Wash. activists file initiative to legalize pot

MONDAY, JAN. 11, 2010, 4:26 P.M.

SEATTLE — Five activists have filed a ballot initiative that would legalize all adult marijuana possession in Washington state.

Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers as well as the director of Seattle’s annual Hempfest. The group calls itself Sensible Washington, and says it’s time that the state’s government stop wasting money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or produce marijuana.

Douglas Hiatt, a lawyer who represents medical marijuana patients, told The Associated Press after filing the initiative Monday that the proposal would remove all state penalties for adult possession of pot. Criminal penalties for juvenile possession and for providing the drug to juveniles would remain in place. Marijuana would also remain illegal under federal law.

Hiatt says volunteers are lining up to collect the more than 241,000 valid signatures required to place the initiative on the November ballot.

Tags: marijuana

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