Washington - Initiative 502
Passed with 55.34% voting for the measure and 44.66% voting against.
Washington State Initiative Measure No. 502 (I-502) would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.
This measure would remove state-law prohibitions against producing, processing, and selling marijuana, subject to licensing and regulation by the liquor control board; allow limited possession of marijuana by persons aged twenty-one and over; and impose 25% excise taxes on wholesale and retail sales of marijuana, earmarking revenue for purposes that include substance-abuse prevention, research, education, and healthcare. Laws prohibiting driving under the influence would be amended to include maximum thresholds for THC blood concentration.
Key Features of Initiative Measure No. 502
Initiative Measure No. 502 will replace Washington’s ineffective and unjust marijuana laws with a regulated public health approach that will redirect law enforcement resources to more pressing priorities, generate new tax revenues for critical social services, and take marijuana out of the hands of violent drug cartels.
- Distribution to adults 21 and over through marijuana-only stores that are licensed and regulated through the state Liquor Control Board
- Production and processing of marijuana also licensed and regulated by the LCB, and restricted to Washington businesses
- Tight advertising restrictions
- Estimated $215 million in new excise, B&O, and retail sales tax each year1, with roughly $80 million going to state general fund and $135 million earmarked:
- Evidence-based prevention strategies targeting youth, chosen in consultation with UW Social Development Research Group2
- Dedicated funding stream for Healthy Youth Survey3
- Washington's Building Bridges program for at-risk youth4
- Science-based public education materials regarding health risks of marijuana use hosted by UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute5
- Research by UW and WSU into the short- and long-term effects of marijuana use, including driving impairment
- Dedicated marijuana Quitline analogous to tobacco Quitline operated by state Department of Health6
- Additional marijuana-related public health educational programs administered by Department of Health at the state and local level
- Biennial evaluation of impacts of law by Washington State Institute for Public Policy7
- Washington's Basic Health Plan
- Community health centers
- New marijuana DUI threshold of 5 ng/mL THC blood concentration8
Nov 6th Ballot Results
Uncertified election returns showed I-502 passing with over 55% of the vote in favor Immediately following this, The Oregonian called for the Oregon legislature to follow suit with a similar bill, and the incoming Mexican administration announced that it would reconsider its previous opposition to legalization. State agencies charged with regulating new marijuana businesses received over 300 inquiries the next day. Law enforcement began to respond, with the Seattle Police Department publishing a guide to legal marijuana use in Seattle as prosecutors in King and Pierce county quickly decided to drop all misdemeanor cases of marijuana possession.
|Washington Initiative 502 (Approved) Count in progress 11/08/12 14:56 |
1 See Fiscal Note for HB 1550 (2011)
4 Chapter 28A.175 RCW
8 See http://newapproachwa.ngphost.com/content/faq for more information.