Heavyweights Come Out In Favor Of Washington Marijuana Legalization
Joe | Mar 17, 2011 | Comments 5
During a committee hearing in the Washington State House yesterday several big names in the state came out in favor of marijuana legalization. City Attorney Pete Holmes, City Councilman and former police officer Tim Burgess, and former U.S. Attorney John McKay all spoke out in favor of HB 1550.
The sponsor of the bill, Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D), says the bill will bring much-needed revenue to state coffers.
“In these trying trying times, do you think $440 million in new revenue would be of interest,” Dickerson asked her colleagues during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing. The state currently faces a $5 billion deficit. Dickerson said the new tax monies could be used for health care and youth substance abuse prevention. “Let me clear – I don’t support legalization because I want to see more people use cannabis. I support it because I know a tremendous number of people already use cannabis. Why shouldn’t the state benefit from that (as opposed to criminal organizations).”
And when it comes down to it, that’s the whole point. Prohibition doesn’t accomplish anything but enrich criminal elements. What good reason is there for drug dealers to get all the proceeds from marijuana and the state to get none?
Much as they did during the CA Prop 19 campaign, opponents of HB 1550 will say that the amount of revenue that can be gleaned from legalization is exaggerated. As I said then, who cares? Whether it’s $1 or $1 billion, why should that money go to criminals? Isn’t any tax money better than no tax money?
Those of you who live in Washington must keep on your reps and let them know that a “yes” vote on HB 1550 will get a “yes” vote from you for them come election time.