This Woman & Her Vote

Cannabis activism is very new to me.
I have been a patient for the past 7 years.
I have understood what cannabis really is, and have been an actively promoting it’s use, and legalization, for only the last two years.

Standing up for things I believe in, is not new to me. Throughout my adult life; I have marched in “gay pride” marches, sat on the board of directors of an alternative high school, talked to city councils about adding youth recreation alternatives, volunteered for many organizations while raising my children (three, now in their 20s), and I have done my very best to be a conscientious voter.

My grandmother was born in 1919. She and my grandfather both believed very strongly in understanding the responsibility that comes along with the right to vote. “We (women) haven’t had the RIGHT long enough to take it for granted,” she said.

In her house, it was widely known by the barbed jokes that flew across the house come autumn; that her and my grandpa “cancelled each others vote.” But to NOT vote, was NOT acceptable!

I agree with grandma. One of my proudest achievements during the past two weekends; was the fact that I personally registered 4 new voters.  (I also made certain my OWN voters registration was up to date with my address change.)

These last few weeks I have had the opportunity to educate myself further about the initiatives that are on the ballot this year.
I have also had the chance to debate one in particular, I-502.

Steve Elliott, of “The Little Black Book of Marijuana” was quoted in L.A. Times, “I never in a million years imagined myself to be on a stage advocating against the passage of a marijuana legalization law.”

I ALSO would have NEVER imagined myself to be telling people to vote AGAINST a “marijuana legalization law.” Even before I understood that cannabis was a CURE, not just a palliative measure; I would never be behind a measure that would promote jailing someone for using marijuana. 

I-502 is NOT a good law. As I have been “yelling from the rooftops,” “FIVE ZERO BOOOOO!!!!”

When I read the text of the initiative, I didn’t get past the first page without a flashback to a memo I have in my possession from Governor Gregoire stating that she could not conscientiously enact a law which would put state workers at risk of federal prosecution for their duties as state employees.

On April 29, 2011, she forwarded a message to her staff and the Washington State Dept of Health stating that, at that point, she was not comfortable putting her work force in the position of being left out to dry where it came to being criminally and civilly liable under federal law for actions required of their position in state government.

As a former state worker, I applaud her decision to do her research and to support medical marijuana while attempting to legalize it on a federal basis and doing her best to protect those who work for the public.

It unjustly penalizes our youngest patients. It unjustly penalizes our young adults period. Driving is a privilege, yes. One I can’t imagine denying an 18 year old cancer patient, just because she smoked a joint yesterday. I can’t even imagine telling a 20 year old crohnes patient that he couldn’t drive to work, after eating an edible the night before.  It isn’t right. It isn’t okay. If ONE person is jailed under 502, it is too many.

When the federal government re-penalizes our young people by prohibiting anyone with a “drug” conviction to receive federal financial aid for college; enacting a measure which would add to that travesty, is barbaric.

As for the FBI doing background checks of any “verified grower:” 

“The state liquor control board may submit the criminal history record information check to the Washington state patrol and to the identification division of the federal bureau of investigation in order that these agencies may search their records for prior arrests and convictions of the individual or individuals who filled out the forms. The state liquor control board shall require fingerprinting of any applicant whose criminal history record information check is submitted to the federal bureau of investigation.”

Well, many people who I know that are currently growing some of the best medicine wouldn’t even THINK of  submitting their personal information to the federal government… Just sayin‘.

I believe that the best way to know what is in your food or your medicinal herbs; is to grow them yourself. It is especially important in a supplement that has the incredible wide-ranging effects, as cannabis does; on mind, body and soul.

I-502 would NOT allow “home-grows”.  That ALSO isn’t okay with me.

Do you want to create new ways to penalize cannabis users? If “no”, PLEASE join with me in voting NO on 502!!!!

This girl has read it. But I recommend EVERYONE always read EVERYTHING that they are voting on. Do your research for yourself. KNOW before you VOTE.

Full text of I-502 in PDF format:  http://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/i502.pdf

A link to the Hempfest I-502 debate from Toke of the Town: Legalization Or Sham? The I-502 Debate at Seattle Hempfest

Sensible Washington’s Deconstructing I-502: https://sensiblewashington.org/blog/i502/

Toke of the Town, “An Independent Review of Washington’s I-502 Legalization:” http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2012/08/an_independent_review_of_washingtons_i-502_legaliz.php

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