By a 75-43 vote, Washington state Democrats voted Saturday to endorse Initiative 502, which would legalize marijuana with distribution and sales put under control of the Liquor Control Board.
The party’s state committee adopted a resolution claiming that “thousands” of Washington citizens are “arrested, prosecuted and convicted for simple marijuana possession each year, wasting millions of dollars in police, court and jail resources.”
The resolution said legalization would yield the state $215 million each year in much-needed income, with $80 million going to the state general fund and $135 million used for substance abuse control.
Actually, Initiative 502 would break down revenue from marijuana legalization in several ways.
Fifty percent would go to Basic Health Washington, 15 percent to the Department of Social and Health Services for drug abuse treatment, and another 10 percent to DSHS for drug abuse education. Just under 20 percent would go to the general fund and administration.
I-502 has drawn support from such liberal political figures as Seattle’s State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. But it is also supported by John McKay, U.S. Attorney for Western Washington under the second Bush administration.
Washington State Democrats sent out no announcement of the resolution, adopted at a meeting in Bellingham. The party touted its endorsement of Rep. Jay Inslee for governor.
– Article originally from Seattle PI.