Seattle Pot Proponents Cheer Vote to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Moments after President Barack Obama was declared elected Tuesday night, the crowd at Seattle’s downtown Hotel Andra went wild with news that Washington state was joining Colorado in declaring pot legal.

“It is time for a new approach,” said Alison Holcomb, campaign director of the coalition that had pushed the measure, as the room whooped in celebration.

History had been made.

“Even the most difficult things in life are not impossible,” Holcomb added to cheers.

The campaign in this state grew out of an initiative by the local bar association and like a snowball rolling downhill, gathered broad establishment support.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes; John McKay, the state’s former U.S. attorney; former Superior Court Judge Robert Alsdorf; ex-Seattle FBI Special Agent in Charge Charles Mandigo; Washington state Senator Maralyn Chase, and Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson all got on board.

Seattle Attorney Holmes told the jubilant crowd that: “Nothing really changes tomorrow.

“Thirty days from today, however, it will be legal for an adult to possess one ounce of marijuana. No retail stores will be open, but there will be a one-year, rule-making period while we flesh out what growers, processors and retailers have to do to obtain state licences.”

Kirk Tousaw, a Vancouver Island lawyer trying to change drug policy in Canada, said he was inspired by U.S. reform efforts.

“Canadian prohibitionists that used to claim that we can’t legalize because of American reaction at the border have lost that argument,” said Tousaw, who was at the Seattle celebration with several B.C. drug policy activists.

“Now that U.S. states are moving toward legalization, I hope Canada can stop its slide into a failed drug war and instead focus on leading the world in drug policy reform.”

– Read the entire article at The Vancouver Sun.