|Could marijuana legalization be in Washington state’s future? The office of Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday that it’s a “legitimate idea.”|
Could marijuana legalization be in Washington state’s future? The office of Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday that it’s a “legitimate idea” that will be considered.
When Gov. Gregoire opened an online suggestion box on ways to fix the state’s budget, she may not have expected pot legalization to come in at first place. But it has been in the lead for more than a week now, and the governor’s office even has a somewhat positive response.
“It’s a legitimate idea,” said Gregoire spokeswoman Karina Shagren, who said the Governor is reading the list herself, as is Marty Brown, the director of the governor’s budget office. “But we’d like to see how the federal government would respond.”
With marijuana legalization apparently so popular among Washington’s (and America’s) voters, the idea is being considered right along with the roughly 1,750 others that have been submitted so far.
|Graphic: Transforming Washington’s Budget|
|Marijuana legalization leads among all the ideas submitted by Washington’s voters for fixing the state’s budget (click picture to enlarge).|
All of the ideas are reportedly going to be considered when the governor’s new task force on transforming the state budget finishes its hearings and gets down to work.
”And even if crackdowns on state employee salaries and illegal aliens are coming right up behind it, the public preference for weed has been so pungent and pronounced that this looks like one smokin’ idea,” wrote Erik Smith at the Washington State Wire.
The governor’s Transforming Washington’s Budget website launched last week as part of an effort to involve the public in discussions over the state’s financially depleted coffers.
The site allows folks to submit suggestions, and to vote for the ones they like.
Marijuana legalization led its nearest rival idea, limiting salaries of state employees, by 1,099 vots to 1,030 as of mid-afternoon on Thursday.
Philip Dawdy, campaign director for Sensible Washington, which sponsored I-1068, Washington state’s 2010 marijuana legalization initiative which failed to get on the ballot, said the heavy voting for legalization shows that cannabis is a mainstream issue.
Dawdy said the issue is going to be back next year, either in the form of an initiative or a lobbying push at the statehouse, or both.
“Wow,” said Dawdy, taking a quick look at the numbers while speaking with a reporter over the phone. “We’re barely in the lead. I guess I’m going to have to put it out on our Facebook page again.”
You know what to do. (Registration is required, but is quick and easy.)