Rep. Dickerson pre-files ‘legalize marijuana’ bill

Last month we wrote that 36th District Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson was planning to file a bill to legalize marijuana. Earlier today, Rep. Dickerson along with five other state representatives pre-filed HB 2401 for the 2010 Legislative session which begins on January 11th.

Next week the 36th District delegation will hold a holiday open house to talk with constituents about the upcoming session. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Reps. Mary Lou Dickerson and Reuven Carlyle invite their constituents to come ask questions and voice concerns. The open house is Tuesday, Dec. 15th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Sen. Kohl-Welles’ and Rep. Carlyle’s district office on the base of Queen Anne at 3131 Western Ave, Suite 421, in the Northwest Work Lofts building. Free and pay street parking is available.

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36 thoughts to “Rep. Dickerson pre-files ‘legalize marijuana’ bill”

  1. I'm only interested in this if they turn its manufacturing into an industry and slap a huge sin tax on it, ala cigarettes and alcohol. Otherwise, what a waste of time.

  2. Marijuana can be grown in all 50 states. It has 3-4 harvests per year. It can provide food, fuel, textiles and medicine. Seems like a no brainer…what's the sin???

  3. It isn't just sin taxes — plain old *income* tax revenues would go up considerably if people had to report income from selling marijuana. Biggest cash crop, blah blah blah.

  4. Dude, that is sooooo true. I'm getting ready to convert my car to run on hemp. I tell, were gonna save the planet dooooode.

  5. hemp (that used to make rope, textiles, etc.) is a different plant than the cannabis people smoke. the fact that hemp is illegal is beyond ridiculous.

  6. Washington State doesn't have an income tax…

    It would be good if the sales (or “sin”) tax on pot amounted to something that could refund health care for low income people here. The Basic Health Plan is in danger of being completely abandoned by state government.

  7. I'm a Republican and let say – YEA! Smoking weed isn't constutionally prohibited and as social experiment, while not perfect, certainly has been tested on a wide scale and for a long duration and it has passed in my opinion.

    Leagalization would do a lot to eliminate jail problems and include a large portion of income from the tax rolls that previously was not.

    Go Girls! I hope you succeed.

  8. Actually, this could address one of the biggest problems facing America–our enormous debt.

    In the US, we spend 4 billion a year prosecuting marijuana crimes (source: Washington Post). That's three times the yearly education budget of WA. And that doesn't include the cost of incarceration.

    And then, of course, there's the potential tax revenue.

    Why not use the money for education and healthcare, both of which are vastly underfunded in this country?

    Bam. Problem solved. ;) Next week I'll be tackling world peace.

  9. Well, I was thinking nationally. Anyway, Washington SHOULD have an income tax (but that's another discussion …). Totally agree with you about Basic Health. That is/was a great program (I guess it still is, if you're not one of the bazillion who can't get in). My family was on the subsidized plan for a year or so when we first moved back to Seattle, and it sure helped our peace of mind.

  10. That is a common misconception. The fact is that there are strains of Marijuana that get you high, and then there are those you make rope out of. However what makes the difference between the dope we smoke and rope has more to do with cultivation techniques than the strain. If you want to smoke it, you have to get rid of your male plants. Otherwise they will pollinate your females, and you will be left with seedy, twiggy buds. If you want to make rope with it, you leave the males in so that the females reseed your field. This is why you cannot truthfully suggest that people will grow pot in hemp fields if hemp is made legal. Even George Washington knew this, and in correspondence with one of his friends, lamented the fact that he wouldn't be able to get home to cut the males out of his stash due to being in the field of battle during harvest!


  11. Do you really believe that the current growers will come forward and pay taxes on it? Think again! Making it legal will not put money in the US coffers. As for not paying WA state income tax – we pay it only it's called 'sales tax'. Oh, had too much mary-joo-wana to realize that!

  12. i hope that every voter that is un-employed in this state get's behind this bill, i dont agree that marijuana should be considered in the same catigory as alcohol and tobaco, sin tax income tax wtf!?! sounds like a good reason to charge the people who make their living off of it more than everyone else runniing a buisness, fine. so be it…… let my people go. not to mention the fact that current attitude from washington lawmakers is that marijuana has medical value, sinful medicine, what a f*#@in joke. where is the “sin tax” on vicodin?

  13. We make the choice to lock people up in this country when we don't agree what they do. This choice costs us billions of dollars a year. The war on drugs is a complete failure; people are doing drugs everywhere. Legalizing marijuana lets us devote our resources on the problem drugs, saves us money, and promotes a freer and more tolerant society.

    Keep it up Mary Lou, we need more people with your courage. It's time for Washington to join the 21st century and “live and let live” when it comes to victimless crimes such as this.

  14. OMG! Have any of you actually read this bill??!!

    I mean, I give Rep. Dickerson some credit for being the first to offer something to this degree, but PA-LEASE PEOPLE! READ THE BILL!


    If you read through this bill, it DOES NOT erase anyone's previous convictions that they are paying for simple possession. Which means if you have a prior cannabis offense, you'd still have it, still have to pay for it and still get barred from education and jobs for it.

    This bill hands our gentle herb over to the BOARD OF ALCOHOL. It also hands the procedures of growing over the FEDERAL DEPT OF AGRICULTURE (BIG AGRI), which means:

    -They can make Marijuana Farmers use chemical fertilizers to poison us with, which are not needed.

    -They can make Farmers use Pesticides which are harmful and not needed

    In this bill, they want to TAX YOU %15 PER GRAM. That means you'd pay an extra $1.50 per gram, and that's only if they choose to go with the general going rate at which it currently sells on the black market. They make no reference as to “how much” a gram itself would cost.

    That is higher than the tax on a CHEESEBURGER, which is less healthy for you. That's more than the going rate for most things we are taxed for. I am not against taxing the herb, by all means, that's how we got this far, but 15%!!! They will make MILLIONS alone from the people wanting to by utensils, food (munchies), toys, clothes, etc…. Why tax it so high when everything else will make so much money? DONT BE GREEDY.

    This bill also TAKES AWAY the definition of a Medicinal Patient. It also makes sure that ANYONE and EVERYONE would have to get their “Perscription” or their “recreational alternative” from LIQUOR STORES only. There might be a possibility of this bill allowing it to be in Bars as well, but there is no clear definition of that.

    Ask yourself this, WOULD YOU WANT TO GO INTO A LIQUOR STORE AS THE ONLY “LEGAL” PLACE TO BY YOUR HERB? Surrounded by tons of bottles of liquor are cutely wrapped next to Marijuana with a new Official Washington State TAX STAMP.

    DID YOU KNOW: This bill will not make it legal for you to do anything except POSSESS the herb itself?

    DID YOU KNOW: That this bill STILL classifies HEMP as MARIJUANA, when MARIJUANA is just a dirty slang term made up by the government and means the LEAVES or FLOWERS of the plant, but they included HEMP long ago to take away our freedom. Did you know that it used to be ILLEGAL to not grow Hemp? Did you know that in the 40's you used to be able to legally pay your TAXES with HEmp?

    They need to make HEMP legal and Legally define it as DIFFERENT from Marijuana so that we can use it for agriculture and profit. This bill signifies no change in that way.

    DID YOU KNOW: Under the actions of this bill, any between the ages of 18 to 21 can still get SERIOUS FINES OR IMPRISONMENT if they are in possession or are/have consumed any Marijuana?

    DID YOU KNOW: That under this bill, those under 18 CAN GO TO JAIL for possess or consuming Marijuana?

    I agree that kids should not use marijuana, they are not ready for it until they are out of school, but how is it that HARSH penalties for a minor possessing alcohol will not be as bad as a minor in possession of Marijuana? Education is the tool, NOT JAIL OR FINES.

    DID YOU KNOW: That under this bill, YOU WILL NOT be allowed to grow your own. ONLY THE GOV GRANTED/OWNED “Marijuana Farmers” will be able to grow. Meaning that you will have no idea how they grow it, and instead of getting back your freedom to grow it yourself, ONLY THE GOV AND THE CRIMINALS will be allowed to grow and sell. The people in the middle, THATS US, will not have the ability to grow. You know who will suffer from that? YOU AND ME!

    I am going to this Open House on Dec 15th so that we can try to work these things out. THIS BILL IS NOT FREEDOM. It does not do the justice we in the movement are asking for.

    THe only way to take it away from the criminal market is to GIVE IT BACK TO THE PEOPLE. Once everyone can easily and freely grow there own, there will be NO PROFIT for criminals and greedy folks. Ounces won't cost between $300 to $500 (plus tax), they will be free, or really low if you don't grow your own.

    I am so glad that Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson is attempting to get us to the place we have been fighting for, but this bill needs some major revisions, including some revisions to the alcohol codes. (if you read it, you will notice this IS NOT a new bill, they are taking our old ALCOHOL bill and just adding “and Marijuana” to just about everywhere that says Alcohol)

    This wouldn't be so bad, except that with alcohol you can legally brew your own at home, but they conveniently left “and marijuana” out of that section.

    This seems an attempt at a take over of Marijuana by the state. There are much better ways I feel to do this. Legalizing cannabis can benefit the economy on so many levels, there is no reason to rape it for money until its to unaffordable to get any and we have to buy from the criminals anyways.


    If you don't know what it really says, how do you know your not signing away more of your rights?

    I am not saying this bill is all bad, but I spent two days reading through it, and it's important to know what it says. If we don't know what it says, how will we know what needs to be fixed?

    Our reps ARE TRYING to help us get were we need to go, but sadly they are in a political office, and to them this is all political. This needs to be about the people, who deserve to have their tree of life back.

    No matter whether you agree with my opinions or not, PLEASE READ THE BILL YOURSELF

  15. It will however, end the bleeding of money OUT of U.S. coffers to fight a failed drug war. Imagine all that money being put to something useful instead of chasing down illicit drug dealers and small farmers in South and Central America.

  16. You are kidding right? Look at NYC, which has a similar sales tax rate and a state and city income tax. Our sales tax DOES NOT make up for an income tax.

  17. I am voting for fontistheperceiver. I love that this bill is getting discussed but it sounds like it needs some serious changes. Maybe we can wait until it is legal to tweek things but i don't think that would be a good idea. I think the time really is now to let people like mary lou know how we feel about this.

  18. This is a glimmer of light! Of course, nothing is new . . . Wisconsin State Assemblyman Lloyd Barbee used to introduce “legalize marijuana” bills into that state's legislature, 40 years ago.

    The way to frame this issue is: END PROHIBITION! Chris Wright of the Minnesota Grassroots Party did some research years ago about how alcohol prohibition was ended. It wasn't the corruption, the gangsterism, the swollen law enforcement bureaucracy, the poison “bathtub gin,” the invasion of privacy and civil liberties, or the widespread disrespect for all laws which prompted the repeal of liquor prohibition.

    It wasn't even the manifest failure of prohibition to actually prohibit—to curtail the consumption of the outlawed molecule, ethanol.

    What ended liquor prohibition was the desperate need for revenue for government at every level—local, state, federal. Yes, it was the Great Depression and unemployment was well into double digits everywhere—perhaps twice as bad as what we have now . . . maybe worse.

    Repeal of cannabis prohibition could bring in revenue NOT JUST from pot smokers, but from a restored agricultural product, hemp, and all its industrial byproducts such as paper, textiles, oil, fiber, and even biomass for energy generation. Obviously, this also means JOBS for Americans.

  19. Ah-hah! I wrote my comment before reading the wise and informed comments by “fontistheperceiver.”

    Yes, the devil is in the details. This bill, as it is, stinks. BUT it is a start to a discussion!! After all, the federal government will not allow any state to re-legalize on its own. Just as with alcohol prohibition, the state legislatures acted first to repeal or modify state prohibition statutes. Eventually the Congressmen and -women in D.C. woke up. Well, actually, they were awake–but they were afraid.

    As has been said,”Of all the cowards, no other is so cowardly as the average politician.” Therefore, since Rep. Dickerson has stuck a toe in the water or a finger in the wind, focus your response to her directly and immediately. Tell her that her bill as is WON'T solve any problems. Tell her that she will discover she has “crossed the line.” Prohibitionists and their political goons (police and prison guard unions and PACS, as well as the Professional Puritans of the Christian Taliban) won't ever forgive her after these headlines, regardless of the actual provisions of the bill.

    Therefore, her bill needs to generate support from the public at large, and the way to do that is:

    1. Permit home cultivation comparable to home-brewing of beer;

    2. a statutory amnesty equivalent to pardons AT LEAST for past possession convictions and a review process for cultivation/sales convictions;

    3. retention of medicinal cannabis statutory language—which after all was passed by popular vote and the legislature is usurping and contradicting the will of the people if it abrogates medical pot!

    There is your guideline—better show up at her open house in force!!! Be respectful but don't back down.

    When liquor prohibition was the law, everyone expected it to last forever because it had been written into the US Constitution. The Anti-Saloon League held nearly all the politicians' gonads in its ungentle grip, comparable to the influence of the National Rifle Association does nowadays on its issue of special interest.

    But when the wind shifted and the tide turned, repeal came swiftly. Our fight now is much more difficult because narcotics prohibition has become so much more deeply entrenched and institutionalized, and because far fewer politicians use herb than drink booze. But the time for silence is past—-each year, new invasive technology gives the Gestapo more powerful tools of repression . . . and each year, the need for SOME new source of revenue for governments becomes more desperate. Freedom or police state? Repealing cannabis prohibition would be the tipping point toward freedom and away from tyranny. AND would generate lots and lots and lots of revenue.

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