Initiative 502 - Why I'm Voting NO - Part 1 - It's Not About "Legalization"
Legalization vs. Regulation
There is a large difference between a bill that "legalizes" and a bill that "regulates" cannabis. 502, in particular is a REGULATION bill, and is effectively no better than the tax stamp act and US Code laws that regulate it into complete prohibition right now.
This is part of why I could never personally vote yes on initiative 502, because it was placed in front of voters as a pseudo-legalization bill, because you'd only have about 5% of people voting for a bill that regulates cannabis, especially in such a sloppy manner. I might have been one of the 5% to consider it, had they been honest. Though they haven't, and the truth, for any readers who are still undecided in their voting decisions about 502, should understand, whether they vote for it or not, that 502 is a regulation bill.
The best way to tell, is that any bill aiming to legalize cannabis, would have 90% of it's body, filled with legislation designed to empower people, void out out-dated legislation taking away freedoms and it would not focus on any issues concerning criminal elements. Legalization is about empowering people, where as regulation is about giving people a little bit of what they want, so long as they sit down, shut up and take what is given to them.
I'm NOT cool with that.
Repeal and HEAL
It's time that we stop trying to punish each other for things that we "might" do, or things that "might" happen. I-502 is a regulation initiative that is designed to make the general public of our great state of Washington, believe that there is still something seriously wrong with cannabis and the cultures connected to it. That's why they want to regulate how it is grown and where you can get it (through cheap miracle-grow facilities, and then sold through the old liquor store buildings), how much it costs (3x more than it does now) and how much you can have at any given time.
The cannabis plant is a PLANT. It's an herb that has been around longer than we humans have, and has been in our personal human history for at least the last 10,000 years, if not longer. It's been in every pharmacopedia up until the 1930's when the timber and oil companies started their propaganda routines. It's a safe and natural alternative medicine for anyone who needs it, it has never ever been the cause of any death EVER and it can easily be grown for a few cents everyday, by anyone with basic mobility and brain functions. There is absolutely no reason for there to be ANY regulations put onto this herb, before we've even gotten rid of the old and out-dated WOD legislation.
In my book, we need to roll back the counter and repeal any laws on the books, before we start initiating regulative legislation. I understand that the federal government isn't going to "be the bigger man" in this instance, and since that is the case, it's a simple matter of enacting legislation in our state that says specifically that "we the people of Washington, who work for, vote in and pay taxes to our great state, declare any federal legislation on or about Cannabis or any of it's derivatives, to be null and void in our state." That is effectively the same action as repealing our own laws about cannabis, which would need to be first initiated on a state level, and then throughout each city.
Once this process has been put in place, then some simple regulation could be considered. Though let's not go overboard people. Just simple thing, such as: "No access points or cooperatives within 500 feet of schools, playgrounds or federal facilities."
It's Your Choice
I am only here writing these hubs for information purposes. Although I am firm about voting no on I-502, I am the type of person who values honor above all, and even though I see 502 as dishonorable, I believe that you should seek some Op-Ed pieces from the "pro-502" side, as well as some conversations with people who have decided not to take either side, and refrain from voting. Even if you already know how you feel about this initiative, it's worth while to understand where the other side is coming from.
Also, if you enjoyed this article, then stay tuned! I'm going to be writing as consistently as I can for the next 38 days or so, as we in Washington state gear up for our autumn elections and political chaos.
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