Rep. Dickerson wants to legalize marijuana to ease budget shortfall

36th District Representative Mary Lou Dickerson is once again calling on the state legislature to legalize marijuana. House Bill 1550, which was introduced this morning, would legalize the use of cannabis for adults age 21 and over.

Rep. Dickerson says that legalizing marijuana could generate $400 million per biennium for the state. “Subjecting cannabis to a licensed, regulated system would not only improve public health and safety, it would generate hundreds of millions of dollars for health care at a time when Washington’s budget is being decimated,” said Dr. William Robertson, founder of the Washington Poison Control Center.

Under the bill, cannabis would be sold through state liquor stores with growers applying for a license through the Liquor Control Board. The LCB, according to a press release, has a 96 percent success rate in preventing alcohol sales to minors.“Drug cartels and black-market dealers have made it easier for kids to get cannabis than alcohol,” Dickerson said. “The Liquor Control Board has a proven track record of shielding kids from its products. I’m confident our bill will break the back of cannabis crime-syndicate profits and make it possible to preserve vital health services across Washington in these very difficult budget times.”

In 2010, Dickerson submitted a similar bill, HB 2401, which didn’t make it past the Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness.

33 comments on “Rep. Dickerson wants to legalize marijuana to ease budget shortfall”

  1. I hope they do legalize it soon. The benefits would outweigh the negatives so many times over.

  2. So, marijuana is illegal if a person wants to smoke it, but suddenly it’s ok if the state wants to make money on it. This is a funny ethics standard.

  3. People will be smoking it regardless of whether the law changes or stays the same. Our government should respect the will of its citizens (and the tax revenue legalization would generate).

  4. If it were to pass the state would be sure to lose every federal penny they send us so actually it would make matter much worse finacially.

  5. Why don’t we legalize prostitution while we are at it?

    This is ridiculous. The government should learn wisdom and good stewardship of the money we already entrust to them. THEN they can ask for more money. This is just another sin tax. It never works and only contributes more to the problem.

  6. This sounds like a great idea, but considering our region was one of the last to let go of prohibition of alcohol I don’t think it will win popular support. It’s also a very radical idea for our country at this point. But it still sounds like a very good idea (and I don’t even smoke pot!)

  7. Status-quo is fine. It should be de-criminalized, which it essentially is, not legalized.

  8. legalize pot and prostitution, collect taxes on both, make room in prisons for real criminals!

  9. Why has it taken a budget crunch to do this? And who’s controlled everything in the state to get us here? Just what we need, a larger more expensive government. Do these wizards of smart ever consider doing what we’ve all had to do? As in A) doing with less? B) downsizing? All government ever does is take take take. Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

  10. No, keeping sales and production illegal is one of the root causes of problems. You forego income and leave that up to criminals. Decriminalization alone is probably the worst possible thing you can do. Either keep it totally illegal with strong enforcement (which has been proven not to work and is very unjust) or legalize from production to sales to consumption. There is no middle ground.

  11. Based on? I know people say eligibility would be lost if this was enacted, but no one has tested the federal government on this particular issue. It is quite possible the federal government could say they wouldn’t and as soon as someone called their bluff they’d say, “Hey! Don’t do that! Here’s a slap on the wrist.”

    The only thing I can think of off hand that is similar to this situation is alcohol prohibition. Alcohol was illegal on the federal level, but New York eventually decided to re-legalize it. Did the feds pull funding from NY when they decided to go against federal law?

    All it takes is someone to set a precedent.

  12. Unfortunately, “doing without” means people suffer not “the government”. That is not acceptable in my book. Legalizing marijuana and taxing it is.

    Why does it take a budget crunch to get this to happen? It does because people including our elected representatives will not act until they have to. Most legislators were people before they became legislators and most had and still have a conscience which will not let them inflict that kind of pain on the people they are supposed to represent.

  13. They are backing up the system by arresting people for possession as well. I think legalization would also benifit in this way.

  14. They are backing up the system by arresting people for possession as well. I think legalization would also benifit in this way.

  15. They are backing up the system by arresting people for possession as well. I think legalization would also benifit in this way.

  16. That’s a good idea. Legalize prostitution and tax it, allowing prostitutes to work under conglomerates that could provide a safe work place. Right now, prostitution exists and it isn’t going away, but all the money goes to the pimps, who I’m pretty sure don’t pay a penny in taxes.

    And I will one up you and say, legalize and tax all gambling.

  17. Would they add any chemicals to the marijuana? Such as lower the THC content so it wouldn’t be as strong? Or would they limit the amount you could buy? And what would happen if your under 21 and you get caught with possession or growing it? And i wonder what the prices would range to.

  18. Hypothetically, the control of marijuana would be similar to how the State handles alcohol.

    In regards to adding chemicals, that would not be a very “kind” thing to do.

  19. My name is Brad, I an infected with the Hep C Virus and the Medical Marijuana has made the HC Virus more managable, has given me an appitite. The program has been a literal mirical for me in this fight.
    Please proceed with all haste to make meds easier to access. I recently fell victim to overzelouse local police and ruined my life. God Bless the fighter.

  20. I highly recommend that everyone read the foreword to the new ” Pot Book” written by Julie Holland MD. The foreword was written by Lester Grinspoon MD. Professor Emeritus Harvard Medical School, just go to B&N and sit down in their big comfy chair and read the foreword,don’t have to buy the book , but I’m glad I did.
    We can either be a free country or we can be a drug free country, we cannot be both.

  21. Yea, then Seattle can maybe fix on these damned pot holes in the city streets. Pot for potholes :)

  22. This is very good.I agree that it should be made legal across the country for at least medicinal use instead of this moeny wasting 1 state at a time when we all know thats eventually it’s going to be all states.A far as total legalization,thats long overdue for some thing that is virtually unharmful to the human body and mind.Compared to alcahol and tobaco products well,there is no comparison whatsoever.No contrary to the gov propoganda machine it will not encourage the mexican cartels to come here and loot rape and pillage.The gangs that have been allowed to run rampnat across this country as a whole are the main and only real threat and we should have and need to start agressivly policing them all.I toul;d crate jobs and study’s show that in country’s that have legalized or at least tolerate it’s use that drig related crimes dropped significantly as well as tees useage which also dropped significan’ty and many adults have stated that they would rather use pot than to drink as they prefer the feeling they get from pot to that of booze.Tax revenues would wipe out the national deficit within 2 years tops and take care of s.s. funding as well.Staes which just about all of them are crying banckruptcy would benefit from the stae revenues from it wiping out their deficitsas well leaving pleant of money left over.All in all it is without a doubt the perfecr fis-it fopr a great majority of the country and states financial problems

  23. the federal government would take a lot of heat for punishing all citizens of washington (even the ones who choose not to smoke) just because its legal for adults to have the choice to use marijuana.

    also, they send funding for a reason. The federal government benefits from the business, education and other programs that they fund. If they were actually dumb enough to cut funding, they’d only be hurting themselves

  24. look at alchohol. you can go into any liquor store and find terrible/disgusting alcohol and you can also find really fine beverages. Pot will be the same way. you could buy your really crappy $5 pack or buy stuff that was grown with care and is very very high quality.

    as for underage consumption and growing, it would probably be treated like underage drinking. its hard to say for growing though. i imagine that not many minors would be growing because there would probably be a lot still living with their parents. its also hard for police to find a small scale grow (it would get even harder if it were legalized because they would have to determine if the resident was over 21 or not) but for the very few unfortunate that did get caught, i imagine a fine would be issued and maybe something small on their criminal record

  25. we need legalized Marijuna for medical reasons and for profit it would stop all the crime and killing by drug cartels plus we could tax it and make a good profit it is free to grow plus a tax it would be a giant windfall for the state don’t be stupid people are going to get pot one way or another it is not as bad as bozze people do not smoke pot and beat up there wife’s or get DWI’s come it is common sense

  26. we need legalized Marijuna for medical reasons and for profit it would stop all the crime and killing by drug cartels plus we could tax it and make a good profit it is free to grow plus a tax it would be a giant windfall for the state don’t be stupid people are going to get pot one way or another it is not as bad as bozze people do not smoke pot and beat up there wife’s or get DWI’s come it is common sense

  27. Lin I am fourty seven years old I have chonic pain from my head to my feet I have osteoarthis-degenergive dics dease in the spine-miganges-fibromyalga-vitamin difinancey-biporlar disorder I cannot take any medicine for the pain of any strenght because of my bipolar and because I had Gastic bypass when I did not need the surgergy and Iam now finding out I was use as a human ginina pig I was given a drug that was said to be safe but it was not. People listen there is nothing wrong with GOD’s medicine taken the right way YES Iam for the legalizetion cannabis Now I think I have a right to take what i feel is right for me now Iam scare to take anything now but one thing I do know is GOD’s medicine has only three side effects sleepy, memery lose which, appitite so if any one does not believe go to the bible the king james verese first chapter Genesis and the twentynine verse.

  28. people want to change their consciousness.. instead of locking them up why dont we work on safer drugs…cleaner pot for a start i dont mind to pay gst or hst tax for weed if govt will grow the sticky kush

  29. i lost my job cause of a disability depression/bi polar i was prescribed a pill which caused me to have homicidal thoughts and caused me to have even more intense suicidal thoughts .which i was taken to the nut ward by a police officer , i sense then been smoking pot when i have a depression and bi polar attack still not gone to nut ward. so whats safe and whats not ? i got a dui for drinking a 6 pack . cost me $8,000 after all said and done thats not counting sr 22 insurance . so whats safe and whats not ? i say legalize it , and for the record it is and always has been the parents responsability to watch and control their kids and teach them the harms of drugs and alcohol . not societies , it’s called parenting . if you can’t control your kids actions then you should have kept your legs closed and your junk in your pant’s . my dad died of alcoholism he didn’t smoke pot.

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