And I’m not speaking of the weather. I’m talking about cannabis laws and the general consensus on the failure of the drug war.
Let’s start with Washington State.
There are two legalization initiatives in the signature gathering phase.
Sensible Washington is hoping to have their initiative on the 2011 ballot. If I understand correctly, it’s based somewhat on the same law New York enacted during alcohol prohibition. Basically, the state would no longer enforce the federal laws. City, county and state officers would not arrest an individual for possessing or using cannabis.
The other, by an outfit calling itself New Approach Washington. This one follows the “peddle it from the liquor stores model.” What I find interesting about NAW is the sponsors. They include the Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, former U.S. Attorney John McKay, a Washington State Legislator, a couple of former Public Health Directors and a university professor. They are hoping to have the initiative before the legislature in 2012. If the legislature takes no action on it, it would go before the voters in the same year.
Mayors across the nation have signed a resolution to support the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011. The sponsors of the commission see an issue with the U.S. being the world’s leading jailer. The commission is to take a look at our drug laws and criminal justice policies.
Over in D.C., legislation has been introduced that would allow the states to handle their own cannabis laws. As long as there was no cross-boarder “smuggling” the Feds would be hands-off.
And on the world scene, a Global Commission on Drug Policy just submitted a report to both the press and the U.N.. The commission is made up of folks like former presidents and U.N. officials , a secretary of state… The commission has called for changes in the current war on drugs (especially in regard to cannabis).
These aren’t hippies protesting outside of the capital building, man. Not that there’s anything wrong with hippies, or protesting. What I’m getting at is, these are “respected” folks. Folks that were a cog in the wheel at one time and now have decided to get off the merry-go-round (too corney?).
I feel encouraged.