Washington’s I-502: How To Not Buckle


Seattle P.I.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes: “Philip, you’re making a big mistake.”

By Philip Dawdy
Around 4 p.m. at Hempfest on Sunday I was standing off to the side of the Share Parker Memorial Main Stage after watching a friend of mine propose to his girlfriend before a huge crowd. She said “Yes,” a teary moment was had by friends and I turned to head down an off-stage ramp.
I got a few feet down the ramp before encountering Pete Holmes, Seattle city attorney, one of I-502’s primary sponsors and a friend. I wore a black “No on I-502” T-shirt and had already given three speeches at Hempfest against the initiative.
Keep in mind there were multiple famous folks in the cannabis movement who came up to me over the weekend to try and flip me on my stance. I told most of them they were from outside of Washington state, their vote didn’t matter and patients and pot smokers in this state have to live with the potential consequences of 502 passing.

Holmes shook my hand and said quite sternly, “Philip, you’re making a big mistake.”
“No, I’m not, Pete,” I said.
“Philip, you’re making a mistake.”

Philip Dawdy
Philip Dawdy is the author of this article

Having the number two elected official in Seattle and a member-in-good-standing of the Democratic power structure in this state tell me that I was making a mistake was a bit of a mind-altering experience. Holmes was speaking in code to me and I knew it.
“Your future doesn’t look bright” is what the code was. If you know what I mean.
I know that others around cannabis issues in Washington have also been pressured similarly. Some have crumpled under the pressure. Some have not. 
I didn’t fold either.
“Pete, I’m a medical cannabis patient first and I will always fight for my fellow patients’ rights. You gave us a DUI provision that is unscientific, unworkable and unacceptable.”
“You’re overreacting,” said Holmes.
“No, I am not. I’ve read the science.”
We didn’t know what to say to one another at that point. So I shook Holmes’ hand and said, “Pete, I like and respect you and that won’t change. And next time you’re at St. Joe’s, light a candle for me. I’m probably going to need it.”
Then I walked off and 90 minutes later gave my last speech of the weekend, one that generated hooting and hollering. The good kind.