According to the group Sensible Washington – who are behind Initiative 1149, the ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Washington – the initiative is going to fail to make the ballot for the second year in a row.

Advocates needed to collect over 241,000 valid signatures by Friday and Douglas Hiatt of Sensible Washington told the Associated Press that they are not going to meet their goal.

Sad news for cannabis users in Washington to be sure, but there is another groupcalled New Approach Washington who are pushing the “2012 Marijuana Law Reform Initiative,” which doesn’t go as far as I-1149, regulating cannabis like alcohol and prohibiting home growing, except for growing protected under the state’s medical marijuana law. The New Approach Washington Initiative also includes a disconcerting note about a THC blood concentration  of 5 ng/mL or higher constituting “driving under the influence.”

The campaign will have until December 30 to gather the 241,153 signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot. Once signatures are filed, the initiative will go to the legislature for consideration during the 2012 session. If the legislature takes no action, the proposal will go before the voters in the November 2012 general election.

As we told you last month, this new initiative is backed by former U.S Attorney John McKay, among others. Time will tell how much support the New Approach Washington measure gets, but the bottom line is any thing that keeps cannabis users from going to jail is a step in the right direction.

Joe Klare

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