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.

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

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

Lynne
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Lynne

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.

do it
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do it

marijuana: nature’s cure to alcoholism

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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).

ballardissmallilikerunninggags
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ballardissmallilikerunninggags

Hippie!

Michp
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Michp

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.

lyds
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lyds

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.

ballardmama
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ballardmama

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!)

Maurice Cheeks
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Maurice Cheeks

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

Jcbagge
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Jcbagge

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

Oliver Klothesoff
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Oliver Klothesoff

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!

Bwakker
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Bwakker

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.

Guy B Anoymous
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Guy B Anoymous

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.

Nwcitizen
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Nwcitizen

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.

Mmcallister001
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Mmcallister001

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

Mmcallister001
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Mmcallister001

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

Mmcallister001
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Mmcallister001

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

Anon
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Anon

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.

Moises
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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.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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.

Brad
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Brad

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.

Dude
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Dude

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.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

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

Charles Queen
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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.… Read more »

legalize it
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legalize it

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