Marijuana and Cannabis News
The Cannabis Child Protection Act focuses on protecting minors from the effects of the marijuana economy and keeping pot out of schools and away from kids, according to advocates.
Proponents of I-1223 and I-514 said will begin collecting signatures at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3 across Washington. Both initiatives need 241,153 valid signatures from registered Washington voters in order to qualify.
I-1223 has until July 6 this year to qualify for this November's general election ballot, while I-514's deadline is January 6, 2013 to gather the signatures in order to go before the Washington Legislature.
The Cannabis Child Protection Act is seen as a calmer, more reasonable alternative to I-502, upon which Washingtonians will be voting in November. Proponents said they expect that many concerned with the provisions of I-502 will see the CCPA as more reasonable, and that public at large, concerned for their children, will prefer this alternative.
Proponents said that most teenagers can quickly get marijuana with relative ease at a time even when many patients -- authorized to grow, possess and use cannabis -- have a difficult time finding any medicine due to law enforcement efforts that have shut down safe access for patients.
Allowing adults 21 and older to grow, possess and use cannabis, while retaining penalties for minors and those who give them marijuana, will change that and allow patients and all adults to get cannabis from any adult they choose.
The CCPA campaign said it intends to collect signatures on both initiatives at the same time. If successful, I-1223 will be on the November ballot, while I-514 would go before the Legislature in January. Should the ballot effort fall short in July, I-514 will continue its efforts to qualify through the end of the year.
The text of the initiatives -- found on the CannabisChildProtectionAct.org website -- starts by explaining to the uninformed voter how we have come to this point and why this reform of the marijuana laws is needed. While this may be old news to activists, the changes in the law that would follow the CCPA's implementation all relate back to this language.
The Act sets a maximum canopy size for individual grows of 400 square feet, or about 20'x20' in size. Grow operations wouldn't be allowed in "public view."
One crucial provision of the Act is that state and local law enforcement officials would be restricted from cooperating on federal investigations that involve activity that would not be crimes under the new state law. They would not be restricted from cooperating on other crimes, such as importation of marijuana from other countries or states, or grows exceeding 400 square feet, which are more common to cartel-type operations, according to CCPA backers.
Individual small gardens as allowed by the Act would be the source of legal cannabis for those 21 and older.
Penalties for minors start with a $250 infraction, rising to gross misdemeanors so that minors do not come of age with felony cannabis charges on their record. Adults would face Class B and Class C felony charges for "engaging minors" with marijuana, while adults would be free to engage with fellow adults regarding cannabis.
Parents would have the ability to guide their children's exposure for spiritual and social use of cannabis, much like wine at a religious ceremony or family celebration. Much of the proposed law addresses cannabis use by mirroring the way current law treats accepted alcohol use by minors now, according to proponents.
Petitions will soon appear at most access points (dispensaries) in Washington state, and a PDF will be available for download by individuals or groups, according to activist Don Skakie, who is involved with the CCPA effort.
The campaign is accepting donations to pay professional signature gatherers as well as utilizing the efforts of volunteers, who will be collecting signatures at public events and gatherings.
The full text of the initiative can be found online, along with donation and volunteer information, at YesOn1223.org and YesOn514.org, both of which will redirect to CannabisChildProtectionAct.org.