Articles Tagged: washington state

Brett Hamil Puff Puff Pass the blame for shitty laws #bretthamil #hempfest

August 6th, 2013 | By Pirate

This is my response to Brett Hamil about I-502 and Hempfest.  >
Brett Hamil obviously doesn’t know shit about the law, or legalization, or the vested interests behind I-502.

1. Brett says I-502 legalized cannabis.  That is not true.  Cannabis is still a Schedule One Drug on a State and Federal level.

In Section 10(a) of I-502, the law concedes to comply with all federal laws.   So if cannabis is a schedule one drug on a state and a federal level, then there are no tenth Amendment protections, because in order to receive 10th Amendment protections, state law must be complied with.  If someone is breaking both state and federal law, they receive no 10th Amendment protections.


section 10(a)>

“(a) Federal laws relating to marijuana that are applicable within
Washington state;”

Ref to Schedule one:

I-502 specifically acknowledges the Federal jurisdiction, and submits to it.
Therefore a store opening with the permission of the LCB is unplausible.
The state can’t put state employees in jeopardy of violating federal law, especially with the specific acknowledgement of federal cooperation all throughout I-502.
If the Federal Government was to remove cannabis from the Federal CSA, or if the federal government lost jurisdiction via the commerce clause of the constitution by nullification of the commerce clause, then I-502 would possibly have more legal standing, though Washington state would also have to remove cannabis from the Washington State Uniform Controlled Substances Act as well. ( )



If cannabis is legal in Washington, why is it still a schedule one drug?

If cannabis is legal in Washington, why is it still a schedule one drug?

2.  Brett mocks the opposition to I-502 in the cannabis community for opposing legalization, while praising the ACLU for supporting I-502.   The gap that he leaves out is that the ACLU has not once supported a legalization initiative in Washington for over 75 years, and the two times previous to I-502 (faux legalization), they openly and publicly opposed it.  Similar to Peter Holmes.

Reference to the ACLU opposing truly ending prohibition:


Reference to Peter Holmes opposing truly ending prohibition:

Without a Clue  ACLU

Without a Clue ACLU

3.  Brett gives motivations as to why people in the cannabis community would oppose legalization, citing selfish industry ambitions.  However I give the same reasons why attorney’s would oppose I-1149 and I-1068 but would support a pseudo-prohibition instead like I-502.   Lawyers make money off defending people from cannabis charges.  They would not want something like I-1149 to pass, because all I-1149 did was remove penalties.  It did not add any new penalties, and it did not consent to federal laws, nor did it violate any federal laws like I-502 does.  Since I-502 leave cannabis as a schedule one on a state level, and since I-502 (section 10a) concedes to federal authority (giving up 10th amendment protections) I-502 would be much more beneficial to the careers of lawyer who are members of the ACLU, much more than something like I-1068 or I-1149 would.  I-502 added new penalties, while not even truly removing old penalties.  I-1149 just removed old penalties.   But the ACLU opposed I-1149 and I-1068.   Why doesn’t Brett address that topic?

4.  Brett cites the irrational fear of people, citing that I-502 has not caused drugged driving arrests to go up.
As I cited in the video, the negative consequences of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act took years to show up.
The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act was presented as a way to legitimize and tax cannabis crops.  In the end, it created the first cannabis prohibition on a federal level.   So just like I-502, the 1937 version was presented as a positive bureaucracy, but it ended up being prohibition in disguise, just like I-502.

5.  Brett claims that people opposed I-502 because of the potential that it would increase prices based on the 90%+ tax rates it would impose on cannabis.   He said that we do not know if that will happen, because the tax doesn’t start until November 2013.   However, based on the scheduling of cannabis on a state and federal level, I contest that there will be no “legal stores” based on current law under I-502.   But these tax structures have cause medical cannabis to be jeopardized with increased taxes and regulation, as it has been proposed that the Liquor Control Board now takes control over medical cannabis.


New WA Legislation Would Put Medical Marijuana Industry In the Hands of the Liquor Control Board

Ref to Comparing I-502 to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937:

In the end, I think it’s disgusting how ill educated many of these pro-I502 pundits are.  People like Russ Belville and Dominick Holden seem to be educated but blindly supporting bad law.  I don’t know exactly why, other than Russ Belville for example was getting a salary from NORML (pot-lawyers) of over $30,000 per year at the time.  I don’t know if that is why, or if Russ is just a suckup to people with power.   Maybe a little bit of both.   But clearly I-502 is bad law.  NORML did very little to support previous legalization efforts in Washington, and the ACLU flat out opposed other legalization efforts.   For Brett Hamil to not criticize these groups for opposing legalization in the past, but to lay heavy responsibility and guilt on hempfest, is irresponsible and hypocritical.


If you are interested in REAL LEGALIZATION in Washington State, see this link:


Will I-502 actually create legal stores?

February 10th, 2013 | By Pirate

So the question that has been posed about I-502 to many of the promoters of I-502 is “will I-502 actually do what all of the promoters promised, is it possible that there will be legal stores in Washington state by December 2013”?

The Russ Belville Challenge 2012-2013 – Legal or not?


Russ turned down the bet, but here is your chance to pick it up where Russ dropped the ball!
To participate click the link below

(this is the video that I made for Russ on November 21st 2012)

This is a betting pool for Litecoin, once this slot is taken, I will open another:

For reference, when I proposed this challenge to another supporter of I-502, this is the response that I got, and the response that I gave:


  • Friar Ryan

    You were offering a site that took bets on I-502’s passage.
    I set up a betting area of my site too, for betting on I-502’s campaign promises.
    Russ Belville turned me down on this bet (even though he LOVES to bet).
    Maybe you’d be willing to take me up on it.

  • Norm L. Mass

    Your challenge is not specific enough. What defines a “legal store”?

  • Friar Ryan

    Exactly how it was defined in I-502. I am challenging those who promised “legal dispensaries”. Their term “legal”, and my term “legal” is obviously not the same thing. So the only thing I can go by, is the wording in I-502, which was not challenged by many of the supporters. Despite that cannabis remains schedule one in not only federal law, but also state law, tells me that there are no “10th Amendment protections” for I-502’s “legal stores”.
    If WA opened up “legal stores” they would not only be violating federal laws, but also state laws. Their claim to “10th Amendment Protections” is irrelevant if WA is breaking it’s own state laws.

  • Friar Ryan

    So basically you would be betting on the provisions set forth in I-502, not my definitions of “legal” but the definitions that are in the law itself.



Appeals Court Sides with Spokane Dispensary owner Scott Shupe

December 21st, 2012 | By Pirate

Spokane Medical Marijuana provider Scott Shupe was charged with drug trafficking in relationship with his business “CHANGE”.  CHANGE located itself only blocks from the police department, in a nicely located, commercial/retail building which was very out in the open.  They obtained business licenses, paid retail sales tax, and operated professionally.  They would even take back any medicine that was not satisfactory with no questions asked.

In late 2009 the owners and some associates of CHANGE were arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

In late 2012, in fact just today the charges and ruling was reversed and Scott has been vindicated!

I am so happy for Scott Shupe, and this totally turns my attitude around about Washington state.

In this court case they did reference one thing incorrectly.  After SB 5073 (which was after the CHANGE case started in 2009), the serving “one patient at any given time” provision was struck from 69.51 WCA.  Section 404 of SB 5073 destroyed this defense that obviously worked to the benefit of Scott Shupe.

I do not think this has anything to do with I-502.  I think Scott’s case is being judged under the laws of 2009, and the state laws of 2009 were in Scott’s favor.

Those same laws would not apply to anyone in this day, because SB 5073 destroyed those protections.

But this is something to build on for sure.

Fighting Against Dumb laws, Im letting my MMJ recommend expire

October 2nd, 2012 | By Pirate

In this broadcast I talk about how many dumb laws effect our every day lives without us even knowing. I talk about how many thousands of new laws are put against the people in the USA every year. I mentioned Chris Williams in Montana, who just got convicted and faced 45 years mandatory minimum and up to 90 years as I understand it. He will serve the rest of his life in prison despite obeying state law, and selling a product to patients that has never killed anyone.

What bothers me is how we can all agree on liberty and how prohibition is wrong, but we let little things like special rights for one group or special rights for another group divide our causes to gain more liberty. That is why I am done with special group rights. We are all created equal in this country, we don’t need special rights, we just need the liberty and natural rights guaranteed to us by the constitution and by the creator. If we stand for liberty period, all other efforts are covered.
Its when we start dividing in to “Im for these special rights, thats my cause” or “Im for these special rights thats my cause” we lose track of the ultimate goal which is liberty for all.

I refuse to consent to dumb laws. I intend to fight prohibition and unconstitutional regulations on the federal level.


Historical reference:
My perspective on Medical Marijuana in March 2012

Is I-502 another avenue to socialism?

September 11th, 2012 | By Pirate

With all of the concerns that the public has with I-502.  One should be wondering is I-502 another avenue to socialism?  Whether you are a cannabis consumer that feels threatened by the new DUID laws, or a medical patient who relies on a vehicle to get to and from appointments for their health, or whether you are an anti-prohibition advocate that does not appreciate simply trading one prohibition for another.   There is another subject that rarely gets discussed in this issue.  That is the retail market structure.

The reason that this retail market part of Initiative does not get discussed very often is that most everyone that has been working on this issue either in Washington or outside of Washington it is obvious to most that this retail market has no chance of existing.

We saw with initiative SB 5073 that the governor was not willing to put government employees in jeopardy of being penalized by the federal government for participating in illegal activities that violates federal commerce laws on federally illegal substances.    Governor Gregoire veoted all of the good sections of SB 5073 (just as I had predicted all along), and kept the portions which further restricts the distribution and doctor/patient relationships.  Section 402 and Section 301 were two very destructive provisions of SB 5073 that withstood the governors line item veto.

But lets pretend that the state government is going to throw all caution to the wind, and actually issue these permits.  Lets pretend that they won’t block the retail market by withholding the permits.  Lets pretend that the federal government is not going to interfere with this and won’t sue the state to block the retail market.

So in these provisions of I-502 the road to socialism is planned and being paved.  There are provisions for costly licensing, inspections, testing of product, etc.  But after that the cost of the taxes placed on cannabis are extreme.  25% x3 for all levels of distribution, totaling 75%  excise tax, plus there is a significant retail tax at the end, after all of the other taxes are tallied up.


“It would cost $250 to apply for a license. It would also cost $1,000 every year to get and keep a license. A separate license would be required for each location. Locations could not be within 1,000 feet of any school, playground, recreation centers, child care center, park, transit center, library, or game arcade. Producers and processors could not have any financial interest in any licensed marijuana retailer.

It would still be a state law crime for a person under age 21 to grow, sell, or possess marijuana. It also would remain illegal under state law for anybody, including people who have licenses under this measure, to sell marijuana or products containing marijuana to people under 21 years old.”


“This measure would require licensed producers and processors to submit marijuana samples to an independent lab for regular testing. The state would receive test results. Marijuana that does not satisfy state standards would be destroyed.

Sales of marijuana would be taxed. Marijuana excise taxes, in the amount of 25% of the selling price, would be collected on all sales of marijuana, at each level of production and distribution. Sale by a marijuana producer to a marijuana processor would be subject to a 25% tax. A sale by the processor to a retailer would be subject to an additional 25% tax. Sales of marijuana by a retailer would be subject to an additional 25% tax. State and local sales taxes would also apply to retail sales of marijuana.

The measure directs the state to spend designated amounts from the marijuana excise taxes, license fees, penalties, and forfeitures for certain purposes. Those purposes include spending fixed dollar amounts on: administration of this measure; a survey of youth regarding substance use and other information; a cost-benefit evaluation of the implementation of this measure; and web-based public education materials about health and safety risks posed by marijuana use. Remaining money would be distributed as follows: 50% for the state basic health plan; 15% for programs and practices aimed at prevention or reduction of substance abuse; 10% for marijuana education; 5% for other health services; 1% for research on short-term and long-terms effects of marijuana use; and .75% for a program that seeks to prevent school dropouts. The remaining 18.25% would be distributed to the state general fund.”

This is essentially what socialism is.  The problem with socialism vs. the free market is that the government artificially sets the prices of almost everything in the market, and regulates who can and can not be in business.   This inflates the costs of doing business, and lowers the incentive.   Then the money that is collected gets redistributed out to functions that the government bureaucracies deem worthy, based on whatever bias is at the helm.

How this works against the consumer is that the quality of the product typically is lower, since the incentive to produce quality products is less as the overall reward is less. It significantly increases the price of the product.   It also works against the freedom of the free market for the consumers to decide where the benefits of the industry goes to.   When the government is responsible for redistributing the money, the consumer input is rarely considered.  If someone in a free market is able to collect the full potential of their product or service in the industry in question, that business owner or individual then takes their proceeds to the market and buys whatever they want.  That is a way of voting in a democratic way as to which products and services are valuable to the community (rather than what products and services are valuable to the typically inefficient government).

The free market works for freedom.  The socialistic market works for government and tyranny.

When the government controls a market like cannabis, that is already deeply ingrained in the black market, what happens is the market stays where it is and does not move towards government regulation.   When the taxes are so high on the product that it increases its cost more than twice as much there is little incentive for the consumer to go to the government regulated market.  When it is cheaper and more community friendly to keep their business in the black market.

If these government officials and lawyers want to do something positive to end the atmosphere in the black market, they need to make the legal/regulated market more inviting by keeping costs low for the business owners as well as the consumers.

This is the same principle that we have saw with taxes in this country.   There was a time in our country that there was no income tax.  Before 1913 a mans/womans labor was their own, the government did not own their labor and couldn’t not tax it.  But after 1913 we got both the Federal Reserve and with it income taxes as well as all kinds of other new bureaucracies.   By 1944 taxes got up to 94%!   Which left very little incentive for American businesses to stay in the USA.  So this is when we saw businesses hiring lobbyists to open up markets of trade where taxes were much less, and American jobs started heading over seas.   We have saw no decline in this until taxes started going down, and still USA businesses are taxed at the top bracket of the world market even though we are being taxed at about 1/3 of the rate as we were taxed in 1944.

Socialism destroys the market place.   This will be no different IF I-502 some how gets legal dispensaries through the state government and if the government actually issues permits.

References for Is I-502 another avenue to socialism?:


by Reverend Ryan
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So this is one thing I can thank facebook for

May 4th, 2012 | By Pirate

While we all complain about facebook from time to time.
I usually use facebook just to host automatic feeds as of late, because I am not loving timeline.
Fortunately I made a second account that does not have time line, and I may eject one and trade it for the other.

Aside from the complaints and the conspiracies. I do like facebook, because it makes it easy to send quick alerts, and make new contacts and meet up with old acquaintances. Its been basically like the new MySpace. But a lot of people do use Facebook manually and regularly. So when I need to get info out to people directly, facebook is a great way to communicate. I have a few open forums, and I post there sometimes back and forth about topics.

But ya know being an old techy type, I still am still fond of IRC.

I remember talking to my younger brothers when I moved to Washington state, they were in Utah via IRC using mIRC (a nifty little client/interface of IRC),
IRC is a good multiplatform communication community. Open source is always good. Their are all types of IRC interfaces, because the protocol they use is fairly common. IRC for phones is good for me. Saves on texting fees too. :)-~


free version of xchat for windows

In other news, and this is related to facebook. Jodie Emery, the wife and partner of the famous CCHQ (Cannabis Culture Head Quarters) in Vancouver BC has come out in favor of I-502.

I have to admit, I admire Marc and Jodie a lot, as well as the activist that have stood up with the Emery’s as a community such as Greg Williams and Michelle Rainey (RIP), otherwise known as the BC3.

Well, I have to concede, I was shocked by their support for I-502.

But now that one of the people I look up to in the world with high esteem, and the one who’s activism really got me fired up in 2008. I am going to bow out of the situation in Washington with I-502.
I have said my peace. I have recorded my words. Those recordings remain available and my opinion of I-502 is the the same.

However out of great respect for the Emery’s, and because I have nothing more to add to my objections.
I am going to spend less time worrying about I-502. Ron Paul is still a major focal point of my goals this year. So I am going to say C’est la vie!

I have to admit another thing. I have read more from Steve Elliot these last 2 months than in the entire time Ive known of his existence which has been for a few years anyway.

We may not agree on religion. But more power to his words about I-502. A lot of his words echoed the way that many people in the community felt about I-502.

For the sake of that and other accomplishments. I commend Steve Elliot for some really excellent articles, and for publishing the Washington Activist piece with Cydney Moore.

I also commend Russ Belville for a buch of his articles. He really is gifted, and it was fantastic to see him debate Kevin Sabet!

Peace, Pot, Liberty !

Have a great weekened! We have a bunch of stuff coming up so check back later!

We need to stop the infighting. Debate ideas and stop attacking other activists

April 24th, 2012 | By Pirate

We need to stop the infighting.  Debate ideas and stop attacking other activists!

Example of internet bullying over I-502


For a long time I have saw silly divisions come up and major arguments break out over one topic or another.  When it starts hurting instead of helping the movement is when people start launching personal attacks.   The issues surrounding I-502 in Washington state is a shining example of this negative type of discussion.
I honestly think a healthy discussion, and even a major disagreement CAN be positive, but when the argument ignites a fire of personal attacks, that is when it’s time to reassess the situation and change up.

I also spoke about some of the changes going on at  check back for more of that to come.  We have just redesigned the layout of the site, and soon we will be re categorizing the site to make it easier to browse through the archives.

Video that I made in response to Radical Russ in August 2011 on I-502

Stoners Against Legalization or Voters Against New Penalties

I502 Presentation Seattle Channel – Washington Legalization Initiative – or is it?

CA AB 2552 – DUI provisions becoming a major trend

March 12th, 2012 | By Pirate

Less than a month ago (Feb 17th) NORML endorsed I-502 officially.
Shortly after that two more states jumped on the bandwagon in a away.
These two states jumping on the bandwagon are only jumping on to the DUID limits on cannabis bandwagon.

Colorado =  February 27th 2012  Senate Bill 117

California = March 10th 2012   AB 2552

NORML Endorses I-502

Washington and now Colorado on per se DUID limits – Just say no to new penalties!

February 28th, 2012 | By Pirate

This has always been obvious to me that a precedence would be set, or a trend would follow if one state is successful with DUID laws or proposals.   I was blogging about this last year and ever since about Washington’s I-502’s DUID limits.

Before Washington started their proposal for DUID limits, Colorado had shot down the DUID limit proposal in HB 1261.   I was hopeful that would put an end to it.  But the beat goes on with NAW (I-502) just months later.

I have to admit I was shocked that I-502 got as many signatures as they got at first, until I followed the money and found out that pretty much all of their signatures were paid for, and that most of the signature gatherers were from out of state.

From my prospective I have kept a watchful eye on which locals are participating in these proposals.   There are very few locals participating in this.

I have also begged and pleaded with everyone I know with a few bucks to spare to invest in the real deal when it comes to legalization..   Unsuccessfully though, because low and behold as it goes in America, corporations and lawyers tend to get their way.

Population demographics suggest that there are  more lawyers in the USA than anywhere in the world.
Roughly 37% of all lawyers in the world are in the USA.  (active lawyers)

That lawyers and politicians are driving these DUID laws is not surprising to me either.

I have been concerned that we the people are allowing for these additional prohibitions to enter a freedom movement.

Why not follow the Portugal model, or even the Holland model at very least?  These are systems that work well, and have been proven over decades of trial and studies.  They haven’t beefed up their DUID limits, and there are fewer problems with drugs over all, including driving than before decriminalizing/legalizing.

Why do we need new per se DUID limits, when we have functioning DUI laws already as well as Reckless driving laws?

These are the questions that I would suppose the legalization lobbyists/orgs are asking.  Are they?

This statement echos my concern:

Marijuana activist Corey Donahue, who was credited with helping to derail last year’s bill, testified again last night, declaring the measure unconstitutional. “Why are the only people supporting a bill that would essentially imprison and arrest innocent people, the same people enforcing our laws?” he asked. “And I’m just questioning this because this whole thing seems as if the state and the law enforcement officials of the state are trying to criminalize people’s conduct with no science to back it up.”   Westword

These are the references that I found to site the references above:

Three initiatives, letter of cooperation for California legalization 2012

February 27th, 2012 | By Pirate

In this statement of unity for the 2012 legalization campaign for California, we the people come together to fight prohibition.

There are competing initiatives, yet they are all in agreement.

I am in full agreement with this.  Long before this letter was published, I recorded a video blog about this.

And while I have supported every attempted legalization effort in the past 4 years (and never have opposed a legalization initiative before this), I have shunned the attempt to pass I-502 in Washington which gives very little freedom, and offers new penalties that didn’t previously exist.   <this was my video from last year (fall 2011)

I was very hopeful that Washington was going to have legal cannabis by now, we have been working hard on it.

But unfortunately the ACLU has not back any one elses efforts to do this.   Neither have other sponsors of I-502.

When Sensible Washington needed their support the most, they turned a blind eye.

This is one of I-502 main endorsers, Pete Holmes in March 2011 talking smack on other efforts to legalize in Washington.

More on that rejection of the other legalization initiatives:

Why reject the best and most clearcut way of legalizing, and then propose something that mostly just offers strict penalties?

Portugal legalized in a similar way as Sensible Washington proposed.  So we know its a viable plan.
But some of these lawyer groups just did not want to let go of prohibition it seems.

Well I have a lot more hope for California.  I’ve been desperate to see this kind of change, since I was first arrested for cannabis possession some 17 years ago.

I never want to see my children locked up for possessing a God given plant!