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Once more into the breach: The lies of the No on I-502 campaign | 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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32 responses to “Once more into the breach: The lies of the No on I-502 campaign”

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  4. allen robertson

    I think it is hilarious that people think that letting the government take over ANYTHING will end up being a good thing. Hasn’t anyone learned anything after the banking scandals, the war profiteering etc. etc. that has happened the past 20 years and actually since the beginning of this country? Government control always ends up the same; corruption,huge profits for a few people, while the general public gets played for the suckers they are.
    I also think it is funny that people think that by passing this law that it will be a good FIRST STEP. Really? Once the government and their big money interests get a hold of something the general public will get SCREWED! Wake up people. It has always been that way in this land of freedom (what a joke) and it always will be the case. Study your history people and don’t let them play you for suckers on this one.
    There is only ONE LEGALIZATION that will work for the people and that entails absolutely no government involvement. Once you let these capitalist pigs gain control you will get screwed. Don’t blame me people, it’s the way our government works. If you don’t believe that is the truth then you have been conditioned exactly the way our government wanted you to be conditioned. Brave New World.

  5. Kevin Oliver

    Washington NORML is stronger in this state than it ever has been, thanks in large part to the fact that the silent majority of closeted marijuana smokers who are coming out in support or I-502. NORML has been around before 502 and will be here long after.

    One might be a redneck if one never gets out of Seattle, or WA for that matter. See, I-502 challenges prohibition on a Federal level. Take a drive through Idaho or Texas with your stash while you smell like pot and think about “fear”.

    The DUI paranoia is just that, paranoia. If police in Seattle wanted to enforce “Orwellian” per se DUI, they would just pull over everyone coming out of a Mariners game, netting thousands of DUI in one night, in one city block – but that doesn’t happen. In fact, emphasis patrols over the 4th of July this year netted less DUI’s than last year, a little less than 170 statewide.

    Fear is fear, but it doesn’t necessarilly lead to a logical argument.

    I am not afraid.

    Kevin Oliver
    Washington NORML
    Executive Director

  6. Mimi

    I-502 does not remove cannabis from the state Uniform Controlled Substances Act. RCW 69.50 is quite clear: cannabis is a Schedule I drug and is illegal.

    Now, here’s a link Alison wrote on how to legalize in Washington state: http://questionland.com/questions/20027-federal-illegal-state-legal

    Now consider this: Peter Lewis, the major contributor for I-502, is the owner of Progressive Insurance, which happens to be the exclusive provider for high-risk auto insurance for the state.

    Now who stands to make a bundle when I-502 fails due to conflicting laws?

    I-502 even contains a “federal cooperation” clause. Guess who gets screwed?

    Please read I-502. It’s NOT what they say, it’s NOT what you think.

    I am a terminal patient and a disabled nurse. I do not own a business nor do I sell anything (For some reason the opposition requires this, as they always claim us patients as dispensary owners, but I know a LOT of patients who are against this!)

  7. Arthur West

    NORML used to be a great organization. What happened? This type of smear campaign and big lie strategy would make Goebbells blush. NORML has lost any credibility they might have had with their overblown and abusive pro 502 reich-party line. Obviously, NORML has become a tool for the very shadowy interests it was originally formed to oppose. After the facts about I-502 become widely known and the Initiative goes down in a puff of smoke, NORML will have alienated an entire generation of pot smokers in Washington State.

  8. jack smith

    we need to make legal history, put pressure on the feds, cus we all know they will go nuts on washington if it passes here.

    what i dont hear, and apparently none of u considered it, but this chance does possibly not come around every cycle, you r taking it for granted. look no further than california to see what i mean. once legalized regardless of its imprefections, I 502 will change the game with the fed, and expose their game plan. then we can, in other states, learn the defense we need to play. personally, i think they will throw the book at us, via legislation and the courts, and dont forget threats, this is a war, and you have to win the battles first. pot will be fully legal one day, i have no doubt.

    one more thing, the supreme court is going to retire 2 justices this cycle. we need democrats in the court to swing the balance our way. i would contend that that is the most important consideration in your vote. so, vote Obama ( an no, i dont like him), or the supreme court is screwed off, what a nightmare.

    just for good measure, romney laughs at pot smokers, medical or not. i guarantee, if president, he will eliminate every single dispensary in the usa, and keep it that way. why? cus he is mormon. and i dont know any mormons, i am sure some are real nice people. save our supreme court.. peace

  9. xcannabis.com

    I agree… Ron Paul has zero chance of becoming president in 2012. Sorry, I like the guy, but he has got nothing. He is not going to make it. No chance.

    He is heading for a brokered convention if he doesn’t get the nomination. His delegate count is huge now, and Romney can’t get the 1145 delegates needed for getting the nomination outright. Ron Paul is the favorite of the troops (even above and beyond the current president), and Ron Paul has won at least 7 states and he is bound to win California and others, as he clearly won the straw polls for California and other states.

    Can’t win, or you don’t want him to? This 12 term congressman has a better chance than you think.

  10. xcannabis.com

    ChrisfromTN, Ron Paul can do a lot of things that Barack Obama promised to do.

    1. He can fund or defund certain agencies. He can direct the Department of Justice.
    2. He can make or delete executive orders
    3. He can stand in front of the camera as leader of the free nation and disavow the drug war as he has done in his 12 terms as a congressman.

    As for the “imperfect bill”. I just recorded a video about it.

    This is the gist of my video:

    I think it’s pretty absolute that legalization is going to happen. Its now just a matter of figuring out how that is going to happen.
    The point is that more people are in favor of legalization than not.
    So why settle? Should we pretend that this is 20 years ago, when support wasn’t as high for legalization, and just settle for any bullshit that comes around, for example something like I-502 in Washington, or should we hold out a little bit longer for the BEST possible road to legalization?

    Im not saying that baby steps aren’t necessary. But selling-out to politicians and prohibitionists isnt the wise route in my consideration. If we are going to consider voting for “Legalization” it should reflect some kind of real freedom, not just table scraps of what was or could be REAL change.

    Timothy Leary is great history lesson of what legalization CAN be, and no it doesn’t take all kinds of bullshit compromises and bureaucracy.

  11. Is No on I-502’s “Important Resources” webpage an honest mistake or an blatant lie? | TriXteR Phillips

    [...] Once more into the breach: The lies of the No on I-502 campaign Get the Word Out!PrintEmailMoreShare on TumblrDigg Pin ItLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this post. This entry was posted in Body Politic, My Opinions and tagged cannabis, Driving under the influence, DUID, I-502, Marijuana Prohibition, No on I-502, THC, war on drugs, Washington, Washington Initiative 502 (2011). Bookmark the permalink. ← Jose Guerena [...]

  12. TriXter Phillips

    The following is an excerptI was perusing No on I-502’s webpage “Important Resources” when I noticed that while some of what is stated is true other portions of the information provided on this page are in stark contrast to the actual language put forth by I-502 which places these sections of the “Important Resources” page into direct conflict with the actual language, or facts, of I-502 making these lines of text untrue, or false, if you prefer, to say the least.

    The easiest way in which to address the issue at hand is to first look at the pertinent content of the page and then sequentially evaluating the assertions put forth on the page to see what facts exist to establish the truths and falsehoods within in their statements to then determine whether it was an honest mistake or a blatant lie.

    To do this I have taken the liberty of copying and then pasting the text that is most relevant to the question at hand, ‘if this was a mistake or a lie’, while preserving the integrity of the content as best I can with the editing features provided by WordPress.com to their bloggers.

    Now, before moving on to the question of this day I want you to keep in mind the following as we evaluate No on I-502’s propositions:

    If the goal is to deceive to achieve one’s own end, the person(s) who set this goal must use honesty in the majority of their words and actions insofar as honesty is a tool that develops the trust necessary to effectively use dishonesty as a means to achieve the goal of deception to achieve one’s own end.


  13. James

    I agree… Ron Paul has zero chance of becoming president in 2012. Sorry, I like the guy, but he has got nothing. He is not going to make it. No chance.

    Check out this AWESOME news from yesterday and the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act campaign:

    (Quoted): Today, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 initiative petition turned in 27,401 signatures from the month of April, which is more than enough to exceed the minimum number of signatures for a statutory ballot measure by over 2,000 signatures. According to an official at the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division today, OCTA2012 is the third initiative to meet the early turn-in requirement by exceeding the minimum number of signatures required for qualification for ballot status.


    We are continuing our petition drive. We estimate that, on Monday, May 14th, another 10,000 signatures to be turned in to our office by petitioners that are gathered this week, and at least 10,000 more in each subsequent week. OCTA2012′s signature drive momentum is building. We will turn in more than 150,000 signatures by July 6th to exceed the 87,213 valid registered Oregon voters’ signatures needed and ensure qualification for the Oregon ballot in November 2012.

    Referenced link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=308698325870978&id=145759328775508

    Check it! Oregon is also going to vote on legalization in November! For sure!

    (By the way, the legal language of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act is the best in the entire nation of ANY legalization proposal. The best. Period.)


    Russ, I know you have had problems with Paul in the past, but PLEASE REPORT THIS NEWS, and get the word about the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act out there! Paul and all of us here in Oregon need your and NORML help to spread the word! Please! Money bomb us or something… Anything!

  14. verneEdmonds

    I started smoking pot in 1966. It has been my dream to see marijuana legalization. I’ve always been somewhat against the legalization for the medication route, because I don’t believe it will lead to real legalization. Which to me is the real objective.
    If you read Obama’s PR response to the legalization petitions that are put up on the whitehouse.gov website; the responses seem to indicate that no one actually took note of any statement on the petitions, because they are looking to the pharmaceutical companies to refine the drugs. As well as quoting a lot of ridiculously bad science statements about why marijuana shouldn’t be legalized. Nearly as silly as “Reefer Madness”. Including the statement that marijuana is addictive like tobacco. So, my fears seem to be well founded. Big Pharma wants marijuana legalized ONLY if they control it, as they apparently control factions in our government. They will continue to pretend that it shouldn’t be legalized for the general public the way alcohol and tobacco is. And, if they get a major foothold (more than they have now), there is no doubt that they will put millions, perhaps billions, into lobbying and creating a Ministry of Truth about marijuana.
    It also seems silly there’s so much focus on the DUID issues of I-502, as it is more important to stop making criminals of ordinary people consuming small amounts for recreational and/or medical use. You can argue that the MMJ card gives you the right to have marijuana, but I’ve often read that police still arrest people with cards. This will stop with legalization for everyone. And, there is actually a point where you have consumed too much marijuana to drive. Which doesn’t seem to have entered much into the arguments I’ve seen.
    If marijuana is legalized, police will stop getting huge subsidies for making marijuana arrests. And, if that would happen, police focus on marijuana would diminish.
    If we keep waiting for the “perfect” bill, as we have for the last 40 years or so, it will never happen. I know the biggest fear is that with all government issues is that once past it will take forever to get rid of. And, yes, Washington might get saddled with a poor legalization bill, that needs serious fixing up. But, the country needs a few states to start legalizing marijuana and working to get complete federal legalization. The more we produce a rallying point, the more successful the movement will become. Then, we should be able to say to our legislators “Look, state X has passed a much more logical and efficient law regarding marijuana, we need to change our law again.“
    We need to pass a legalization law NOW, not wait another 40 years.

  15. A Critic


    You just defended persecuting people for passing a joint since their victimization is “irrelevant”. That’s cold.

    ” Since newly-legalized marijuana is going to mean a bunch of new, inexperienced pot smokers, that would be a logical limit to apply to them.”

    No, it wouldn’t. Novices would likely be impaired at much lower levels.

    This is an awful piece of legislation. But hey, I’m not from WA, never been, won’t be visiting, and if y’all want to entrap yourselves while advancing MY liberty – well, I can’t and won’t stop you and while I think you are a fool for supporting this compromise with the devil, I’ll enjoy the benefits.

  16. xcannabis.com

    I saw a picture on facebook. Made me laugh for 20 minutes.

    “I-502, it’s like eating dog shit”

  17. jamesNseattle


    I understand the concern you have for the current I 502 initiative.. I like Sensible Washington’s wording much better when they left out DUI limits. However, this bill will make it legal for all Washington residents to use up to an ounce of marijuana. This is Legalization we are voting for on November! Imagine what would happen if Washington and Colorado knocked over the first two Domino’s of state legalization of marijuana. I would vote yes on any initiative that pushed the marijuana debate forward. Thank you Troy for your response.. I think it comes down to how both sides predict the future..lol I just can’t vote no on this.. I’m worried if we don’t focus on legalization and continue to focus on Medicalization of Marijuana, then we will see a Nation of Sativix users and not Organic Marijuana patients.. Thats my feeble attempt at predicting the future..!

  18. Troy Barber


    I agree with your general premise on rights being all-inclusive to consume cannabis for all responsible adults. The idea of condemning people for a victimless-crime should be considered an oxymoron.

    I am in my third year of being an activist with Sensible Washington. In the beginning, like you, I considered medical marijuana laws to be discriminatory. What changed my perception over the course of the last three years, was actually coming face-to-face with many patients, or people who wished their loved ones could have overcome the stigma of marijuana to improve their quality of life in their dying days.

    I have literally discussed this issue with thousands of people — it has changed my life, my perspective, and my motives in ending prohibition. I remain committed to ending prohibition on cannabis for everyone. That said, I also realize that patients’ rights are also worth protecting.

    We didn’t create the laws that subject people to unjustified penalties now. I have dedicated all of my free-time to changing those laws (free time that I can’t afford) — anyone that knows how committed I am to the cause could never say otherwise.

    Both sides of the I-502 divide have spun this debate in various directions. I have vowed to keep the conversation honest, and try my best to do so. It is a long way to November, but it will be here before we know it. We owe it to ourselves to keep the discussion civil.

    If I-502 passes, there will be much work remaining to ensure sound policy is created. If it fails, then we will have much work to do, to come together, analyze mistakes, then create something better.

    I refuse to be condemned for offering nothing more than a critical analysis of I-502. In a functioning democracy, such analysis should be welcome. The voters have a right to know what this initiative offers. As cannabis activists, we all deserve to be heard.

    – Thanks!

  19. Troy Barber

    Russ, re: “I’m betting it is less than the 10,000 Washingtonians who’ll be busted for an ounce or less if I-502 fails”…

    Do you have stats that categorize arrests in Washington State based on amount?

    In other words, where does the number 10,000 come from?

    How many of those are simple possession for under an ounce?

    How many of those are grows?

    How many of those are 40 grams or more?

    How many of those charges originated as a result from a traffic stop?

  20. Alex Newhouse


    Take a step further. I-502 does not create a zero tolerance DUI for those under 21. Please read section 34 of the initiative and how it amends RCW 46.61.305. Taking into consideration the amount of products out there containing alcohol that children can buy now, I 502 doesn’t give young people any more leeway to use marijuana then what currently exists for alcohol. Furthermore, it does not appear that I 502 has a section saying that our children will be charged for being in public exhibiting the effects of marijuana. That is not true for alcohol.

  21. jamesNseattle

    If you really want to stop nit picking you could vote yes to I 502.. :)

    Either way… Thanks for sharing your thoughts I learn the most from discussing the issues!

  22. jamesNseattle

    I live in Shoreline, Washington… Just north of Seattle. There are two dispensaries in my neighborhood that I visited and both had NO to I 502 signs inside their establishments. I went into each one and asked to speak to the owner.. They are small outfits so I happen to get the owner of both dispensaries. I told the first owner that I don’t have a medical marijuana card. I don’t plan on buying marijuana here but I had a question. “Do you think I should go to jail and have an arrest record for using marijuana?” She said no! I didn’t say goodbye I just left. I then went to the other dispensary. I asked the same question “Do you think I should go to jail and have an arrest record for using marijuana?” He said no! I just nodded my head and left. I didn’t care to hear their reason for supporting the NO to I 502! That argument is brilliantly written in “Toke (TOOL) of the Town.

    I’m confused with the backlash to legalization from our own ranks! I smoke because I like to get high! I’m a second class citizen obviously to those who see themselves as medical marijuana patients! I like to say to those who are thinking about voting NO on I 502.. I am an American Citizen and I have a right as a free citizen to consume a plant that causes no harm to myself or others. We should not create different classes of marijuana consumers! There is no difference between a man wanting to take a walk and get high or a man wanting to smoke or ingest marijuana to relieve pain. Both are American Citizens! I ask everyone to support I 502 because I’m a good man and I shouldn’t have to go to jail and have an arrest record for something I enjoy to do that does no harm to any of my fellow Washington State residence.

  23. ChrisfromTN


    Even if Dr. Paul was elected, and he really did all the things he says he would do, you would still have to get some sort of State legislation passed. Don’t get me wrong. I like Paul, but he is still very unlikely to get the Republican nomination. Even if he gets enough delegates to affect the party platform, he’ll likely focus on the Fed and not cannabis.

    You remind me of me a few years ago right before Russ and Marc had it out on this very forum… there’s no reason a person can’t support his favorite candidate and support an imperfect bill (we are NEVER all going to agree on a “perfect” bill) that accomplishes at least some of our stated goals.

    Yours in Liberty,


    If Paul doesn’t end up with the Republican nod, check out Gary Johnson… the Libertarians already picked him as their candidate.

  24. xcannabis.com

    I point out they are voting on the same side as the Drug Czar.

    Well, I was shocked that Marc Emery came out in support of this. Very surprised.
    But I have a lot of respect for Marc Emery. I disagree with him on this point. But I still respect him and I respect you. In that respect, I don’t call petty names. I try to keep the conversation a bit more professional. When we are dealing constant insults to one another, the rest of society look at us as kinda nutty and very divided.

    I don’t support I-502. I am focusing on something more worthy of so much time though.
    Want real change? Support Ron Paul. Enough nit picking people, lets just unite and get this drug war ended once and for all! The support that Marc and Jodie give to Ron Paul also inspires me. 2012 baby its on!


  25. xcannabis.com

    The boat is sinking and people are bitching about which way they prefer to get to shore.

    Want to support REAL reform on a FEDERAL level? The president has the ability to issue executive orders, and direct the dept of justice. Vote Ron Paul! Lets get united and end this war!


    Ron Paul has been supporting legalization in front of 10s of millions of people for over 3 decades!

  26. Coinspinner

    Very well written, sir. We need to all step back and see the big picture here. We’re not going to stop fighting, no home-grow and DUID is gonna be the first target, but this has to be the next step we take.

    The boat is sinking and people are bitching about which way they prefer to get to shore.

  27. xcannabis.com

    I don’t know why it’s necessary to deal insults, and compare no on I-502 people to the drug czar. Is there a particular need to divide rather than unite the community? Insults don’t help. I say stick with the facts.
    And as far as prohibitionists behind one side or the other. I think you’ll find a lot more prohibitionists on the pro-I-502 side, than who are opposed. Lawyers, prosecutors, law enforcement people, etc. Basically the people who benefit most from prohibition (lawyers) are backing this change in law, and the main sponsors show this to be true.

    I think the law should be voted in on merits not on whos who though.

    Is this really legalization I ask myself, or a bad compromise that could last a very long time?

    I know NORML calls it legalization. I STILL disagree.

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