Recreational Marijuana Use Decriminalized in Washington State
This past Tuesday, November 6th Washington State voters supported Initiative 502 which will “decriminalize” marijuana use. Under this initiative persons over the age of 21 will be allowed to carry up to one ounce of usable marijuana, provided that it is purchased from a licensed retailer. This initiative will allow our government to tax marijuana use as steeply as they recently started taxing alcohol sales. The revenue they expect to earn from the taxation of marijuana sales is slated to go toward Health Care.
As a connoisseur of this lovely and multi-use plant I have a couple of concerns over this initiative. My initial concern is over the taxation of so-called “allowed” product. I’ve mentioned several times that I’m an incredibly poor person. If I’m required to purchase my product from an authorized retailer and pay exorbitantly high taxes, I will not be able to afford my herbs.
My second concern is that they are attempting to legislate this the way they have alcohol in the past. However last year we passed an initiative to allow alcohol sales in retail stores and have done away with state-run liquor stores. So does this mean I can go down to Walgreen and purchase and eighth of weed any time I want? And if so, when will my local Walgreen begin stocking said marijuana?
My final concern is over where the revenue is slated to be used – Healthcare. Last I checked we citizens of this mighty and wealthy country are not provided basic healthcare coverage by our government. We are required to go out and purchase our own healthcare or be penalized for not having any coverage. So too the State of Washington is no different. They do not provide basic healthcare coverage for their citizens – unless you are homeless. So WHERE is this supposed healthcare money going to actually be used?
I’ve looked everywhere on the internet and like most bills and initiatives which are passed under our noses, it’s next to impossible to find a copy of the bill or initiative in its entirety. My opinion about this entire initiative is that they are not decriminalizing marijuana. Rather they are making it easier for corporate and government officials (aka criminals) to make a profit, while exposing retailers and consumers to possible federal prosecution.
I’m interested to see how this plays out.
Posted on November 8, 2012, in Global Change and tagged Cannabis, Colorado, Controlled Substances Act, Initiative, United States, Washington, Washington Initiative 502 (2011), Washington State. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.