The legalization lie of I-502 has been a consistent topic on this blog. There have been some things that I predicted that I was correct about, and there were some that I was incorrect about. I will document these things, because it is important to the point of this. “The legalization lie”, which is the notion that prohibition will be repealed and liberty will be gained. Rare is the case however that the caveats are giving much dialog by those driving policy.
For example, I noted most of the declines of progress that had been made by other initiatives and strides in public opinion in Washington’s I-502. I also missed a few curve balls that came into play, that I never expected.
In this video in 2010 that I created, I made many accurate predictions that no one in my circle or colleagues in pursuing cannabis liberty initiatives (such as I-1068) imagined would come true. I saw that marijuana was becoming more accepted in the general public’s perception of it’s safety and productivity (as it should), and I saw that people are excited about citizens initiatives such as I-1068 and I-1149. So I predicted that if we didn’t get cannabis decriminalization on the ballot before another group with less noble intentions did, then we would see cannabis go to a state of something similar to “big tobacco” or “big pharma”, meaning a monopoly of some sort. Which of course, monopolies always lobby for strict regulations, which creates an impossible barrier to entry for the little guy. You can see that video here; “All cannabis use is medical use?” Until the government steals our crops!
It wasn’t hard to see, and Im sure other people saw it too. The only problem is, that the people with the big money who were successful in medical marijuana clung on to the comfortable position that they had been in for 13 years to that point. Where medical marijuana laws sort of niche’d out a safe space for them, and the only barrier to entry was fear of the federal government, but nearly anyone could enter that market with a $125 medical marijuana card.
I tried to get MMJ businesses to carry petitions for the I-1068 initiative and I-1149 (although I-1149 I had less heart for, because the campaign leaders who pushed the campaign doomed it to failure before it even launched), and to spend as much time promoting the initiative as possible. I had people who would later be tied to I-502 in a big way, spreading rumors about me, and about the two initiatives, and it became more of a debate of integrity than principle. Which was an ineffective waste of time. I was working 96 hours a week at that time for my day job, and still managed to collect signature, hold meetings at a law office that I rented that had a conference room, and donate t-shirts that my wife and I printed in our screen printing shop.
However I learned my efforts were in vain, and despite coming close in the first attempt, we failed miserably with the second attempt.
By then SB 5073 had passed, and Governor Gregoire sent the storm troopers out to shut down all of MMJ in Washington state, especially on the east side.
So my heart was exhausted, and what I foresaw that I reported about in that video in 2010, long before I-502 was even a concept, came true slowly over the next 2 years following.
In many of the videos that I made, I predicted the DUID laws created by I-502 being abused by police, which happened as I recently wrote about; reference this link.
I predicted that the majority of the stores would be shut down, if not all of them. Instead of going on and on about these complaints, you can read about all of my predictions here;
The one thing that I was wrong about though, is the stores. I was sure that no recreational stores would open, because Gov. Gregoire used the premise that she needed to shut down all MMJ stores, “to stay compliant with federal laws”. So I thought there was no way they would open up recreational stores. But I was wrong. However what did come, came late and I predicted that the stores wouldn’t be there when the law said that they would, there was a significant delay. Also, the amount of stores and collective gardens that existed before I-502, were reduced to a fraction of the outlets under I-502, essentially letting very few into the market that previously were already in the market, and opening the door to large players who had not been in the marijuana industry previously, but who could afford the regulations under I-502. Access has been limited significantly, as have medical marijuana limits on plants and product. Reference this article for more insight.
So the lie of legalization goes very deep, because some of the things that I didn’t see were that the laws for possessing marijuana for people under the age of 21 (even adults), would go from a misdemeanor previous to I-502, to a felony as a result of I-502. Even so much as possessing a joint now in Washington, if you are under the age of 21 will get you a felony charge and this is for the largest group of cannabis consumers.
I recently heard Cat Jeter speak at Seattle Hempfest 2017 say on a radio broadcast something along the lines of “I-502 is not a perfect law, but we are making progress, and at least I know that my grandchildren will not have to spend time in jail for possession”. I was thinking “um, sorry to break it to you grandma Jeter, but you are wrong! It’s only gotten worse since I-502 was passed.” I will try to find the recording of that show and post it here later, if I do I will put an edit citation at the bottom so that it’s easy to find. She has a slight bit of influence in the Washington cannabis community, it always shocks me to hear her tell lies about the benefits of I-502. I mean all of these years after I-502 has passed, you are in the industry, and you still don’t know? Edit: 8/24/2017: correction, it looks like this problem with felonies for minors was fixed in January 2017 my apologies to Cat Jeter
- Weed is legal in Washington – but a felony for minors? – Crosscut (it is my understanding that the LCB seized on this with legislation under I-5052)
So DUID have increased significantly since the passage of I-502, which is a felony if caught. And simple possession for those under 21 went from a misdemeanor to a felony under I-502. No wonder lawyers with NORML and the ACLU backed it! They get paid to defend these people with criminal charges in court, and it’s way more expensive to pay a lawyer to defend against a felony than a misdemeanor.
Reference to the DUID charge; it is a Class B felony to drive with that certain limit of cannabis
So the benefit of I-502, is that adults over the age of 21 can possess small amounts of cannabis.
It is still illegal to grow (without a license, or a doctors recommend), it is illegal to smoke in public, penalties have increased for possession for the largest group of consumers, medical marijuana shops all got shut down, medical marijuana limits got cut significantly, in fact got cut more than half what they were before I-502. It’s even listed as a schedule one drug on not only the federal level, but it is still a schedule one in Washington state. Citation; https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.204
The government has more tax money to spend on enforcement because of the extreme tax rate under I-502, The government spent $18 million destroying marijuana plants last year and Washington got $950,000 of that money. Lets see, 50 states, and WA gets almost 1 million dollars of an 18 million dollar budget? I thought marijuana was “legal” in Washington? Why are the spending more on plant eradication than just about any other state?
It should be noted that George Soros who funds things like abortion groups, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa (essentially violence), is behind the passing of I-502.
To learn more about George Soros and if you care anything about cannabis, and liberty, or either, you should know more about the man dumping hundreds of millions of dollars into citizens initiatives and social justice groups all over the world. I will post two videos, one long and one short that you can learn about George Soros, and then afterwards, I recommend that you do your own research. George Soros funded I-502 and did not in any way support the decriminalization initiatives that were very popular before it like I-1068 or I-1149.
- Longer video about George Soros (George Soros admitting to assisting the Nazi’s in the 1940s, and his disruption of societies and markets for financial gains); https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUdosc33eSE
- Shorter video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqw2-TlaWMk
- Seattle Weekly talks about the George Soros funding for I-502; http://archive.seattleweekly.com/news/872582-129/story.html
- More about George Soros’ funding of I-502 and other cannabis initiatives: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/2/billionaire-george-soros-turns-cash-into-legalized/
- Washington Times on George Soros’s philanthropist groups funding violent leftist groups in the USA; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/16/black-lives-matter-cashes-100-million-liberal-foun/
So in the video that I warned about “all use is medical use, until the government steals our crops“, I was right and wrong. The government has been instrumental in this theft, but the lions share of support came from those who have a lot of money in the private sector.
Many people point to George Soros as a problem source because his intentions usually have to do with collapsing society in countries that have a strong or stable currency, because when the society collapses he can then buy the currency cheap while unrest is happening, and sell it later at a much higher price when order is restored. I can not imagine any other reasons for his interaction with American policy, than that he is once again meddling in destructive and profitable financial policies. Turning a more free and open market into a monopolized and cronyistic market, sounds like something right up George Soros’ ally.
It may also shock you to know that the person who has donated the majority of money to legalize cannabis, is also a majority stock holder in Monsanto and in many pharmaceutical companies. Reference: https://wakeup-world.com/2016/07/20/monsanto-big-pharma-george-soros-and-the-push-to-legalize-marijuana/
I will end with saying that I have long advocated for decriminalization, as in removed ALL penalties for cannabis, and by means of nullification, a founding father’s principle.
I will not ever support legalization again. I have learned my lesson.