Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cops and Judges Endorse Washington’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative

 Law Enforcers Say Ending Prohibition Will Improve Public Safety

 SEATTLE, WA -- A group of police officers, prosecutors, judges and other criminal justice professionals – including Seattle’s former chief of police – is endorsing I-502, the Washington initiative to regulate and tax marijuana that voters will decide on this November.

Norm Stamper, the former Seattle chief and a spokesman for the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), said, “Everyone knows that marijuana prohibition has failed. When even those who once worked to enforce these laws are saying this, the only logical next step is to enact a system that legalizes, regulates and controls marijuana. Doing so will not only take money away from the gangs and cartels that sell marijuana now, but will generate new, much-needed revenue that can be used to pay the salaries of police officers and teachers and for substance abuse prevention and education.”

David Nichols, a retired judge in Bellingham, added, “Replacing the criminalization of the marijuana trade with a public health approach grounded in science will allow our criminal justice system to fully focus on stopping and solving violent crimes and crimes against property. We don’t need the backs of our police cars, our courtrooms or our jails filled with people caught on marijuana charges.”

I-502 would strictly regulate the sale of marijuana to adults over 21. The initiative would not change laws regarding medical marijuana or impairment in the workplace. If I-502 is passed, there will be penalties in place to punish driving while impaired or use by persons under 21 years old.

James Doherty, a former prosecutor who lives in Seattle, added, "By regulating and controlling marijuana, we will make it less available to teenagers. Ask any high school student whether it is easier to get marijuana or alcohol. Most will say marijuana, because alcohol is regulated and controlled under the law, and marijuana is controlled by illegal dealers who don't ask for I.D."

Recent statewide polling shows a double-digit margin of support for the initiative. Other high-profile criminal justice professionals who have endorsed I-502 include former FBI special agent in charge Charles Mandigo and former US attorneys John McKay and Katrina C. Pflaumer.

More information about the initiative is online at

Coloradans will also vote on a statewide initiative to legalize and tax marijuana this November.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who support legalization after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at

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CONTACT: Tom Angell – (202) 557-4979 or


  1. As much as I think voters in all states have a right to set policy, the sad fact is that all the decriminalization efforts, all the conditional (medical) legalization efforts, and all the full legalization efforts in states don't mean squat. Passage of such a law would merely give Federal cops a target-rich environment allowing to see offenders openly and pick/choose the opportune time to bring down their hammer on them.

    Once (if ever) marijuana is removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act on the Federal level, then and only then will states be free to make "meaningful" choices on such things. Until then, states allowing marijuana use are just whistling past the graveyard.

  2. No, legalizing and regulating marijuana will not solve anything. The government should not have control over this in any way. If the U.S Government regulates marijuana they will increase taxes to unbelievable levels. Cigarettes are becomming more and more expensive due to the number of smokers in the US. Now imagine the 50+ million users of marijuana buy it everyday and so much of it...taxes will increase faster than anyone would think. It will still be grown in residential houses whether the government makes it legal or not. Grow Ops will never cease to exist. Solution? Simply decriminalize it. The government doesnt regulate whether we grow trees in our backyards or gardens close to our house, so why should they have any say over this plant?
    Should kids and young teenagers be kept away from it? Yes, anyone who has a child would want them to wait before they try it, but alcohol is regulated and guess and teens are still managing to get ahold of it. But parents should be making sure their kids aren't doing stupid things regardless. I strongly believe that if marijuana is regulated by the government nothing will change. People will still go to jail for having plants and growing it, still technically a "war on drugs" even if it is legal.

  3. These people who think I-502 won't mean anything due to Federal laws are mistaken. I-502 will legalize possession of an ounce or less of cannabis on the state level. Over 99% of all cannabis arrests are on the state level, so this will make a huge difference. The Feds are not going to start busting people for possession of small amounts of cannabis, they simply don't have the resources to do so.

    Vote YES on I-502!


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