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Photo: Douglas Hiatt
Douglas Hiatt: “It is not legalization, and it is going to criminalize patients in this state”

‚ÄčThe New Approach Washington initiative, which has gained financial support and big backers for relaxing Washington state’s marijuana laws, is not real cannabis legalization, according to Seattle-based activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt of Sensible Washington.

“It is not legalization, and it is going to criminalize patients in this state,” Hiatt told Toke of the Town Monday afternoon of New Approach Washington. “They’re using polling to justify their positions, saying we have a ‘nervous public,’ and that we have to win at all costs.”
The New Approach Washington initiative would authorize the Washington State Liquor Control Board to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana for sale to adults 21 and older through state-licensed stores. A new marijuana excise tax would be earmarked for prevention, research, education and health care. State and local retail sales taxes would be directed to the general fund and location budgets.