Spin Control

Marijuana measure goes to Legislature

OLYMPIA -- A measure that would decriminalize use and possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults was sent to the Legislature today after the Secretary of State's office certified it has more than enough signatures.

Initiative 502 had a slightly higher than normal error rate on the signatures checked, but has more than the required 241,153 signatures need, the elections office concluded.

That means the Legislature has three options on decriminalizing marijuana:

Pass the initiative as written, and let it become law.

Reject the initiative, which would put it on the November ballot.

Pass an alternative bill decriminalizing marijuana, which would put the initiative and the alternative on the November ballot.

Initiatives to the Legislature are somewhat rarer than initiatives to the people. The last successful initiative to the Legislature, the Secretary of State's office reported, was in 2004, and dealt with nuclear waste.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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