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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: Reality Catcher
With the demise of I-1068, legalization won’t be happening until at least 2012 in Washington state.

​Sensible Washington, the group which tried to get marijuana legalized in Washington state through Initiative 1068, has fallen just short of the number of petition signatures it needed to get the measure on November’s ballot.

Friday was the deadline for submitting petition signatures to the Washington Secretary of State’s office, and campaign organizers said they will be several thousand names short of the roughly 241,000 needed, reports Andrew Garber at The Seattle Times.
The proposal would have eliminated penalties for persons 18 and older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.
Ballot measures in Washington need at least 241,153 valid signatures of registered state voters to make the ballot, and the Secretary of State’s office recommends at least 300,000 as a buffer, to allow for duplicate, illegible and ineligible signatures.


​Washington’s I-1068, a voter initiative which would legalize marijuana in the Evergreen State, is coming down to the wire with a signature deadline looming on Friday, July 2.

So far initiative sponsors Sensible Washington have about 200,000 signatures, according to KNDO, but a bare minimum of 241,153 is needed to qualify for the ballot.
The state Elections Division urges campaigns to submit at least 300,000 signatures, allowing for a “pad” to cover duplicate or invalid signatures.
Supporters say they “have been getting a lot of petitions back in the mail every day,” according to David Ammons, spokesman for the secretary of state, reports Jordan Schrader at the Tacoma News Tribune.

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: Emerald Sun

​The people of Washington state want to legalize marijuana — and they would vote to do exactly that — if it were only on the ballot, according to the latest polls. But they may not get that chance.

Even though poll numbers show a majority of residents support it, an attempt to legalize marijuana in Washington state for adults may not make the ballot in November, as the signature gathering phase enters its final three weeks.

Initiative 1068 would remove all state penalties for the possession, cultivation, use and sale of marijuana. Statewide polls have suggested it would pass, reports Gene Johnson of The Associated Press.
According to campaign chairman Douglas Hiatt on Monday, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition to get the initiative on the ballot. The group’s goal is to gather 320,000 signatures. It needs 241,153 valid signatures by July 2 to qualify for the ballot.
The cash-strapped I-1068 campaign can’t afford to pay signature gatherers, so it has depended entirely on the efforts of volunteers.

Graphic: Citizen Alert

​​Washington drug agents have illegally seized signed petitions for marijuana legalization, according to organizers of ballot initiative I-1068.

Marijuana advocacy group Sensible Washington says it has learned that a dozen signed copies of  the marijuana legalization initiative for Washington State of which it is the sponsor, were seized last week by the federally-funded WestNET drug task force.

Advocates say that the drug agents who seized the petitions are interfering with a constitutionally-protected legislative procedure.
“Our estimate is that 2009 signatures are sitting in WestNET’s offices in Port Orchard, apparently seized as ‘evidence’ during a series of raids against the North End Club 420 in Tacoma,” said Sensible Washington campaign director and initiative co-author Philip Dawdy.
If you live in Washington, you may get a chance to vote on legalizing marijuana this November.

​Five marijuana activists have filed a ballot initiative that would legalize adult cannabis possession in Washington state.

Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers as well as Vivian McPeak, director of the annual Seattle Hempfest, probably the largest marijuana gathering on the planet.
The group, calling itself Sensible Washington, said it is time that Washington’s state government stop wasting tax money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or grow marijuana.
Douglas Hiatt, a lawyer who represents medical marijuana patients, told The Associated Press after filing the initiative Monday that the bill would remove all state penalties for adult possession of marijuana.