced a very interesting fact sheet on their website (better get a copy before they delete it). This fact sheet provides the numbers they project for the state taxation scheme, including the expected price from the grower, taxes and end user pricing. In later posts I’ll prove that they have left out significant numbers that will raise the end user price significantly, but for now, let’s just work with their current figures….they’re illuminating enough for now.

    You always have to start somewhere when projecting numbers. Your original cost of goods is always a good place to start. NAW is basing their figures on the assumption that the initial price that growers will be willing to accept is going to be $68 an ounce (or $1100 per pound). Maybe “accept” is not the correct word. Perhaps “will be forced to accept to get a license to be ‘legal’ to sell to state licensed stores” would be more accurate.

    Based on that initial purchase price, they are predicting an end user price of $444 an ounce (or $7100 per pound). This would provide the state with a tax/profit margin of $6000 per pound! I bet the grower will be happy to know that the product he’s only getting $68 for will be netting the state a clear $6000 profit margin! I guess we all have to do our part under this “tax and regulate” model, right?

    WOW, I just went back to the NAW website this morning and they’ve changed their figures again. Now they on plan on “only” making $4800 per pound (in taxes alone). Gee, maybe they aren’t as malevolent and greedy as I thought. :-) (I’m sure that grower won’t feel so totally ripped off now)

    You would think that this was a rather large miscalculation, right? To reach their stated projection of $210 million in taxes at the $7100 per pound figure, they would only have to sell 29,000 pounds per year. At $5900 per pound they’ll have to up their game a bit and sell 43,750 pounds to reach the tax revenues they predicted.

    We’ll don’t cry for the state just yet; the NAW’s numbers are still WAY off. First, they forgot one of the major players in their supply chain, and it’s an important one. They forgot the distributor and the additional 25% tax at that step of the distribution chain. Since the distributor is written into the law, and we can assume that someone will have to handle the 43,750 pound of pot that will need to be distributed, I don’t think you can leave out the distributor in this model. (However, if you ARE a distributor, and you’re distributing thousands of pounds of Federally illegal pot, I’m thinking that the Feds are stopping at your door before they even before they stop for donuts.)

    So there’s another 25% tax to be added to their current figures (which will also raise the retail price). I’m sure that the NAW will be updating their figures again, so stay tuned for more changes.

    There is one more HUGE calculation that they forgot in their published numbers, and it will radically change the end user price, but I’ll get to that one later. Hopefully these numbers alone will stir some conversation.

    Do anyone know a grower in their right mind that will be willing to challenge the Feds for the “privilege” of selling top quality cannabis for $1100 per pound? If you know one, please have them contact me!

    Is there any question about whether or not you can add a $4800 per pound state tax on marijuana and NOT have end user prices go up dramatically? (I hope that clears up Russ’s question on why I thought prices would be higher under this “legalization” regime….I can read…try it some time!)

    Again, Russ, what’s your threshold for pain? At what point do you just go back to your current supplier? Will you pay $400 an ounce? Is $500 too much? Is $600 out of the question? When does this no longer make any sense, even to the most die hard “legalization at any cost” advocates? So far Russ has avoided this question, but I think it’s time for an answer.

    Contrary to some, the DUID issue is not the only issue for me. Under I-502, medical patients (and I know that some of you have said you could care less about us and even wished that we got raided) would be forced to buy their cannabis from the state licensed stores. This would mean that the cost for patients, many of whom live only on their Social Security, would at least double. That’s unacceptable to me. If recreational users are dumb enough to pay $500-$600 per ounce just so they can say that they have state “legal” pot, please, go right ahead.

    So Russ, if “legal” pot prices are significantly higher than street prices, doesn’t that defeat the announced goal of NAW to wipe out the black market in marijuana? I wasn’t an economics major, but I know that raising prices is only going to fuel the black market, not eliminate it. You’ll also see everyone rushing to become patients so that they can grow their own rather than paying the exhorbitant state prices. (So much for NORML’s BS argument that the clinics will oppose the initiative because it will hurt their businesses…yeah right!)

    You’ll just have to face it….many of us oppose I-502 for some very practical reasons that have nothing to do with greed or other business interests. We oppose it because we’ve actually read it. You might want to try reading it too before you make up your mind. The actual cost of “legalization at any price” may very well prove to be to high for even Russ to bear.

    Steve Sarich
    CannaCare

  24. Brent in TN or KY

    OK, I feel like we are living back in 2010, prop 19, and here we are in the same mess. Russ I have been keeping out of this fight but after the call in friday and the debate that I see unfolding now I have to put my two cents in. I m calling in on the show Monday, no one is stopping me, some people need to hear from a true cannabis fugitive, discriminated against and criminal consumer! So Hour two money everyone be ready to beat me up because some are not going to like what I have to say!

  25. YellowJuana Cake

    Whatever, Ryan, the whole point of my comment was to enlighten you that Russ didn’t know who he was talking to. As much as you think you are being transparent, it’s clear from listening to the conversation that Russ didn’t know it was YOU DURING the conversation. So WHATEVER.

    It’s a little selfish of you to assume that Russ would recognize your voice when you said your name, or put it together with one of the many profiles or names you use. Get over it, you weren’t clear enough or Russ would have explained who you were to the listeners. We all know you, Ryan.

    I have a vivid and horrific memory of pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had with you. It’s because you can’t agree to disagree. No matter what, if I disagree with you, even on the tiniest of points, you will use that point to try and poke me into submission. It’s what you do.

    Now, as for your whining about being hung up on . . . try to stay on topic next time and don’t yell. Good luck.

  26. dnL

    And to those who are affiliated w/ medical marijuana who have legitimate concerns w/ this initiative and legalization measures in the future: Tread very carefully in how you oppose this initiative. I once promised here on the Stash that I wouldn’t repeat this… but the dirty tactics used to derail Prop 19 by the “Tossed SALADs” and the “I’ve Got Mines” caused me to lose all support for the MMJ movement in California. And I’m sure I’m not alone. I realize that not everyone who’s affiliated w/ MMJ was against Prop 19, but it was the loud mouths that were (e.g. the Dennis Perons, the Dragonfly de la Luzes, the MMJ profiteers, et. al) who soured me on it. I’ll even admit that I still enjoy a certain degree of schadenfreude when I hear of CA cannabis clubs and MMJ growers getting their sh*t ruined by the feds, or cities looking to restrict MMJ rules. It’s not mature, nor is it fair, but neither were they when we needed them to be. So again, be careful in how you oppose legalization.

    Still writing more than I want to about this. OK, I’m done w/ this.

  27. dnL

    xcannabis, I’ll admit that I already have a pretty clear idea of where you stand on the issue of legalization. Throughout these years, I’ve read many of your posts and I’ve seen a number of your videos. I believe that you are not against this measure purely for financial gain. Unfortunately, that is something I cannot say about others who say that they want “legalization” but seem to oppose these kinds of legislation when they arrive.

    I’ll also admit that I do not feel like getting into a debate about the merits of I-502 because:
    A) I’m not too familiar with I-502. I haven’t actually read the bill (my extensive research goes as far as Google searches on the issue at hand and reading news articles). Plus, IANAL, so I’m not going to pretend to know how this will affect Washington if it passes. Even if I were, I still wouldn’t attempt it; and
    B) I’m not emotionally invested on this issue. I can’t vote on this. I am not from the great state of Washington, I’m a Californian. If it passes, cool. If it doesn’t, well, better luck next time. And, let’s face it, the Prop 19 fiasco had taken a lot of the fight right out of me.

    What I will say is this: When it comes to politics, whether you are a voter or a politician, it’s very rare that you will get everything that you want in a bill. It doesn’t matter if the issue is cannabis legalization, tax reform, or a slam dunk issue like raising a damn debt ceiling. I would love for states to get full-blown legalization without the added BS also, but it’s starting to look like a pipe dream the older (and hopefully wiser) I get. Change comes slowly, so I won’t nitpick the baby steps of reformation. Though, I’m beginning to agree w/ something Russ had predicted a while back. When we keep passing on these legalization bills, more restrictive bills will be introduced in order to make them more palatable. I respect your views and I’m not going to tell you how to think/act on I-502 but like I said before (with apologies to Voltaire), don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Personally, I’d rather a state pass some quasi-legalization measure, which could force the nation and the federal government into finally having a serious discussion about the inefficiency of prohibition (a la Arizona SB 1070), which could lead to more reform, than to wait around for the illusive “perfect” (which would more than likely be an unfunded/unsupported/unelectable) initiative.

    Speaking of Russ and NORML, I can’t say where their thought processes lie in supporting some measures while ignoring others, but I would think/hope that they are looking to back the most electable ones. Even if it seems like two steps forward and one step back, the overall result is that it’s still a forward motion. I can’t see the regression in that, especially if it’s a long term strategy.

    Damn, I wrote more than I wanted to.

  28. xcannabis.com
  29. xcannabis.com

    “Right. You’re Ryan, calling from California. That’s fine. Honest. Truthful. But deceitful from the conversation I heard – Russ didn’t know it was xcannabis, aka Reverend Ryan aka Friar Ryan. I feel like you could have let him know it was you, since you’d been having a debate here in the comments. Since you didn’t mention your chat handle, Russ didn’t know it was YOU.

    That’s all I’m saying. Thanks for calling in.”

    Yup, within the last year I lived in Washington. My kids were raised in Washington, and for 13 years (including this year) I have paid taxes in Washington.

    And yes, it was me, my voice, my real name, and my same points of conversation. I was not in any way being deceptive. If Russ didn’t recognize my voice, he wasn’t paying attention. Obvious YOU knew. Duh!

  30. YellowJuana Cake

    Right. You’re Ryan, calling from California. That’s fine. Honest. Truthful. But deceitful from the conversation I heard – Russ didn’t know it was xcannabis, aka Reverend Ryan aka Friar Ryan. I feel like you could have let him know it was you, since you’d been having a debate here in the comments. Since you didn’t mention your chat handle, Russ didn’t know it was YOU.

    That’s all I’m saying. Thanks for calling in.

  31. xcannabis.com

    I did properly identify myself. I have videoed myself. I have posted on my own site and on here. And I also called in and gave my real name and location.

  32. YellowJuana Cake

    I think if you have this much to say in the comments and then actually take the time to call the live show, you could at least properly identify yourself to the host so he would have known who he had on the line.

    Russ, this was your caller.

  33. xcannabis.com

    “Do I go to jail if I possess after I-502? NO”

    Unless you have any of it in your blood, and you are under 21. Or if you have over 5ng in your blood and you are over 21. Hmmm..

    What about Section 20, paragraph 1 that says cannabis must be obtained by an authorized dealer?

    Lots of ambiguous loopholes for cops to use against us, and not only use against us, but even more so.

  34. xcannabis.com

    “But to some of us, this is looking like another example of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good… and for some of you, it looks like fear of losing your meal ticket (no disrespect).”

    I have support Prop19, I-1068, I-1149, and many other full legalization efforts. But I will not support I-502, because of how regressive it is.

    If you look at my YouTube channel, I have been cursing how MMJ sets us back for longer that Allen St. Pierre has.

    I am not looking to protect a certain class of cannabis consumers. I am looking forward to hemp production, recreational/consumer cannabis, no DUID bullcrap, etc.

    I-502 does not help any of this. It is what I call “The Lawyer Retirement Program”.

  35. xcannabis.com

    The lack of support that NORML gave to the cause that they said that they support primarily, FULL legalization shows me that they are talking out of both sides of their mouth. Did NORML lend much support to the Sensible Washington initiatives that got hundreds of thousands of signatures (with no big backers, no Regressive Insurance, no million dollar philanthropists with vested interests) with just people who are passionate about freedom.
    Sensible Washington got a few mentions by NORML, but I was sorely disappointed about how both NORML and especially how the ACLU neglected SW’s cause.
    Peter Holmes (another NAW endorser) came out right and said “the people’s initiatives scare him terrible, referring to SW).

    These lawyer pandering suckups and pseudo prohibitionists are not helping.

  36. dnL

    Ok, if you say so.

    But to some of us, this is looking like another example of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good… and for some of you, it looks like fear of losing your meal ticket (no disrespect).

  37. YellowJuana Cake

    I’m voting YES on I-502.

  38. xcannabis.com

    Prop19 was much easier to support, and I did. Prop19 gave a clearcut legal method to obtain cannabis. It did not introduce regressive DUID laws, and it gave a provision for personal grows. Prop19, while not perfect, actually made sense, and did represent a hazy image of legalization. I-502 does not come close!

  39. dnL

    So I see there’s another legalization bill. I’m reading the seemingly nit-picky criticisms of it from some of the MMJ crowd. I’m following Russ’ snarky (yet entertaining) rebuttals. Deja Vu. Where in the hell have I seen this before?

    Oh yeah. It’s like Prop 19 all over again but a different state. This will not end well.

    [Keep checking the calendar and, nope, it's not Groundhogs Day]

    Wow. History really does repeat itself.

  40. Dan Baker

    Russ I actually do agree with your overall comment here, but are you positive that we would be able to have a pound of hash? I thought that 16 oz. of “infused product” meant brownies,cookies, or some other medible. It would seem redundant and contradictory to only be able to posess an ounce of bud, but a pound of hash? Please verify this for me, thanks again.

    Dan

  41. Dan Baker

    I hope this does pass now, and that these Universities do debunk the propaganda, for I feel it is so,so very wrong. I hope we can smoke one and discuss this further in person at this coming Hempfest.

    Thanks

  42. Dan Baker

    Russ you have really put it into a good perspective for me. I still don’t know how I will vote, but thank you for taking the time to tell me the facts. I do still feel though that the age limit needs changed to 18, since there are many of patients under 21. But thanks for the info

  43. xcannabis.com

    Discussion with Russ Belville about the I-502 “legalization” initiative in Washington

    This discussion has taken place on both facebook and the NORML stash blog.

    http://stash.norml.org/norml-endorses-washingtons-i-502-legalization-initiative/comment-page-2#comment-85898

    http://www.facebook.com/utah.pirate/posts/323446824368871?notif_t=share_comment

    http://xcannabis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/New_Approach_Washington_Marijuana_Initiative.pdf

    A few comments that stuck out to me are these:

    I said to Russ this:

    xcannabis.com
    February 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Legalization? Really? I think that definition and the loose use of words like “legalization” should be re-examined here.

    I would call I-502, “decriminalization” on one hand with the one ounce thing. And “more prohibition” on the DUID lingo. But not legalization.

    And about the 1 ounce possession issue. It must be bought from a state regulated dispensary for it to be “legal”, and as we saw with SB 5073, the state won’t allow for state regulated dispensaries.

    So we are back to square one. There will not be legal ounces if there are no legal dispensaries. The only new thing Washington will get is this crappy DUID law.

    http://xcannabis.com/2011/07/does-naw-really-have-a-chance/

    Russ replied:

    “Radical” Russ Belville
    February 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Wrong. The one ounce possession of buds or sixteen ounce possession of hash and hash oil or seventy-two ounce possession of tincture exists as a protection on its own. See in the post earlier:

    The only limitation is the amounts: one ounce useable marijuana, 16 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form, 72 oz. of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or any combination thereof [Sec 20 Para (3)].”

    (3) The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in section 15(3) of this act is not a violation of this section, this chapter, or any other provision of Washington state law.

    In other words, it does not say “The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products purchased only from state-authorized outlets in amounts that do not exceed…” as you are falsely asserting.

    Also wrong on “decriminalization”. Decriminalization is what we call it when a state no longer has criminal sanction against a pot smoker. Oregon is “decrim” – you get a ticket, a fine, loss of D/L, but no criminal punishment.

    “Legalization” is when there is no punishment whatsoever for a pot smoker. That’s what I-502 does. When it passes, I can possess an ounce and get no fine, no ticket, no loss of D/L, no nothing.

    Furthermore, when something is “decrim” it is still against the law, and therefore, detecting it is a probable cause to investigate law breaking. When something is “legal”, it isn’t a crime, and detecting it is no probable cause to investigate.

    What you’re conflating is “legalization” with “legalization of possession and cultivation for personal use”. In a previous post, I explained how legalizing possession is “legalization” and legalizing cultivation in addition to that is “legalization-er”. I-502 legalizes personal possession and it legalizes commercial cultivation. I would prefer that it legalized personal cultivation, but its sponsors found polling showing that voters weren’t going to support home grows.

    What I do know is that convincing voters somewhere down the line that personal cultivation should be legal will be much easier for an organized group of legal personal marijuana users to accomplish than another request from a disorganized group of criminals and patients. (And don’t dare try to say that the gubmint will resist that because they want to protect their pot tax cash cow… because then you will have painted all the dispensary and clinic owners opposing I-502 with the same brush.)

    I replied with:

    xcannabis.com
    February 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Russ this conversation is a little hard to keep up with as it is not threaded. I like the “Disqus” module for wordpress, it makes it easier to login, easier to comment, and it keeps the comments threaded so that replies are organized according to the original post. Just a thought.

    Anyway, I think that the complicated law proposed in I-502. Which is the longest initiative I have read in a long time, its very ambiguous as to what can be interpreted from it.

    I know I am not legal expert. But the police that try to interpret complicated laws are sometimes less adept than a layman like myself.

    I told you about when I got arrested and put in jail for “using the streets without a permit” right?

    Anyway, you say that the marijuana bought and used under this law does not need to come from a licensed distributor. I think that is debatable.

    First let me ask you a few questions.

    1. If not bought from a licensed distributor, how does one legally obtain the marijuana?
    My answer is: through illegal means
    2. If governor Gregoire refused to allow legal medical dispensaries, do you think consumer/recreational dispensaries will have any more legitimacy than the medical dispensaries that were vetoed?

    And my last point is this ambiguous section that you referred to:

    “Sec. 20. RCW 69.50.4013 and 2003 c 53 s 334 are each amended to read as follows:
    (1) It is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.
    (2) Except as provided in RCW 69.50.4014, any person who violates this section is guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
    (3) The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in section 15(3) of
    30
    this act is not a violation of this section, this chapter, or any other provision of Washington state law.”

    Hmm. If it is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.. Where does that leave room for a person to possess a controlled substance purchased or obtained by illegal means?

  44. xcannabis.com

    Russ this conversation is a little hard to keep up with as it is not threaded. I like the “Disqus” module for wordpress, it makes it easier to login, easier to comment, and it keeps the comments threaded so that replies are organized according to the original post. Just a thought.

    Anyway, I think that the complicated law proposed in I-502. Which is the longest initiative I have read in a long time, its very ambiguous as to what can be interpreted from it.

    I know I am not legal expert. But the police that try to interpret complicated laws are sometimes less adept than a layman like myself.

    I told you about when I got arrested and put in jail for “using the streets without a permit” right?

    Anyway, you say that the marijuana bought and used under this law does not need to come from a licensed distributor. I think that is debatable.

    First let me ask you a few questions.

    1. If not bought from a licensed distributor, how does one legally obtain the marijuana?
    My answer is: through illegal means
    2. If governor Gregoire refused to allow legal medical dispensaries, do you think consumer/recreational dispensaries will have any more legitimacy than the medical dispensaries that were vetoed?

    And my last point is this ambiguous section that you referred to:

    “Sec. 20. RCW 69.50.4013 and 2003 c 53 s 334 are each amended to read as follows:
    (1) It is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.
    (2) Except as provided in RCW 69.50.4014, any person who violates this section is guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
    (3) The possession, by a person twenty-one years of age or older, of useable marijuana or marijuana-infused products in amounts that do not exceed those set forth in section 15(3) of
    30
    this act is not a violation of this section, this chapter, or any other provision of Washington state law.”

    Hmm. If it is unlawful for any person to possess a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by this chapter.. Where does that leave room for a person to possess a controlled substance purchased or obtained by illegal means?

  45. Patients Against I-502

    Russ – We have never once called recreational users criminals, nor have we said patients deserve special treatment. It’s I-502 sponsors and supporters who have continually suggested an exemption for patients in the MUCA as a hail-mary pass to fix I-502 once it’s passed. All we have asked for is a policy based on science, ethics and compassion – not polling and political favors.

    We would also like to point out the glaringly obvious flaw in your suggestion that we make yet another sacrifice for the recreational movement by allowing ourselves to be recriminalized because, after all, we get to use handicap placards so we should quit our bitching. Oh, and that rose-colored city in ANOTHER STATE has fabulous public transportation, so the entire state of Washington obviously must too. Don’t forget all those “urban” areas with bus systems! Booming metropolises like Easton, Ferndale and Okanogan surely have adequate public transit, right? Quit yer damn bitchin’ and get out your canes! Recreational Russ needs his legal ounce!

    Maybe NORML or NAW with their financial backing and winning ideas can be the ones to “muster enough compassion to spend time organizing more rideshares and driver services and delivery services.” Please make sure these newfound services that were once unnecessary aren’t too cost prohibitive. After all, we are talking about terminally ill patients and those with debilitating diseases. Perhaps all those recreational users would like to sacrifice on our behalf by paying for the life-altering accomodations we will now have to make so they can have their legal ounce.

    What was it you were saying about “pragmatic politics,” Recreational Russ?

    And since when does NORML compare alcohol and pot, using Blood Alcohol Content as an argument that per se laws calling for THC blood testing are nothing to be concerned about? Talk about inconsistency. Do NORML and Recreational Russ really expect us to believe that per se DUI standards for alcohol are unscientific? or is it that per se laws for DUIC are based on science? Please. Get your story straight, NORML!

    For the record, as long as NORML and NAW keep hammering home “the perfect is the enemy of the good,” we will continue to play the “ethics and reason are the enemy of flawed policy” card. We are entirely pragmatic and that is why we have been able to choke down flawed policies in the past, provided those policies do not force us to trade incarceration of one group for incarceration of another. But as much as NAW wants to compare I-502 to policies in the past, there has NEVER been a legalization or medical marijuana law which offers up arrest and incarceration as political fodder. Never. It hasn’t been done before because experienced political campaigns know better than to alienate their base in this manner.

    As far as Recreational Russ putting his “money where his mouth is,” he’s already publicly announced to the entire internet realm that he will support I-502 but won’t be driving himself to that pipe-dream of a pot store that NAW’s been peddaling. If I-502′s DUIC provisions are so innocuous, why not drive here Russ? You’ve admittedly made plenty of irresponsible decisions to get behind the wheel in the past, what’s stopping you from driving in Washington if I-502 passes?

    Last but not least, Patients Against I-502 has been abundantly clear that we oppose the DUIC provision contained in I-502 and the DUIC provision alone. We have never made claims about possession limits or home growing or licensing fees or anything else. We acknowledge that many things can be “fixed” after the fact, DUIC just doesn’t happen to be one of those things. I’d much rather see the headline “WASHINGTON VOTERS REJECT FAULTY LEGALIZATION PROPOSAL” than the headline “INNOCENT, UNIMPAIRED DRIVERS BECOME COLLATERAL DAMAGE FOR PLOY BY POWER-HUNGRY POLITICAL ACTIVISTS”

  46. Steve Sarich

    As usual, ole Russ doesn’t let the facts get in the way of his propaganda campaign.

    Russ writes:
    “And remember, Steve’s company, CannaCare, charges $200 every time someone in Washington has to come in for a doctor’s permission slip, every year. When I-502 passes, those people who have only jumped through that hoop to not be arrested for their occasional pot smoking won’t need permission slips any more.”

    At least make some attempt at getting the facts right before you try to smear me with them and make it look like I’m making arguments against 502 simply because they’ll impact me financially. You’ll have to try a different smear.

    CannaCare is a patient support and education organization. It does not write recommendations to patients. We provide free legal assistance to patients and have for several years now.

    I do not own a clinic that writes medical recommendations to patients. I do, however, provide FREE patient advocacy services to patients at clinics. I’m not paid a dime by the clinic owners to do that, though they do provide me with a free lunch.

    I think you have me mixed up with your buddy, fat Paul Stanford. He’s a big NORML supporter, right?

    Whether I-502 passes or not, and I personally think it’s “dead on arrival”, the clinics will go on. Patients will still grow their own medication, especially when the price of state sponsored pot hits $500 and ounce….and the recreational crowd faces felony manufacturing charges for growing a plant. Someone had their head up their ass when they wrote a ‘legalization” bill that wouldn’t let you grow a plant without going to prison. Nice job! I can certainly see why NORML would support that, Russ.

    Between the manufacturing charges and the DUID’s, the NORML legal referral service should have their phones ringing of their hooks! God forbid you get caught with an ounce of pot that wasn’t from a state licensed store. That’s a felony, right? Welcome to the “New Definition” of “legalization. The world according to NORML and their attorney members.

    Steve Sarich

  47. Patients Against I-502

    Russ asks: So why is it that when we want to protect the majority of healthy tokers from arrest in 2012, it’s “throwing patients under the bus”, but when we wanted to protect just the minority of sick tokers from arrest in 1998, it wasn’t “healthy tokers not allowed on the bus”?

    The answer is quite simple, actually. Every single one of the concessions Russ mentions wouldn’t directly lead to the wrongful arrest and incarceration of otherwise innocent, law-abiding citizens. More restrictive than we’d like? Yes. Cause innocent, unimpaired people to go to jail? No. THAT IS THE DIFFERENT HERE. Patient opposition is not a case of “the perfect being the enemy of the good.” It is ethics and reason being the enemy of flawed policy.

  48. xcannabis.com

    @Steve Sarich, I am genuinely glad that NORML allows people to have this open dialog.

    “I recently said in a parallel conversation on facebook the following about I-502 and it’s supporters:

    It seems like some of these folks who have done little to support I-1068, or I-1149, or I-505, or WSCA, are more than willing to give a lot of press and money and time to this horribly written I-502.
    People who Ive respected for years like Rick Steves says “The other initiatives wouldn’t pass in the general public, but I-502 would”.

    What the hell has Rick Steves done to get the right message out to the general public. Has Rick Steves done ANYTHING to support I-1068, I-1149, I-505 or WSCA? No! In fact, during HempFest, Rick just talked smack on I-505 and promoted that crappy I-502.

    If we make I-502 the status-quo for “legalization”, then we as a movement are regressing back to 1937, not moving forward to 2013.

    When I paint the picture of legalization in my mind I-502 is not the picture I see.”

  49. Steve Sarich

    Glad to see that the blog has degenerated to the point that Russ is just talking to himself and a couple of alter-egos that all, conveniently, support Russ and Alison’s positions on the initiative.

    When one edits out all the legitimate debate, there’s no reason to come here to discuss anything. This will become a very lonely site (just as it is now).

    The message will be heard elsewhere, where people can actually hear both sides of an argument….not just the opinion of the blog sponsor (NORML)….and Russ…the messenger.

    Just delete all of us that oppose I-502. We’ll take the debate to sites/blogs that actually want debate on the issues and not just total control over the message. This site is one big infomercial for NORML and whatever BS, in whatever state, they are supporting this month in order to gather more donations from those states. Did anyone not already know this? Then you haven’t been around the movement long enough yet.

    Can’t wait to hear your next “news” blast.

    Steve

  50. xcannabis.com

    Legalization? Really? I think that definition and the loose use of words like “legalization” should be re-examined here.

    I would call I-502, “decriminalization” on one had with the one ounce thing. And “more prohibition” on the DUID lingo. But not legalization.

    And about the 1 ounce possession issue. It must be bought from a state regulated dispensary for it to be “legal”, and as we saw with SB 5073, the state won’t allow for state regulated dispensaries.

    So we are back to square one. There will not be legal ounces if there are no legal dispensaries. The only new thing Washington will get is this crappy DUID law.

    http://xcannabis.com/2011/07/does-naw-really-have-a-chance/

  51. Benjamin

    vote yes on I-502! The problems will be resolved through science. here in Montana we have a 5ng per ml law that has already been tested through a couple of cases were the driver was acquitted because the law itself is unjust and unscientific. please help the cannabis consumers across the nation get some motivation and pass this initiative and roll the dice. this could be the defining moment for the marijuana community, lets work together and get legalization at least in one form or another.

  52. Legalize America

    You know what I call people like NORML and you Russ…?

    Where is my post?

    I will slam you on every god damn forum punks…

  53. Jamie

    I actually don’t like people like Steve. This is because they run around complaining about things, but don’t have anything to offer in return. In reality, people like Steve will never be able to get any type of legalization on the ballot, and siding/listening to him is going to get us nowhere fast. This legalization attempt is a good one, and it doesn’t have very many flaws. What flaws it does have are NOT worse than what we are dealing with now, and it DOES move us close to the ideal legalization system. It is worth supporting, and especially worth supporting if you support legalization, but have nothing to offer yourself on the 2012 ballot. This initiative has already made the ballot, and it by-and-large very well written. It is a shot for something real, for something good, not just a fantasy talked about forever. My parents have waited their whole lives for legalization, and they are near death and may never see it… Let us not repeat their mistake, and actually legalize in a state this year so we can make it national debate finally: Something that cannot be ignored.

    So I say to people like Steve: Get something on the ballot, or shut up and support what is already there. This is a very good post by Russ, and he is completely right. He makes sense, what he writes in this post, and I support Washington’s right to legalize this year. Don’t listen to Steve… He will just hold us back in the same old repetitive loop of complete fail that we have been stuck in for like 80 years. Let’s legalize cannabis in at least one state this year… We are going to have a hard enough time without people like Steve around. Let us just legalize, and shut people like him up!

  54. Legalize America

    I want cannabis legal, but not this way, I shall vote NO as shall every person I know of.. I do not support NORML or ACLU, both have proved to be negitive towards medical cannabis patients in this state. And if people in this state truly wanted legal bud then how come Sensible Washington could not get it done in two years?

    ANSWER: voters don’t want it in this state.

    I have walked and talked to everyone in my precinct and the vote here will be 70% no, that is part of snohomish county. These are registered voters, no guesses…fact…

    Personally NORML been around 40 plus year and acomplish jack diddly… How long has ACLU been here in this state? What have they done for patients? Was there not a state that rescheduled marijuana and ACLU was part of it? Why is not ACLU part of that process here, or is it because of the possable GREED from our state? We are not falling for trash anymore, patients rights first or VOTE NO on 502.

  55. james sr

    Hey Russ,

    Since I feel like Steve Sarich does in this debate with you and alison.

    I invite you both to come over to our website at thclist.com and have a real debate about I-502 . I promise you will be able to post your viewpoints without being moderated. Neither will anyone else.

    If your any kind of a advocate’ you will take me up on my offer.

    And I promise not to tell you you have a limp dick for taking a legalize pill to soon.

    Respectfully,

    James Barber Sr.

  56. Steve Sarich

    There’s obviously no point in me attempting to debate you or Alison on this site. You’re responding to my posts without actually posting them. You asking questions without posting my answers.

    That’s truly despicable.

    We’ll hit up both of you on every other blog in the country. Maybe you’ll actually decide to respond and debate the issues instead of just talking to yourselves.

    Steve Sarich
    CannaCare

  57. Steve Sarich

    Very cute, Russ. So where’s my post from this morning?

  58. Steve Sarich

    Apparently I shouldn’t be asking tough questions that Russ and Alison don’t want to answer. I keep forgetting this is the NORML Propaganda Network here. You wouldn’t want people disagreeing!

  59. Alison Holcomb

    Dan,

    I think Russ does a good job of explaining why the 5 ng/mL DUI threshold is not likely to change much for patients in his February 18 comment below.

    That being said, if the new threshold does, in fact, prove to be a problem, a simple fix is available. Washington’s Medical Use of Cannabis Act can be amended to require proof beyond the blood test for qualifying patients charged with DUI. Rhode Island and Arizona’s medical marijuana laws have similar provisions. In fact, Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Representative Mary Lou Dickerson already introduced bills this session that would have made this change, even before I-502 was voted on by the legislature or people. The provisions didn’t pass (understandable since we don’t yet have a per se standard for THC), but they could be reintroduced in January 2013, just one month after I-502 goes into effect.

    Regards,
    Alison

    Alison Holcomb
    Campaign Director
    New Approach Washington

  60. Dan Baker

    Russ, Alison, Steve, and anyone else who might know, does anyone know the chances of the >5ng/ml level being changed or ratified since it’s not actually taking into account patients or people with a tolerance. I don’t want to be against anyone here I just don’t want I-502 to take the medical aspect out of Cannabis by turning it into an drug like alcohol. I don’t want people to forget Cannabis is also a legitimate medicine that people use everyday without being impaired by it. Also Russ there are patients under 21 which would still not be able to have any thc in their system while driving, they would get automatic DUI’s right? If I-502 does pass I’m sure it will be a good thing for a lot of people, I just hope it doesn’t give the Government too much control and take away everyone’s chances of growing for ever. Thanks for the fruitful discussion.

  61. Alison Holcomb

    Steve,

    If you’re going to start running around claiming that DUID cases are skyrocketing but mainly being thrown out of court, would it be too much to ask that you provide independently verifiable data sources? Also, it would be great if your data sources distinguished DUI-cannabis cases from all the other DUID cases, like prescription drugs, etc. Thanks.

    While you’re at it, some factual basis for your $10,000/$500-DUI/possession comparison would be nice. It’s completely inconsistent with my experience in having defended marijuana cases for more than a decade.

    Also, how do you figure marijuana prices will be higher after I-502 passes? You of all people should understand black market economics. Prohibition, and the attendant risk of arrest and prosecution, is what makes marijuana cost $250 an ounce right now. It’s marijuana’s illegality that allows you to charge patients the prices you do, not the actual cost of production involved in growing a plant. There is plenty of profit margin built into current prices for legitimate retailers to absorb the new taxes without hiking prices for consumers.

    I understand your resistance to I-502. Legalizing marijuana for all adults means they won’t have to come to you for a medical authorization anymore to reduce their risk of arrest, and it means more people might be willing to enter the market as suppliers and provide competition you don’t want. I understand, but regret, your position. You’re choosing to be on the wrong side of history instead of grasping an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership.

    And yes, honey oil and Rick Simpson oil can be sold by retailers under I-502. They’re “marijuana-infused products” as defined in Section 2. A PDF copy of the initiative, bookmarked for ease of navigation, is available on the “Initiative” page at NewApproachWA.org. Maybe when you’ve actually read the initiative, your perspective will change.

    Regards,
    Alison

    Alison Holcomb
    Campaign Director
    New Approach Washington

  62. Steve Sarich

    Almost forgot….since Alison and NORML are now on the same side, can you please ask her if the Liquor Control Board controlled outlets will be legally allowed to carry concentrates like honey oil or the Rick Simpson oil that many of our cancer patients are currently using? I’m sure you don’t care about those people but I’m sure they’d like to know if they’re going to lose access to their medication if this initiative passes. I’m sure even the recreational user will lament the availability of good hash.

    Any answers on this question from Russ or the people who think we should support it?

  63. Steve Sarich

    Russ,

    I love how you and the NAW keep minimalizing the DUID situation. You make the argument that no one is really getting arrested or prosecuted for DUID now, based on their THC use, but you’re just not correct. The DUID cases have skyrocketed here in Washington in the last few months. Currently, most of them end up being thrown out. This will change under 502. You will no longer have a defense if you’re at 5ng or higher and you’ll see many more of these cases being prosecuted once the prosecutors know they have a slam dunk win in court.

    Currently, a misdeanor pot charge will cost you a $500 fine. A DUID charge can cost you $10,000, lost of your license, jail time, increased insurance premiums and, if you drive for a living, it will cost you your job. Please quit trying to make this situation sound so benign.

    And what’s with this new 90-10 rule you’ve come up with? We 10% have to be criminalized so that everyone will be forced to buy over-priced pot from a state licensed stores? Who gave you, or the ACLU, the right to make that decision for the tens of thousands of patients here in Washington? You certainly don’t have to tell us that you’re not sympathetic about the danger you’re willing to inflict on patients. That’s quite obvious. Trust me, we WILL reciprocate in November….in spades!

    Now that Ms. Holcolm has confirmed that the Collective Garden model that is currently supplying medication for patients will be eliminated under I-502, and patients will be paying the same inflated prices as recreational users, I have a question for you that no one supporting I-502 seems to be willing to answer. (At some point, however, you’ll have to!)

    What’s your “level of pain”? How much are you willing to be charged for “legal pot” before you “say uncle” and go back to buying your pot from your current supplier? Would you pay $450 an ounce? How about $550? Would $750 be enough to get you to go back to paying $250 to your old supplier? How much is just going to be TOO friggin much for you? When does this “New Approach” become nothing more than oppressive taxation? When the cost of “legal” pot is twice that of current street prices, the black market will flourish. Wasn’t one of the stated goals of I-502 to wipe out the marijuana black market? I’d like to hear them explain how this is going to work. If I were a street dealer, I’d definitely be supporting I-502!

    This week was interesting. The NAW has now posted at least some of the figures they’re using to calculate retail pricing. I’ll have a full analysis later this week, but the document was illuminating to say the least. Before any of you potential growers start getting excited about selling your pot through the state licensed stores, you might want to know that the state is only planning on paying you $68.75 an ounce ($1134 per pound). I know an awful lot of growers and I can’t honestly say that I know one that would be willing to sell high quality cannabis for $68 an ounce.

    The rest of their numbers are even more unrealistic….and some very critical numbers aren’t there at all. When I post about this, you’ll know why they were left out. I’ll give you a complete breakdown by the end of the week. You WON’T be happy!

    I look forward to hearing your answer, Russ….how much is TOO much to pay per ounce for “legal” pot before you go back to the black market?

    Steve Sarich
    CannaCare
    steve@cannacare.org

  64. Dan Baker

    Hey hows it going, well I just wanted to correct your little analogy, you see “that the sick tokers ride one if they don’t drive well.” Well this is deeply flawed because I-502 is actually proposing that patients that require Cannabis every hour or two for any reason have to not drive at all because they are above the limit, (although this is not taking into account pain level or tolerance) not that they ‘cant drive well’ just that the law says people with over this amount cant drive well. Thanks for actually “fucking the patient in the ass with a bus”.

    Dan

  65. Alison Holcomb

    Hi, Russ.

    I posted this correction to one of your earlier posts about I-502, but perhaps you didn’t see it. I want to make sure you and your readers understand that I-502 does not create a state monopoly on growing, processing, or selling marijuana. The state Liquor Control Board simply licenses and regulates privately-owned and -operated farms, shops, and stores, much as it licenses and regulates wineries and distilleries. The state is not involved in the actual growing, processing, or selling, and state employees will not own or operate any of those businesses (at least, not in their capacities as state employees).

    In other words, anyone who is growing and/or selling marijuana in Washington right now — as, say, one of our gray-market dispensaries — can continue to operate after I-502 passes as long as he or she is willing to get a license and comply with the regulations. The matters the Liquor Control Board is tasked with regulating are set forth in Sections 9 and 10 of I-502. A PDF copy of the initiative text, bookmarked for ease of navigation, is available at the New Approach Washington website, on the “Initiative” page.

    Many thanks,
    Alison

    Alison Holcomb
    Campaign Director
    New Approach Washington

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