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Photo: Cannabis Fantastic

​In a sure sign of the growing public acceptance of the medical marijuana industry in Washington State, two dozen members of the community have joined forces to create the Washington Cannabis Association.

The new trade group said in a statement that it “intends to be an active participant in shaping forthcoming legislation to reform Washington State’s medical cannabis law […] and to give the industry a public face as it seeks to provide safe, consistent access to medicine for qualifying legitimate medical patients in Washington State.”
“The medical cannabis industry has matured dramatically over the past year, and our new Washington Cannabis Association is proof,” said Philip Dawdy, WCA’s media director.
“The WCA is putting all of its resources into fixing our state’s vague laws governing how patients can get their medicine,” Dawdy said. “Patients are better served and our communities are safer when there are regulated and licensed operations which monitor quality and adherence to state laws while serving patients.”

Graphic: High Times

From 12 noon until 4 p.m. Saturday, September 18, dozens of marijuana activists are scheduled to rally on an I-5 overpass in Seattle and to wave “Free Marc” signs at the traffic below.
Activists continue to call on President Obama to pardon Marc Emery, a Canadian and the so-called “Prince of Pot,” who was recently sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling marijuana seeds by mail to American customers.
“The Emery case is a prime example of the overreach of the federal government and the need for marijuana laws that match social reality in America,” said Philip Dawdy, Sensible Washington’s co-founder and vice-chair.
“It’s crazy that he’s going to prison for selling seeds and that the federal government is willing to spend millions of dollars prosecuting and imprisoning him,” Dawdy said. “President Obama should pardon Emery and get busy with reforming America’s outdated marijuana laws.

Photo: Owl Jester/Seattle Hempfest
“There’s no place more perfect to announce our plans for 2011’s campaign than at the world’s premier marijuana reform festival.” ~ Douglas Hiatt, Sensible Washington

​​If at first you don’t succeed, try again!
Sensible Washington, sponsor of this year’s Washington legalization initiative I-1068, has announced that it will launch its 2011 marijuana legalization campaign at this year’s Seattle Hempfest.
“There’s no place more perfect to announce our plans for 2011’s campaign than at the world’s premier marijuana reform festival,” said Douglas Hiatt, chair of Sensible Washington and main author of I-1068, which failed to gain enough signatures to qualify for this year’s general election.

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: Washington State Marijuana Law Reform

​There’ll be something different in the June 23 edition of Seattle alternative newspaper The Stranger — a copy of I-1068, the Washington state marijuana legalization initiative.
Initiative sponsor Sensible Washington said it raised funds last week through its Facebook page to cover the cost of printing 80,000 of the petitions and having them inserted in the free, weekly newspaper that’s widely distributed in the Seattle metro area.
The petition will be accompanied by a full-page ad which will explain to readers how they and their friends can sign I-1068 and get it into Sensible Washington’s hands by the first part of next week.
“Other initiatives are spending upwards of $1 million to get on the ballot with paid signature gatherers,” said Philip Dawdy, I-1068 campaign director and an initiative co-author. “We’re being forced to be a little more creative since it’s been difficult to get our volunteer signature gatherers in front of the public due to the terrible weather in Western Washington over the last two months.”

Photo: alapoet
Signage at the Seattle Marijuana March, Washington. A solid majority of Washingtonians support legalization, according to a new poll.

​A solid majority, 56 percent, of Washingtonians believe legalizing marijuana is a “good idea,” according to a new poll.
The poll of 500 adults in the state, conducted for Seattle TV station KING 5 by SurveyUSA, asked respondents: “State lawmakers are considering making marijuana possession legal. Do you think legalizing marijuana is a good idea? Or a bad idea?”
Thirty-six percent of respondents described legalizing pot as a “bad idea,” while eight percent weren’t sure. The poll had a margin of error of 4.4 percent.