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State representatives Mary Lou Dickerson and Reuven Carlyle (both D-36th District) held a “telephone town hall” Tuesday evening Jan. 19 to discuss the important issues facing Olympia this legislative session. About 30,000 constituents district-wide were called to enter into the conversation, although the exact number who made it on the line is not known. Questions ranged from Dickerson’s controversial legalization of marijuana bill to broader issues including education, taxes and transportation.
The town hall worked as a sort of large conference call. Everyone on the call could hear the questions and answers, and if so inclined, could enter into a queue to ask questions themselves.
While the focus of most questions was the economy, Dickerson’s bill (HB 2401) to legalize marijuana for those who are 21 and older may prove to be the most contentious issue facing the Legislature. On Wednesday, Jan. 20th, an executive session was scheduled, but no action was taken in the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness. The importance of this bill to Dickerson was expressed clearly in her opening remarks.