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Debunking ‘No on I-502’ Video


No on I-502, the only organized opposition to marijuana legalization run by a medical marijuana profiteer, has released a propaganda video to scare pot smokers into voting against ending their own criminality. I take the time to debunk it.


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. You might have missed this post previously in this thread: The drug czar does not support 5 ng ctive THC limits. That would require him to accept that ANY use of marijuana is permitted and tolerated.

    Zero tolerance per se including metabolites is what the ONDCP is advancing–not a 5 ng limit for only active THC. Your suggestion that a 5 ng limit will be supported or the I-502 is supported by the drug czar–former or past–is pure misleading fiction.

    What they are really advocating is this: since they feel that driving and marijuana use is extremely dangerous, and since their goal is a drug free America, and since they dismiss the measurement of active THC as a measure of impairment while insisting the stoned driving is an epidemic, here’s what they want:
    People who are arrested for possession (not just driving) will be offered treatment with urine testing for metabolites instead of jail. If a test is failed or one does not follow through with treatment, the person is incarcerated and then given another chance to live a marijuana free life. Compliance eventually leads to the conviction being removed from ones record. This is the new compassionate, public health approach to marijuana use. Even Governor Christie supports it.

    Actually you are the one supporting the exact same position as the drug czar, which is to vote against repealing prohibition in Washington state.

  2. Wow, you just ignored a direct quote.

    “…the Strategy calls for:

    Encouraging states to adopt Per Se drug impairment laws;”

    Is your position that, since he doesn’t mention “5ng/ml” that you are somehow justified in your wildly misleading statement?

  3. Your statement: “Per-se limits establish specific levels that amount to a VIOLATION, not guilt. You still have to be found guilty by the court.”

    But by definition:
    “A per se drugged driving law is one in which a specified level of a drug in the body of a driver IS DEFINED AS AN OFFENSE.” (I.e., you only have to be proven guilty of the blood level, not the impairment.)

    “In concept it is not necessary to prove driver impairment to convict an offender under a per se law.”

    Your statement is nonsense: “…it amounts to a violation…” yah, one that you are GUILTY of if the BLOOD LEVELS were accurate… says nothing about whether those levels actually constitute IMPAIRMENT. Argue further on this point, you’re just being willfully dumb.

  4. You’re arguing like an idiot.

    The “per se” means, whether or not this limit impairs you (as in, three days after you smoke a joint – or even a single day, for that matter – you exhibit this level), you will be legally treated as though you were impaired as much as someone who is trailing clouds of pot smoke down the highway.

    People are not opposed to the DUI aspect: they’re opposed to being treated like they just chugged six martinis ten seconds ago when they actually only had a Zima two days ago.

  5. Evidence of impairment is not required: that is what a “per se” limit is all about. And you can bet cops that don’t like the law are going to take every possible opportunity and slimmest excuse to test. You talk as though you are unaware of the way NYC officers have managed to arrest thousands by manipulating the “public display” statute, etc. Even “you weaved over that line” when you DIDN’T is an easy route to a free test. Or, as I’ve mentioned above, be involved in an accident (after which they will certainly test) where you were not the cause: a false presumptive limit (a limit not linked to actual impairment) will greatly increase the likelihood you will be on the hook as the presumptive cause of the accident.

    Further, you can’t act as though once this gets onto cops’ radar it won’t be a HELL of a lot more testing than there has been to this point. This will be a case of “give a man a hammer, and suddenly everything looks like a nail.”

  6. I’ve really been enjoying your comments, Jillian, and respect your thought process, but I think you may have overlooked something on the cost issue.

    First, let me say I agree with most of what you say: especially the DUID has the potential to become a creeping HORROR. The PRESUMPTIVE limit means you’re considered guilty based strictly on the limit and not impairment, thus *responsible as though you were impaired*, irrespective of any actual level of impairment, and can be tested for this at basically the absolute discretion of any cop. How about this scenario: you’re peripherally involved in a vehicular accident where someone loses their life, three days after smoking a joint at home, but the person that actually *caused* the accident points to the DUID results from the post-accident testing and suddenly YOU’RE the *presumptive cause* of the whole thing. Congratulations, you’re the top target in a vehicular homicide witch hunt by prosecutors hungry for public examples to beat low-information voters over the head with to drive legalization back to the Stone Age (no pun intended). We *badly* need some objective scientific test for IMPAIRMENT… accepting the 5ng/ml limit — particularly since you personally have absolutely no way to test yourself, so you *can’t even know when you’re violating it* — is a HORRIBLE bargain with an unknown devil. We need to address that first thing.

    But as to the economics: I think you’re shortcutting past something. You’re assuming an initial state where the market has already set the price free of other forces: but actually, the two big reasons people spend hundreds of dollars per ounce rather than smoke free by growing it are: a) expertise and b) criminal risk.

    You can get the expertise, but only by assuming the criminal risk. Virtually every cent you pay a dealer is, in effect, payment to keep the most serious criminal risks off your own premises, totally unrelated to the actual costs necessary to produce, process & distribute what is after all a hardy plant, not a scarce resource. Right now the price reflects “What do you have to pay everyone in the chain to risk jail to get this to you,” not its real cost. Now, it will probably be iffy for the first few legal providers, but once agribusiness gets into it, with all the political behind the scenes winks and handshakes, there will be huge scale production WITHOUT the criminal risk, which by some estimates is 99% of the price (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/legalizing-marijuana-washington-colorado_n_2088375.html) NORML (quoted at HuffPost) projects it to actually cost more like $3/oz to produce, in the absence of criminal risk!! Figuring at a simplistic level, tax that at 25% three different times and it’s still under seven bucks an ounce. (At one point even says, “Marijuana could cost as little as 20 cents per pound to produce, according to Slate.”) (But I have the feeling “dollars per ounce” is rapidly going to become an anachronistic, or at least deprecated, measure of value. Quick, without looking, How many ounces in the pack of cigarettes you just bought, and what was the per-ounce price? Ok, now how about in that six-pack?)

    This would follow the model of alcohol, which was so much more expensive under prohibition than before or after. (Although quality moonshine still draws a premium price, as a hard-to-find rarity. Boutique outlaw trade will not go away, but bulk supply will no longer be in the outlaw wheelhouse. The big scandal is going to be the first time a huge legally-grown Washington shipment ends up in Oregon or elsewhere. Easier to smuggle into Oregon from Washington or from Mexico, hm?)

    So, I just think we don’t *know* on price yet, and it will be a multi-stage “settling” process where once again the pioneers will get the arrows and the settlers will get the land.

    But keep up the reasoned comments in the face of knee-jerk glee. And try not to call the monkeys names, it only obscures the reason of your points and makes them hoot louder. ;)

  7. You are voting for a law that will increase arrests and calling it legalization. I hope that you and all your friends who are voting for this law will be willing to sign up to be state growers. If not, you’re just asking somebody else to take the risk for you and that isn’t fair. If you don’t sign up on the growers list that will be given to the feds, then you don’t really support 502. You just support casual stoners at the expense of the people that provide for them. And if that is the case, I hope you are among the first to endure an invasive blood test and get popped for a DUID. If you’re ignorant enough to call 502 legalization, that is exactly what you deserve.

  8. I think that rational choice theory is incomplete which is why I studied sociology to learn about other theories that help to explain why we do things that are irrational much of the time. In criminology, rational choice theory does not hold up because criminals tend to rationalize based on a limited cost benefit analysis which discounts potential future costs. This is why the threat of prosecution does not stop them from weighing the immediate benefit of their actions more heavily than the threat of abstract potentialities. The threat of arrest is never a sufficient deterrent for crime. However, when it comes to spending money, rational choice theory does have a lot to offer. People will prefer to spend less money for better products ie: the consumer cost/benefit analysis leans toward lower costs with greater benefits. State stores will be expensive and will regulate THC levels… and since as you say, rational choice theory does not hold up when considering criminal behavior, it follows that street dealers will risk the potential costs to reap the benefits of that price structure to increase their own profits. Again, your overly simplistic view of the world endangers a lot of people and frequently contradicts itself.

  9. I get that you lack critical thinking skills and are too hung on the word “legalization” to see passed it. But for those of us with IQs above 80, that headline will be a relief because we know that no matter how insistent you are that an apple is an orange, it just isn’t so. I want that apple too M. But oranges are too acidic for me to pretend the way you do. I know, why don’t you go to the place where 502 is legaliztion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEYNPvuEU-o. Hook me up with some purple panda while you’re at it. Oh wait, that would be felony trafficing under 502. I wouldn’t want to put you at risk for my consumption… even though that’s what you want to do to myself and other patients. 420 means I love you! ; )

  10. Politicians lie, and so do initiatives. 502 Lies by calling itself legalization. Pull the wool out from over your eyes people! They are banking on stoners to live up to the stereotypes that we are all stupid to pass a bill that does the opposite of what it says in it’s title. Please learn to read before your ignorance costs real people their liberty.

  11. Keep your finger’s crossed because that is a remote fantasy at best. In reality, 502 will create a federal backlash and MMJ patients will get caught in the cross fire.

  12. 18 year olds can buy tobacco and share it with others over 18. Anyone over 21 can buy beer and share it with others over 21. Under 502, nobody can share without being guilty of a felony for trafficking. That is not legalization.

  13. Except all the ones I’ve studied under…. They all seem to believe in things like supply and demand and rational choice theory. It’s not rational to pay more for taxed weed when you can get it for less on the black market…. and considering no growers will supply state stores which will have a great demand for product (at least initially) the state would be irrational if they didn’t raise prices. Please stop citing economic theory when you clearly know nothing about it.

  14. Hey moldy… you don’t have to pay the black market. You can go to a dispensary if you are a patient. The prices are comparable to the black market, but less than what you will pay with reduced supply and additional taxation under 502.

  15. Can you explain how this will happen? Because my graduate level work in economics tells me that when the demand for something goes up (as it will under 502), and the supply goes down (which it will because growers will not want to give their names to the feds to provide for state stores), prices go up. Add taxes to those inflated prices and the cost goes up even further. Now…. At some point, the cost to purchase at a state store will outweigh the benefit of getting high for the casual user. No worries… because they know a guy who knows a guy. Sure he’s charging a little more than market value pre-502, but it’s still cheaper than buying it at the state stores… and at least you know they won’t use the tax revenue to fund more DUID patrols. The friend of a friend is happy because not only are more people buying, but he can charge more.

    How does your scenario work? I’d love to hear it, because rationally it makes no sense whatsoever that adding demand and taxes to something will make it cost less, or keep criminals from rising up to meet the demand that will not be sufficiently supplied by state stores. http://ingrimayne.com/econ/DemandSupply/SupEtDemand.html

  16. Yes, it does change for people under 21. As mentioned before, people under 21 also get sick and injured. Those patients will no longer be able to drive EVER because of zero tolerance policies. They will also not be able to purchase their medication legally once dispensaries close. Yes, this is a reason to oppose 502 because these young people are just that… PEOPLE!!!! How dare you not consider them or their needs or rights.

    Medical Marijuana has mainstream support. The reason legalization does not is because of fear mongering about high drivers and the like which is only advanced by this bill. There have been numerous objective studies since the 1970s that prove marijuana does not impact motor skills the same way alcohol and opiates do. Why are you willing to subject unimpaired drivers of any age to 5ng limits when it is proven the active components in THC wear off before our blood levels get down to that number. If you honestly believe there is no public display of alcohol allowed, you are stupider even than you sound which is frankly amazing. Ever been to a BAR? A baseball game? Chuck-e-cheese? They sell alcohol in all of those public places you idiot. Just because a business is privately owned doesn’t mean it isn’t a public place. Your argument would only make sense if pot bars were allowed under 502… which they are not. You also can not share your stash where you can share a six pack. A minor can not be arrested for driving a week after drinking. And most importantly, your argument falls apart when you compare a person using medicinal herbs to treat illness to an alcoholic. I have seen alcoholism at close range, and the level of destruction to a person’s ability to lead a productive life is sometimes extreme with alcohol. On the other hand, I have also seen people who suffer from chronic pain finally be able to live functional lives BECAUSE of the relief they get from their herbal medicine. Just because the only reason for you to smoke is to get high, doesn’t mean it isn’t medicine for others. Alcohol is medicine for nobody.

  17. Here.

    Nothing changes for under 21’s. This is not a reason to support or oppose 502.

    DUID provisions are vital to attracting mainstream support. Voters don’t care that you smoke too much to drive legally. Just like they don’t care about alcoholics who drink too much to drive legally. Or people who take too many narcotic painkillers to drive legally. The exemption you seem to think patients deserve is not an appropriate issue for the initiative process.

    We don’t allow public display of alcohol. We don’t really even allow smoking in public. Prohibiting public display of cannabis is common sense.

    The state is not involved in production, processing, or sale. The Liquor Control Board will issue permits to PRIVATE businesses – that’s it.

  18. When it comes to the feds, I think a Nirvana quote is appropriate: “Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you.”
    There is good reason to be paranoid about 502. It is a very dangerous piece of trickery that will put a lot more people at risk for prosecution. Thanks for being a voice of reason deuce. It’s nice to see somebody who argues with facts instead of arbitrary accusations and slander. I don’t think patients should have to martyr themselves for casual smokers.

  19. I know the things I mentioned above. Did you read my post? Have you read the law? Zero tolerance for minors, invasive and unscientific DUID limits even for patients, public display clauses, and state monopolies on sales are all written into 502. What doesn’t make sense is how you continually avoid addressing all of these valid points and instead just throw vague and meaningless insults around. Address every one of my points, then go ahead and call me whatever name you wish. I don’t mind hearing your opinion so long as it is actually based on something other than your inability to read beyond the misleading title of this bill and critically analyze it’s actual content.

  20. 1. 502 will increase federal prosecutions and DUID arrests which will benefit private prisons.
    2. Semantics. Besides, you argued earlier that dispensaries are
    profiteers, and now you are calling their profits “donations.” I’d
    rather donate to a dispensary than spend twice as much at a state store or be forced to the black market because state stores can’t get product because growers don’t want to give their names to the feds.
    3. While MMJ laws stay the same, dispensaries will close and patients will be forced into the black market to afford their medicine, which will still be illegal. Patients under 21 lose their rights. Patients above the unscientific 5ng limit will lose their medical defense in court.
    4. Again, the zero tolerance policy for patients under 21 is a step backwards, and patients who use daily will be at risk for DUID the next morning after smoking before bed the night before. Nobody is condoning driving high you moron. The way the laws are now , you can be arrested for driving impaired. You just aren’t at risk for arrest a day later. THAT is the issue.

    Implying we drive high or sell drugs illegally because we don’t agree with you is slanderous. If those facts were true I wouldn’t be posting under my own name….I’d be hiding behind a screen name like you are you freaking coward.

  21. The answer to your question is that people who do not want to be forced into the black market to obtain medicine by 502 do not support it. People who care about the poor, the homeless and the history of racially unequal enforcement of public display and DUID laws in places like NY do not support 502. People who think teenagers should be cut a little slack and not be burdened with zero tolerance clauses for minors don’t believe in 502.

    The MMJ community may not like 502, but black market dealers will love it. Quit slandering people because they do not agree with you that stoners should be put above patients.

  22. I don’t care what you suspect. I am not going to let you slander me because my valid points about a dangerous piece of legislation that threatens civil liberties are not in keeping with what you want to believe. Black market dealers will benefit from 502 and I am arguing against it. Maybe you are a dealer who wants to profit from the increased price structure that will be created by state taxes. They’ll be able to raise prices and still under cut state stores. They will also increase from the additional demand from people who are emboldened by the belief that it is actually legal when in fact it will not be legal at all under 502.

  23. DavidTheExpert on

    I think you’re absolutely right. The reason cannabis has been illegal for so long is because there are a lot of people who profit from prohibition. That’s EXACTLY what we’re seeing in all of these anti 502 comments. They don’t want cannabis to be legalized because their selfish profit margins will shrink.

  24. I think most of the fact-immune No on 502ers are people with medical recommendations who sell on the side. Its the only perspective that explains their point of view – who else likes the unregulated dispensaries, doesn’t want real market prices and finds the prospect of people buying from professional growers and sellers so unappealing?

  25. LOL…I know it is frustrating for you to have facts thrown in your face when you want to pretend that I-502 is “legalization”. Unlike the others here promoting this sham, I have posted links to back up my comments.

    “I also seriously suspect that you are a black-market drug dealer.”

    I seriously suspect that you have nothing of value to add, so resort to insults and ridicule.

  26. So naturally, you solution is to…wait four years?

    These initiatives need presidential election years to work. If 502 fails we will be waiting for 4 years.

  27. DavidTheExpert on

    You are one of the least informed people I have ever encountered. You are doing nothing but trolling this site, and I refuse to feed a troll by responding to any of your made up “points.”

    I also seriously suspect that you are a black-market drug dealer.

  28. That’s only a partially true statement. It doesn’t have to change the laws to effect it. You can’t say the DUI doesn’t effect patients. And you also do not know how collective gardens will be regulated after this either. The truth is, we won’t know until we know.

  29. Other states have decriminalized possession for ALL ages, not just people over 21. Yet we still have people getting arrested for cannabis crimes. The drug war did not end. NY decriminalized, yet the NYPD are still busting people there.

  30. Nice try, but it is still illegal even on the state level. This is decriminalization, meaning you might have an exemption to the crime. That’s a far cry from being “legal”. The only way it will be “legal” at the state level is when we finally have the balls to take it completely out of the state’s controlled substances list.

  31. “We don’t make progress by being idiots who see the word “legalization” and look no further.”

    You ever deal much with low information voters?

  32. The GS Conspiracy on

    One piece at a time.

    1.) Our prison problem is a reason to vote FOR drug law reform. 502 is an excellent first step.

    2.) Under current WA MMJ laws, patients can NOT “safely and legally purchase cannabis” – because its illegal to sell medical marijuana in WA. That’s why the dispensaries ask for “donations”, and are actually “collective gardens”.

    3.) The affirmative defense is unaltered by I-502. If you get caught with 24oz as a medical patient – its the same as today.

    4.) DUID. Again. You’ve heard the facts a hundred times and you obviously don’t care, so why don’t you consider this:

    If Steve Sarich is the best spokesman you can come up with for your “over-the-limit-but-not-impaired” crusade – Maybe you people really shouldn’t be driving.

  33. And as for the argument that parents think 502 will somehow protect their children from accessing pot… um…. where is the logic in that? Oh, anyone who is 21 can buy it at a state store, but they will never share it with the friends they met when they were seniors in high school who were freshmen then and are still under 21? Really? Any parent who thinks subjecting their children to life-altering prosecution is protecting them clearly hasn’t tried… I don’t know… staying involved in their child’s life and having a close relationship based on mutual respect and communication with them. When I experimented as a kid, my mom flipped out and hit me… which made me want to smoke more. When my dad found out, we sat down and had an informed conversation about the risks I was taking and I decided based on that conversation to stop for many years. However, I am happy now to have an alternative to addictive pain medicines for my degenerative disk disease, and have a lot of respect for the people in the MMJ community who worked hard to change the laws and to provide people like me with that option. How dare you insult them! I do not consider them profiteers, but nice people who provide a good service and deserve to be compensated for the hard work and overhead they pay to grow and/or dispense my medicine. There are real costs involved in running a dispensary and/or growing. Why shouldn’t the people who pay those costs be compensated, respected, and protected under the law?

  34. You are wrong. The zero tolerance DUID policy for minors does not include an exemption for patients. It is also illegal to grow under 502, so patients who can not afford to pay double for their meds with all the additional state taxes will not be able to access their medication legally. Growers will also be more vulnerable to arrest… so where are you going to get your “legal” ounce to smoke alone in your apartment with the shades drawn? 502 will also put legitimate dispensaries out of business. You are willing to call these people profiteers for earning a living by putting themselves at risk (because as you stated, even MMJ laws don’t override federal laws) to provide safe legal access to legitimate patients…. and yet you don’t see how not allowing people to grow their own creates a state monopoly on “legal” pot and creates an environment where the patients who are growing now will be at greater risk and the only “people” who can safely grow within this system are Corporate Persons like Marlborro… who has already purchased land in the emerald triangle in the event that national legalization takes place. How do you not get it?

  35. DavidTheExpert on

    I-502 has absolutely nothing to do with medical marijuana. There should definitely be exceptions made for patients AFTER THIS PASSES. There is nothing in this initiative that says these are the only marijuana related laws Washington will ever be able to pass. NOTHING in this bill makes it MORE illegal for patients. How are you not getting this?

  36. Yes. I worked in a dispensary, and can’t help thinking about the grandmother who would bring her 17 year old grandson who had Parkinson’s disease and was blind in for his medication. Granted, his condition was so severe that he could not drive, but we had other patients who were under 21 who had leukemia, severe seizures, genetic conditions and so on. These patients did not get their prescriptions from MMJ clinics. They got them from physicians at real hospitals who know that it provides effective relief with few side effects. I met one 19 year old patient who was going through chemo and could not eat until she got her prescription. She had lost so much weight it was endangering her health and lowering her blood cell counts. She had to drive to get there, but under 502s zero tolerance policy for minors, she will no longer be able to access her medicine. But what do you care about her? You just want to get high and play video games or whatever.

    Even if you don’t consider that people under 21 get sick and injured, you have to consider that sometimes, kids just experiment. You did. I did… most of us here did…. Why should we burden our children with a DUID because they smoked a little at a party last week then got pulled over and tested because of the way they dress or the stickers on their car or whatever?

    Kids will get a hold of it regardless, and doing so should not ruin their lives…. especially considering that youth in low income neighborhoods and young people of color will be more vulnerable to such prosecution, just as they have under drug war policies for years.

    I am in my mid thirties, but I was a teenager once, and, amazingly enough, I still consider them human beings and believe they should be allowed to make their own mistakes and learn from them. If they are clearly impaired and driving, they should be arrested… but zero tolerance means they would have to wait up to a month after smoking to safely drive without fear of arrest. I also think that young people should be shown compassion when they become very sick or are severely injured.

    I am trying to protect patients and young people from life-changing arrests, and you are trying to protect people who smoke alone at home to enhance their favorite TV show. You said you got the impression I am a teenager when in fact I have two degrees that make me much more qualified to understand this law than you seem to be. My impression of you is this: You are a very lonely person who has nobody to share his stash with (as that would be a felony under 502), lives in an apartment, and is so hated by his neighbors he fears they might report the smell of pot being emitted form his darkened den. You don’t make much money, so would never buy more than an ounce anyway, and have never suffered enough to understand the pain that many MMJ patients are in. You just want to get high and watch sci-fi movies because you prefer to live in a fantasy world where everything is how you wish it were rather than how it is. 502 IS a bad law… and you ARE an idiot.

  37. I’m not sure what world your living in, but an ounce is not very much when you consider that one plant can put you WAY over that limit… It is not even legal to grow under 502 so where will the “legal” ounces come from? So the college student with a dime bag in his pocket is safer, but the people who produce that dime bag can be sent to federal prison? How is that fair? Plus, you are ignoring the fact that people under 21 can not even possess an ounce, and the homeless will always be guilty of public consumption under 502. I have advocated for the homeless for many years, and so many of them were made homeless by the very types of debilitating injuries and illnesses that allow them a medical defense in court under MMJ laws. Why are you so eager to insult patients to advance the casual use of people who only use to get high?

  38. DavidTheExpert on

    Whoa, whoa, wait a second. You’re saying you think it should be legal for kids under 21 to buy cannabis? That’s just insane. First of all, no law without age restrictions will EVER pass, anywhere. Regardless of how harmless it is, the number one concern among parents is that they don’t want their kids to get ahold of it. This is one of the biggest points of this entire campaign; that it will make it HARDER for kids to get their hands on cannabis. This is a GOOD thing.

    I’m starting to get the impression that you’re just a teenager who’s bitter that you’ll still have to use a dealer rather than going to a store like the rest of us.

  39. You say: “State police will be absolutely powerless to bust you for possession of cannabis.”

    But the sentence is not complete. It should say State police will be absolutely powerless to bust you for possession of cannabis, unless you are under 21, have more than one ounce, share with your friends, buy it from a dealer, grow it, consume it in public, display it in public, or drive the next morning.

    What I have a hard time understanding is exactly when it is legal under 502… because it seems to me it is only legal if you are 21, buy less than one ounce at a state store, smoke it alone at home with the shades drawn and avoid driving for a week or so while you drink detox tea so you can be certain not to fail the invasive and unscientific DUID tests.

    Police don’t generally bust down doors because a neighbor smells weed. We already have laws on the books in Seattle that make it a low priority for law enforcement, and since SOOOOO many people have made the effort to get off their couch and go see a doctor to get an authorization, police are even less likely to “bust down your door” knowing you could be a patient. Because you are healthy… or too lazy to see a doctor, you want to punish patients who are working within a GOOD SYSTEM so that casual stoners can have the illusion of protection? Really? My Dog!!! You are not the sharpest crayon in the box.

  40. I think it is awful that you are willing to ruin good people’s lives by exposing them to federal prosecution for a headline. The MMJ community are not evil profiteers who deserve to go to prison for your PR campaign. The larger issues at stake are the lives of real people who will in fact be more vulnerable to arrest under 502. The feds have already stated that they will sue the state to obtain the names of all providers and employees of state stores who will be guilty under federal law for trafficking. That wasn’t the case with Medical Marijuana laws because it is much more politically sensitive to prosecute cancer patients and veterans with war injuries and such, and doctor patient confidentiality makes it more difficult to prosecute patients. However, a legalization measure like this will not only invite federal prosecution, it seeks to tax the hell out of something that is not legal on a federal level, so the feds can actually sue the state for those taxes as well. The climate is changing BECAUSE of the medical marijuana community. Please do not insult them simply because you can not see the bigger picture and are ill-informed.

  41. DavidTheExpert on

    “You would have to be a total moron to call this backdoor prohibition any kind of progress.”

    Yes, definitely. There is nothing in I-502 which makes buying or possessing cannabis MORE illegal. It’s already illegal to drive under the influence of THC. It’s already illegal to buy cannabis on the black market. It’s already illegal to smoke cannabis to alleviate your chemotherapy side effects, by federal law.

    What I-502 does is REMOVE STATE PENALTIES for possession of < 1 ounce of cannabis. That means that the local police precinct will not be able to bust down your door at 3:00 AM because someone smelled smoke. That means that a cancer patient will not have to spend a year in jail when he accidentally drops his joint out of his pocket in front of a cop.

    This initiative is not perfect. It doesn't make cannabis 100% legal for all citizens everywhere forever. That would be wonderful, but we don't live in the magical land of Oz. 502 does NOT make it MORE ILLEGAL. It will be EXACTLY AS ILLEGAL AS IT IS NOW on a federal level, but LEGAL ON A STATE LEVEL. Do you not understand this? State police will be absolutely powerless to bust you for possession of cannabis. Hands down. That's it. That's legal cannabis. Do you understand?

  42. We don’t make progress by being idiots who see the word “legalization” and look no further. Progress is made by educating ones self and reading the entire bill to make an informed choice. It feels strange to me to vote against 502, but upon close examination, the actual language of the law does not hold up to the title it was given. Political science 101 teaches us that if you repeat a lie often enough, there is a segment of the population that will want to believe it. Calling 502 legalization is a lie. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It says legalization while at the same time exposes any person who grows, consumes medically, consumes below the age of 21, consumes in public (where else might the homeless consume?) etc. to federal prosecution. People like to say it will help fund education through taxes, but I can’t imagine anybody who would be willing to grow for state stores if it means giving their name and address to the feds. So where are they going to get their product? Also, employees of state stores would be vulnerable to federal trafficking charges, so who is going to take that risk to sell it? It will be “legal” except that there will be no where to buy it legally, so the black market will thrive… and be able to up their prices to something closer to the heavily taxed prices at the state stores while still under cutting them enough to shut them down. And since it will still be illegal to buy outside of the non-existent state stores, you will always be committing a felony when you obtain your “legal” weed. You would have to be a total moron to call this backdoor prohibition any kind of progress.

  43. Private prisons now run for profit corporations that produce, among other things, uniforms for military and civil service personnel. These corporations which thrive off slave labor from prisoners have secured contracts that they have taken from other American businesses like American Apparel, costing those paid workers their jobs. These prison profiteers will certainly benefit if 502 passes as there will be a lot more people in prison for doing things they did with relative safety under the MMJ laws…. which by the way we worked really hard for. Why is the 502 crowd so willing to insult the people who worked hard for patients rights and created a system in which anybody with an authorization could safely and legally purchase cannabis and feel comforted by the knowledge that they can use a medical defense in court should the worst happen? Under 502, patients will lose their medical defense. It is a step backwards. It is also incredibly selfish to put the needs of casual stoners (who by the way will also be at more risk of arrest under 502 because of trafficking, DUID, age restrictions, and public display clauses) above legitimate medical users who have worked hard for the massive progress we have made toward REAL legalization in the MMJ community.

  44. 502 is a very bad law that will push off meaningful reform for years to come and is nothing close to legalization. Even if you don’t look at the DUID clause, there are still a number of good reasons to vote no including the fact that it will be illegal to grow and people under 21, including medical marijuana patients with debilitating injuries and terminal illnesses will lose their rights all together. It is also unfair to call MMJ providers profiteers when the sole motivation of this bill is to have a monopoly on weed pushing small growers out of the business by exposing them to federal prosecution thus handing those profits to corporate persons who are more difficult to prosecute. I’d rather smoke weed grown by good people who have worked within the MMJ community and earned legitimate incomes for themselves while providing safe legal access than weed grown by Marlborro. Furthermore, it is still illegal to possess anything above an ounce, to sell, to share, to smoke publicly,or to purchase outside of state stores under 502. It leaves every single criminal penalty for marijuana possession on the books and only creates a very few exceptions. In fact, it has been proven that public display clauses like that in 502 make it possible for an officer to ask a person to empty their pockets, then arrest them for “publicly displaying” their stash once they have. And when you do examine the DUID clause on top of that you realize that medical users as well as all users under 21 will be at a greater risk for life changing arrests if it passes. Many people are also concerned that with Washington law enforcements history of abusive behavior toward the poor, homeless and people of color, public display and DUID clauses will be more heavily enforced amongst those marginalized communities. There is a much better initiative from Sensible Washington ready for next year’s ballot. We can wait for MEANINGFUL REFORM.

  45. If that was what I said, you might have an argument there. Look at the laws and the science and you will see I am right. NORML has campaigned against a 5 nanogram per se standard and only this year decided it was best for cannabis patients to “take one for the movement” and ignore the flaw in the law. Laugh it up and keep the reefer madness quotes coming, Mr Umm.

  46. When your doing 60mph in a 50mph zone and your car smells like good hash with a half burnt bowl – Or, when your tail light is out and you’ve been smoking and trimming all day, with a half smoked joint – then you get a DUI, today. Period. Per se be dammed.

    Same with alcohol. Drive fast or dumb. Smell like booze? Open container? You’re probably screwed.

    People who oppose the DUI are not being responsible adults in a modern society. If there was no metal, no ceramic, no plastic, etc. and all we had was a plant from seed, then it wouldn’t be an issue. But, cars are big heavy things that kill people.

    Read your “doctors recommendation” for medical cannabis. It clearly states not to operate heavy machinery while stoned.

    Now, sure, some of you smoke all the time, for pain and nausea or a valid condition. Just like some people are hooked on pain killers. But, maybe, if you could stop smoking – for even a few hours a day – you would see things a little different. You know, like people who aren’t stoned all the time see things.

    I like weed. But I like life more, weed just adds a certain quality to it.

    I’ll take my right to possession and gamble a state privilege to drive.

    I know it’s Halloween, but cops aren’t going to become Nazi Vampires sucking the blood out of everyone with a drivers license just to see if they have been smoking pot.

  47. douche…I mean duece 42. I’m with you man! When you drive – do drugs! Yeah man! Like cheech and chong, it’s not wrong man. Dude. What was the question? Oh yea, I drive better stoned, and pretty good drunk. Fuck it man – kill all the laws. Yeah.

  48. Please show me the links to where “every economist whose ever lived” has said that about I-502.

    They obviously didn’t read the tax structure LOL

  49. I see. So the King County Prosecutors office lied in a Senate hearing? Don’t think so! LOL

  50. LOL…your prices will go UP under I-502! Read the tax plan. Black market thrives under I-502.

  51. I’m a patient. I think it’s great! I won’t have to pay black market rip off prices for my meds… hahahaha I like riding in front of the bus.

  52. For a moment there I forgot that I-502 has been endorsed by the major marijuana law reform groups in the country, including the Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, SAFER, Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU, and NORML. And then, encouraging others to vote with the drug czar, Steinborn and Hiatt…and you. We can do without them.

  53. Ingrate. Peter Lewis just funded the Massachusetts medical legalization initiative. Lewis got arrested for marijuana and decided he wanted to change the laws and repeal prohibition.

  54. And I say again, the drug czar does not support 5 ng active THC limits. That would require him to accept that ANY use of marijuana is permitted and tolerated. As my post previously pointed out, the drug czar does not support I-502 and he firmly rejects anything other than zero tolerance per se THC levels.

  55. Lol, Sensible Washington are such frauds. After this election it will be over for them.
    Thanks for the smackdown Russ.

  56. I see. Instead of putting the blame where it rightly belongs, “THE LAWS”, you instead demonize the medical cannabis providers. LOL

    Now your true stripes have been revealed!

  57. Minor element! LOL. It goes into effect this December. The cops already said there will be MORE arrests because of the DUI. Who’s lying now. I already proved it with the cops own words! LOL


  58. The Coherent Conspiracy on

    Oregon’s initiative is a joke, and its front man is a criminal. Major contributors don’t throw their money away, they support winnable campaigns.

  59. I just did and they BOTH left it in the controlled substances list! Hello?!?!?!

    REscheduling is NOT removing!

    Alcohol and tobacco are NOT ON THE LIST.

  60. The Coherent Conspiracy on

    Its in black and white. DUID is a minor element of 502, which LE believes will amount to few arrests and require very little additional funding.

    If you want to ignore reality go ahead – but stop lying,

  61. The Factual Conspiracy on

    Both states reclassified cannabis, and removed it from schedule I.

    It accomplished nothing, Look it up.

  62. Oregon and Iowa did not remove cannabis from the controlled substances list. They rescheduled it. That is not the same as removing it. Alcohol and tobacco are NOT on the controlled substances list.

  63. Not all! The fed’s grower is at the University of Mississippi. The send out joints to 4 patients. And if you think nobody has been brought up on Federal charges, you need to change your name.

  64. Oh I see…so where did Mr Lewis get his money to donate? Did he divest himself of all his stock shares before getting involved in Washington State? Doubt it! Why isn’t he supporting Oregon’s initiative?

    “The world is not out to get you.”

    Yeah…because people who use cannabis have never been targeted for arrest.

  65. The Factual Conspiracy on

    The federal laws “on the books” declare every medical dispensary a major illicit business, subject to multi-year prison terms and wholesale asset forfeiture.

    Current policy is to send angry letters to shady dispensaries near schools & parks ASKING them to close. People are rarely arrested, and even more rarely charged with federal crimes.

    Sounds like a real diabolical scheme to shut down medical cannabis….

  66. The Factual Conspiracy on

    The donor you’re referring to is Peter Lewis, not his insurance company.

    Lewis is a well known pot-smoker, and long-time advocate for legalization. He stands to gain nothing, and his involvement is in no way suspicious.

    The world is not out to get you.

  67. Not my apocolypse, that is all I-502. I voted NO and am not a cop. You wish I made it up. Fewer than 200? LOL

    “It means on Dec 6.1 oz and under is legal”

    Sorry…that’s not legalization. That’s DECRIM.

    No legal sales, no legal buds, bud!

    I’ve been through the court system. Can’t fool me!

  68. The Factual Conspiracy on

    States have already experimented with taking cannabis off the CS list.

    IT DOESN’T DO ANYTHING. The only thing the CS list does is create the need for “dispensaries”, since pharmacies can’t sell schedule 1 drugs – that’s it. It has nothing to do with “laws on the books”, or whether we can decriminalize an oz, or let people grow and sell cannabis. The two issues are mutually exclusive.

    You want legalization – you need to do it by STATUTE!

  69. The Factual Conspiracy on

    Sounds like a reasonable use of funds earmarked for treatment and prevention.

    What’s your point? That we’re going to tax something, and then someone is going to spend the money?

    How scandalous.

  70. The Factual Conspiracy on

    What is your point?

    That less than 0.25% of all expected revenues are earmarked to pay for your DUID apocalypse? (less than 600k / year)

    That WSP expects to issue fewer than 200 DUID citations per year?

    That the date of implementation for licensing procedures is left to the LCB?

    As far as legal ounces, what do you think this means:

    “Portions of the initiative pertaining to….decriminalization of marijuana possession take effect Dec. 6, 2012”

    It means on Dec 6.1 oz and under is legal (regardless of origin).

    Where do “more arrests, more prosecutions, and more incarcerations” come in exactly?

    Its almost like you made it all up….

  71. Really? Show me where those are on the controlled substances list. Can I get busted for sharing a cigarette with my adult friends? I can buy a six pack and give them to my friends without getting arrested.

    Now you are the one looking silly here.

  72. Roger A. Roffman, Professor Emeritus
    DSW, University of California, Berkeley

    “Professor Roger Roffman’s research interests focus on behavioral interventions in the fields of addictive disorders…”

    Yep…he wants some of that tax money big time! LOL

  73. Here’s some facts I-502 supporters don’t want you to see:

    Fiscal Impact through Fiscal Year 2017
    “…the initiative’s provisions related to driving under the influence of marijuana, which are not affected by federal criminal law enforcement, are estimated to generate known state fee revenue of $4,295,000 and known state agency costs of $2,754,000 over five fiscal years.”

    “Portions of the initiative pertaining to driving under the influence of marijuana and the decriminalization of marijuana possession take effect Dec. 6, 2012. There is no date certain for implementation of the licensing and taxation portions of the initiative.”

    “State and Local Government Law Enforcement Cost Assumptions

    The state, counties and cities are anticipated to experience increased costs from additional driving while under the influence administrative actions, arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations.”


    When a cop tells you he is going to arrest you, better pay attention!

    Legal ounces? Good luck with that!


  74. The Get-the-Dopers Conspiracy on

    Your lying. (or maybe your just really stupid…)

    The entire business community has been silent – Pharma, alcohol & tobacco have nothing to do with 502.

    The “substance-abuse-counselors” (mostly Derek Franklin) have been out against 502.

    The drug testers have said nothing – and probably don’t care either way.

    The cops (mostly Pat Slack and the Washington Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs) have also voiced their opposition to 502.

    When you say things in public that are not true – you look stupid.

  75. “A per se drugged driving law is one in which a specified level of a drug in the body of a driver is defined as an offense.”

    “In concept it is not necessary to prove driver impairment to convict an offender under a per se law.”

    I-502 DUI is FEDERAL POLICY, written by a former federal prosecutor!

    This is why the ONDCP has not campaigned against I-502 beyond the few early false debates set up by Alison Holcomb.


  76. Yeah…too bad the King County Prosecutors office already exposed this sham. Impairment is not required to convict under per se laws! Vern Fonk AND Progressive Insurance loves I-502! MO MONEY! Shapoopi! http://youtu.be/ArMvjy8egRg

  77. The Get-the-Dopers Conspiracy on

    Everything you say is utterly and completely without factual merit.

    Impairment is a fundamental part of any DUI stop & arrest. There is just no way for it ever to be “no longer required to get convictions”. Its the PC for the stop, the field test, the breathalyzer, and the blood draw.

    In the absence of provable impairment, a DUI case falls apart. Unless cops start violating the law, nothing changes post 502.

  78. The Get-the-Dopers Conspiracy on

    “corporate masters game plan”? Just how paranoid are you?

    There is no significant corporate money on either side of 502, and in the absence of substantial nation-wide reform and regulatory certainty – big business wont touch cannabis.

    “Undermine medical cannabis” – Why would anyone do that? Give me one reason, just one (attached to reality, please).

  79. DRUG CZAR – Americans are all-too familiar with the terrible consequences of drunk driving. We also are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of driving with distractions such as text messaging or talking on a cell phone. Working with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other Federal agencies, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is taking steps to highlight the growing problem of drugged driving.


    The National Drug Control Strategy includes a goal of reducing drugged driving in the United States 10% by the year 2015. Specifically, ONDCP aims to make preventing drugged driving a national priority on par with preventing drunk driving. To work toward this goal, the Strategy calls for:

    Encouraging states to adopt Per Se drug impairment laws;

    Collecting further data on drugged driving;

    Enhancing prevention of drugged driving by education communities and professionals;

    Providing increased training to law enforcement on identifying drugged drivers; and

    Developing standard screening methodologies for drug-testing labs to use in detecting the presence of drugs.


    502 is PER SE LAW straight out of the Drug Czar!


    502 BAD LAW and BAD KARMA

  80. The climate has already changed for the better, yet 502 chose to screw patients and providers. Bad karma!

  81. Bologna. The drug czar does not support 5 ng ctive THC limits. That would require him to accept that ANY use of marijuana is permitted and tolerated.

    Zero tolerance per se including metabolites is what the ONDCP is advancing–not a 5 ng limit for only active THC. Your suggestion that a 5 ng limit will be supported or the I-502 is supported by the drug czar–former or past–is pure misleading fiction.

    What they are really advocating is this: since they feel that driving and marijuana use is extremely dangerous, and since their goal is a drug free America, and since they dismiss the measurement of active THC as a measure of impairment while insisting the stoned driving is an epidemic, here’s what they want:
    People who are arrested for possession (not just driving) will be offered treatment with urine testing for metabolites instead of jail. If a test is failed or one does not follow through with treatment, the person is incarcerated and then given another chance to live a marijuana free life. Compliance eventually leads to the conviction being removed from ones record. This is the new compassionate, public health approach to marijuana use. Even Governor Christie supports it.

    Actually you are the one supporting the exact same position as the drug czar, which is to vote against repealing prohibition in Washington state.

  82. That’s not what they said when they were collecting signatures. It was called “legalization”. Already over 80% approve of medical cannabis and around 50% in favor of “legalization”. Too bad NAW didn’t pay attention to that or they would have seen supporting patients would have been the best strategy. However, because of their zeal to undermine patients and providers, they will have nobody to blame but themselves.

  83. Nice try. “I’m just sick of the abuse that the state of Colorado has taken from the medical marijuana industry,” So to get even, we screw them with a per se law! Thank you for confirming what we’ve known all along, that prohibitionists are trying everything they can do to undermine medical cannabis. We know the corporate masters game plan now. Thank you for that valuable information, notSpicoli!

  84. Too bad for your argument that impairment is no longer required to get convictions! What a bonus for prosecutors this is! MO MONEY for the police state!

  85. Legalization never made the ballot! You like the idea of screwing over patients and our youth. I get that.

  86. Drug Czar has been noticeably quiet in Washington State. Why? Because I-502 implements the Drug Czar’s “drugged driving” per se law on cannabis! More arrests, more convictions, more incarcerations and MO MONEY for the insurance man! Weeeeeeeeeeee

  87. Yeah…that’s why KING COUNTY prosecutors came out AGAINST per se laws on cannabis. They have the balls to speak the truth. Unnecessary, arbitrary and unscientific and the cops have already told us they are going to bust MORE people. Way to go…focus the police on kids for arrests. Throw patients under the bus, such a compassionate law. NOT

  88. the cops, pee testers, alcohol/tobacco/pill companies and drug rehabbers are the ones sponsoring this. LOL

  89. Thanks for confirming that if you are not showing evidence of impaired driving and evidence of impairment, you won’t have a problem. Or did the Fourth Amendment get repealed when I wasn’t looking?

    As for the law being “unscientific,” wrong. Unnecessary? The feds think it is necessary to have zero tolerance per se laws for active thc and metabolites. The legislature at any time could pass a per se ng limit by simply amending the current DUI law. Defining the per se limit at 5 ng active combined with the necessity to have probable cause and evidence of impairment precludes a legislative fiat.

  90. What two members? Jeff Steinborn is he only board member from Washington state. Who is the other? And Steinborn and Hiatt have been removed (dismissed) from their association with Washington NORML’s Advisory board.

  91. Propagandist projections used to justify the maintenance of prohibition is terrible for society. WWGKD? Just what you are doing. You proudly declare that you plan to vote with the cops, pee testers, alcohol/tobacco/pill companies and drug rehabbers to reject legalization of cannabis in WA, and that you favor continuing the expensive and damaging policies of arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating citizens who have cannabis–who don’t claim a ‘medical’ need for the herb.

    OK…your choice to be on the wrong side of the law and history. The fraud is that you are masquerading as something other than a defacto prohibitionist.

  92. Thank you for confirming that cannabis users are not any major threat to the road and this law is unnecessary arbitrary and unscientific.

  93. Thank you for showing us that I502 will not improve the situation. I changed my mind and voted no because of your wisdom here.

  94. I-502 has already been debunked many times over. It is a fraud on the people and a boon to prosecutors and the rest of the DUI industry. Because arresting kids and patients is good for society.

  95. Thank you for publishing this. Glad to see this story, and it makes me want to click on any Google News Alert that come sup with your url, like this one did. I still want to talk about why your logo looks so much like the Weedmaps logo, since I’m a branding expert and whatnot, but anyway weedblog is now something I am interested in. Look forward to some “Radical” post-election day coverage of the trifecta: WA, OR & CO

  96. If I-502 is defeated the Legislature may stiil adopt the 5 ng/ml limit anyway.

    It really is interesting that there are people who don’t understand that the only thing that goes away above 5 ng/ml is the affirmative defense. I constantly ask, how many Washingtonians have been pulled over for suspicion of cannabis addled driving, subsequently tested over 5 ng/ml and then successfully used an affirmative defense to gain an acquittal? Has there even been one?

    It’s really not hard to avoid being investigated for suspicion of impaired driving. Just don’t go out driving when you’re impaired. I’ve been using that strategy for almost 35 1/2 years and have never been investigated for suspicion of impaired driving.

    In those same 35 1/2 years I’ve met a lot of potheads. I worked practically full time as a cannabis law reform advocate in the first 3 or 4 years of the 1990s so I’ve met a lot of potheads. In that entire time I’ve been aware of 1 person who got investigated for suspicion of cannabis addled driving. This particular rocket scientist sat in a shopping center parking lot smoking pot. Then he decided it was time to leave, and backed his car into a police car. It’s just plain silly to worry about people like him vs the 8,000 or so Washingtonians that are arrested and jailed each year for petty possession of cannabis. Yes sir, those people are jailed because currently petty possession of cannabis carries a mandatory term in jail in Washington State.

  97. In 2008 the voters of Massachusetts voted to decriminalize petty possession of cannabis up to one ounce. It had to go to the State Supreme Court but in the end that law destroyed the ability of the police to claim that the smell of burnt cannabis was probable cause to further investigate a crime.

    I do beg to differ on the smell of burnt cannabis in a car, that should be enough to start the process toward a blood draw. It wouldn’t be enough to get the car searched or used against the automobile’s passengers though. Neither would it in and of itself be enough to demand the blood draw but it would be enough to bring in the “drug recognition expert” (DRE).
    ———- ———- ———- ———- ———-
    quoted from document linked directly above:

    “Since the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is not a “criminal” offense, the odor of burnt marijuana is no longer enough for police officers to order a person from their car. That is the ruling in the April 19th SJC case of Com. v. Cruz.

    “Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the court ruled in a 5-1 decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland. Because the exit order issued to the defendant cannot be justified on any of the three permissible bases outlined in the Court’s ruling, the SJC held that the defendant’s incriminating response to the police officer’s query whether he had “anything on his person,” and the subsequent seizure of the crack cocaine itself must be suppressed.”

  98. You mean in Colorado where the 5 ng bill looks like it will pass at the next legislative session?

    May, 2012: A bill that would set a marijuana blood standard for drivers–similar to that of current blood alcohol standards–took a big step toward approval on Tuesday when it passed 18-17 in the Colorado Senate.

    The Associated Press reports that a single vote change from Sen. Nancy Spence (R-Centennial), who voted in favor of the bill, gave SB 12-117 the support it needed to pass.

    Spence had voted with opponents of the bill in 2011, but said that she is convinced that a standard for legal impairment is needed in Colorado. “I’m just sick of the abuse that the state of Colorado has taken from the medical marijuana industry,” Spence said.

    If passed, drivers under the influence of marijuana would be considered impaired and unfit to be driving if their blood contains 5 nanograms or more of THC per millimeter of whole blood.

    The bill now faces one more vote in the Senate and is expected to pass. It will then go to the house where the 5 nanogram legal limit was overwhelmingly approved last year 51-14.

    On May 15: the vote in the Senate tied, 17-17 when Senator Nancy Spence, whose vote made the difference between passage and failure, was on vacation. The bill is be reintroduced at the next session by Senator King and NORML predicts that it will pass.

    I-502 and the per se limit is linked to a quid pro quo: legalization. In Colorado they may well end up with a 5 ng limit and they may or may not have legalized marijuana. And, defining the per se limit avoids a zero per se limit that can be amended to our state’s DUI laws at any time.

  99. The GS Conspiracy on

    If you interested in facts:

    502 doesn’t make it any easier to get raided, arrested for possession, of given a DUID.

    It makes all of these things less likely. Buying an oz of marijuana will no longer be illegal – unless you’re selling drugs to strangers or carrying over-the-limit – you could not conceivably be arrested for a petty cannabis offense.

    You cant get your blood drawn without evidence of impairment, and a negative breathalyzer. Blood draws take hours – cops will be just as reluctant to bother with as they are now.

    Per-se limits establish specific levels that amount to a VIOLATION, not guilt. You still have to be found guilty by the court. The cops still have to prove that their equipment is accurate, that they maintained custody, that they respected your rights, and WHETHER THE OFFICER REALLY HAD EVIDENCE YOU WERE IMPAIRED.

    And King v Kentucky Isn’t relevant at all, and doesn’t allow anything new. It just says that officers can use obvious evidence of drug-use / sale (in this case, pot smoke in the hallway and a buy-bust target seen entering the residence) as evidence of a felony, and permission to enter a domicile. It in no-way allows law enforcement to circumvent the warrant requirement.

  100. DavidTheExpert on

    Exactly. I-502 is not perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than what we have now. We need to make progress NOW, and we will never make progress by bickering over every tiny detail. Pass it now, sort out the kinks later.

  101. “even a gram is enough cause for an officer to search you.”

    And that is different from the current situation?

    Pass the measure – change the climate.

  102. Which headline is more useful to the cause?

    Legalization effort fails Or: Legalization passes.

    Tactical losses for strategic wins. Think like a general. There are larger issues at stake. Changing the climate for one.

    What ever the law now it will not be enforced if the climate changes.

  103. You call my reasoning “nonsense”, yet you’re response is filled with inaccuracies.

    -“its like claiming a six-pack of beer can be used as evidence of illicit alcohol distribution”

    This argument is moot, because there’s no amount of beer you can possess that’s a felony amount. If you have beer, it’s not probable cause to search you because it’s legal. Cannabis will not be legal under I-502. If someone is in possession of an ounce, why would it not be probable cause for the officer to search them and make sure they’re not committing a felony, which they would be if they possessed 50% more than that? Of course an possession of an ounce would be probable cause for a search..

    -“A “raid” requires a search warrant. Unless law enforcement can produce
    an affidavit with substantial evidence that you have more than 1 oz – no

    Again, look at the point above. Beyond that, have you not heard of the recent case of Kentucky vs. King, which allows for warrant-less searches if they suspect drug use? A narrow exception for possession on the state level won’t effect this case, with was a U.S. Supreme Court case. I-502 also does nothing to alter RCW 10.31.100: Arrest without a warrant.

    – “And for the ten-thousandth time – DUID requires IMPAIRMENT.”

    Yeah, our current law requires impairment for a DUID. Per se DUID provisions simply require a blood test showing a specific amount of THC to establish guilt.

  104. The GS Conspiracy on

    First of all its “Probable Cause” not “Probably cause”.

    Second of all, everything you said is 100% wrong.

    502 legalizes an oz and under. Nothing about a person possessing 1 gram to 1 oz of cannabis gives an officer an articulable reason why the person is probably in violation of the law (aka “Probable Cause”). Your reasoning is nonsense – its like claiming a six-pack of beer can be used as evidence of illicit alcohol distribution.

    A “raid” requires a search warrant. Unless law enforcement can produce an affidavit with substantial evidence that you have more than 1 oz – no raid. On top of this, a raid is WAY beyond a cop’s discretion – you’d have to be a narcotics-target for an agency to actually spend the money for a raid.

    And for the ten-thousandth time – DUID requires IMPAIRMENT. Possessing an oz isn’t enough for a blood test. Period.

    Its a good idea to verify something before you regurgitate it in public.

    Vote YES 502

  105. Russ, you’re absolutely wrong about the fact that possessing an ounce or
    less under I-502 wouldn’t be probably cause to search you, raid you, or
    test your blood to see if you’re above the newly designated THC limit.
    You’re wrong, and many people have explained why you’re wrong –
    Initiative 502 doesn’t alter anything in regards to our state’s probably
    cause law, and given that an ounce and a half is a felony charge under
    I-502, even a gram is enough cause for an officer to search you.

  106. It’s distributing that you’re defending the 5ng/ml, and especially the absurd ZERO tolerance law, when you of all people should know that this limit is wrong. Not long ago you worked for an organization, NORML, which fought to defeat the same EXACT limit in Colorado.

    If you’re going to defend that the initiative is worth this new loss of liberty, that’s one thing, but it’s ridiculous to defend it as just: http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/09/is_i-502_legalization_its_dangerous_to_defend_bad.php

  107. Dear Radical Russ.

    Please use Disqus. Facebook will not allow My I-mac to display the text large enough for me to read it.


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