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Photo: KOMO News
Congressional candidate Roger Goodman, left, advocates the legalization of marijuana and protecting the planet.

​What if we could elect a real, live drug policy reformer to Congress? A candidate who has that background — and unabashedly advocates the legalization of cannabis nationwide — is running for the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington state, and he has an excellent chance to win.

Washington state Rep. Roger Goodman had in February initially announced he would run in the 8th District against Rep. Dave Reichert, a right-wing Republican, but now that Rep. Jay Inslee is vacating his seat in the House to run for Governor, Goodman will be running for that open seat in the reliably liberal 1st District where he lives, the candidate told Toke of the Town in an exclusive interview Friday afternoon.
“My number one priority is planetary health,” Goodman told me. “We need to pay attention to that, and we need to foster justice in our society.
“Cannabis policy reform is actually a part of both of those major issues, and my training as a lawyer, an environmentalist, a former Congressional chief of staff, a state agency director, and now as a legislator and reformer for years, qualifies me not just on cannabis reform but on qualify of life issues and on true progressive leadership,” he said.

Photo: Pete Kuhns/Seattle Weekly
Washington state Rep. Roger Goodman shows off a stash of his drug of choice: chocolate. Goodman is sponsoring an attempt to fix Washington state’s badly flawed medical marijuana law.

​State Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) on Friday introduced a medical cannabis bill in the Washington House of Representatives that would address many of the patient access problems remaining after Governor Christine Gregoire two weeks ago vetoed most of S.B. 5073, which would have legalized dispensaries and provided arrest protection for patients.

Goodman’s bill includes protections for patients and providers, including language giving arrest protection to patients with authorizing paperwork and language decriminalizing medical cannabis dispensaries.