Washington state’s latest marijuana legalization initiative is in jeopardy of not making the November ballot and the effort’s leader is blaming Democrats and other ordinarily pot-friendly organizations such as the ACLU.
To make the ballot, I-1068 supporters need to turn in nearly 242,000 valid signatures by June 30, but so far they have nowhere near that many. In a June 7 press release, a clearly upset I-1068 campaign director Philip Dawdy charges weak-kneed “armchair liberals” with not following through with financial support for the signature collection effort. Dawdy says people and organizations that should be pro pot legalization are keeping their distance in order to limit their political exposure.
The ACLU earlier this year issued a statement that it supports decriminalization of marijuana, but does not support I-1068. The initiative would make pot legal, but provides no real regulation of the drug, the ACLU says, and it would be unrealistic to regulate pot less than tobacco or alcohol. Marijuana, the rights group says, should be taxed and controlled like these other substances.
Initiative 1068 isn’t completely dead yet, although the signature deadline is mere days away. Sensible Washington, the group pushing the initiative, earlier this week paid to have petitions inserted into 80,000 copies of one of Seattle’s alternative weeklies, The Stranger. And Dawdy said in his press release that thousands of petitions still haven’t been returned. Maybe the signature gatherers have enough names but, aided by a bit of their cause, have procrastinated in turning in their homework.