The measure would legalize possession of one ounce of marijuana by adults 21+, available at state-licensed stores. It doesn’t allow for home grow. It doesn’t change the medical marijuana law.
However, it also contains a new per se DUID provision that would make anyone guilty if they’re tested at above 5ng/mL of active THC in blood. That’s a level indicative of impairment and recent use for most tokers, but not a few tokers who use with great regularity. Cops would still have to meet the same strict standard they do now for taking a driver’s blood.
So… would you, if you lived in Washington, vote for it, knowing that while you’re ending 16,000 criminal arrests for cannabis, you’re subjecting a few people to DUID convictions they’ll get while not impaired? Or would you vote against it, knowing that the next shot at a legalization vote may be years away? (It was 28 years between California’s last two attempts, six years between Colorado’s.)
Would you vote for it, ending the unscientific, unnecessary, and unjust arrest of tens of thousands for marijuana possession? Or would you vote against it to prevent an unscientific, unnecessary, and unjust conviction of hundreds of unimpaired drivers?
Does “the good of the many outweigh the needs of the few?” Or is the protection of even one innocent driver more important than ending low-level marijuana arrests? Does the right to cannabis outrank the privilege of driving?
It’s a tough question and not an easy one to answer. Dedicated activists I’ve known my whole career disagree on this. I am in support, because when it comes down to the bottom line, politics is war by civil means, and I cannot give aid and comfort to the enemy. I cannot cast a vote knowing I’m voting with the Drug Czar, the cops, the private prison industry, the black market weed dealers, and the Mexican Drug Gangs.