If Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana is approved, Washington will become one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. There are many reasons this is a bad idea. Legalization will lead to increased use by youth because of easier availability, and from observing the behavior of adults.
Marijuana is an illegal Schedule 1 drug. It will remain illegal at the federal level regardless of what the state determines. This will make the state out of compliance with federal law. This may result in funding sanctions.
I-502 will not result in increased revenue to the state. There will be societal costs to address the harmful effects of increased marijuana use as well as costs to administer and regulate the program. We know that alcohol, a legal drug, costs society $10 for every $1 obtained through taxation and fees. We will be looking at a similar scenario if marijuana is legalized. We are just beginning to learn about marijuana’s harmful effects physically, socially and psychologically.
Please don’t let Washington become a banner state for the marijuana legalization movement. Vote to defeat I-502.