WA State: No Weed For You

I just watched on TVW the voting down of a marijuana legalization bill and then subsequently the voting down of a much less controversial decriminalization bill by the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee (what a name). Legalization was rejected with a 7-2 vote and decriminalization with a 5-3 vote.

The interesting part of the legalization vote was Rep. Steve Kirby’s statement about the flaws in this particular bill and how if they could be resolved he would gladly vote for it:

“I could vote for a bill like this. It’s kind of a big deal, it really is, to go from having a substance that when I was in school they used to show us videos in school of people jumping out of buildings. Reefer Madness, do you remember that?” He said it might come as a shock to people in the room, “but I actually know people who use marijuana on a regular basis,” he said. But, he said, this bill lacks the clarity he’s looking for. “It’s close, but it lacks details that are important to me.” He told the crowd: “Don’t count me all the way out, but count me out today.”

The decriminalization vote turned on all the old out-dated disproved or illogical arguments. Rep. Chris Hurst voted against the bill because it would be confusing for people to have state laws and federal laws differ from each other. That’s essentially telling those that the state arrest for marijuana possession, “Yes, I know its not that bad of a drug and yes I think it should be decriminalized, but you’re gonna have to go to jail, because, well, that’s just confusing.”

The other profoundly irrational argument came from Rep. Kirk Pearson who argued that he’s seen evidence that telling kids that marijuana isn’t going to destroy your life (ignore that all of the seriously destructive elements come from its illegality) increases the number of kids who smoke marijuana. Yes, Rep. Pearson we should continue to put adults in jail and give them criminal records which can ruin their lives so that parents don’t have to watch out for marijuana just like they have to for cigarettes and alcohol.

On that note, here’s the best marijuana advice for children I’ve ever heard. It comes from South park:

The truth is, marijuana probably isn’t going to make you kill people. Most likely isn’t going to fund terrorists, but pot makes you feel fine with being bored and it’s when you’re bored that you should be learning a new skill or some new science or being creative. If you smoke pot you may grow up to find out that you’re not good at anything.

From the numbers I’ve seen kids find out about marijuana around ages 12-13 and at that age it seems to me we’d be better off informing our kids about drugs and sex, instead of lying to them.


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