Poulsbo Legislator Says ‘Legalize It’

“I’m going to ask you a straightforward question: isn’t it true that you have, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a certain habit through association with certain undesirable people?” See the context here.

There has been significant scuttlebutt about decriminalizing marijuana in this state. Earlier we had fun with Bremerton’s beer caucus status in a post that mentioned that House Speaker Frank Chopp might be willing to discuss the idea.

House Bill 2401, however, would legalize marijuana, a significant step beyond the look-the-other-way stance of decriminalization. State Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, is one of the co-sponsors.

“I believe that we have done a terrible job on the war on drugs. The truth is there are many citizens who do smoke marijuana,” Appleton said. The legislator characterized pot as Washington’s largest cash crop, one that the state sees no revenue from.

And that may be one of the reasons to bring the conversation up now. “This would be a way of not only saving money by not having to prosecute people who use small amounts of pot,” she said, the state could tax it and sell it like it does liquor, at state liquor stores. “Millions of people smoke pot and we’re not deriving any taxation from it.”

Not that she’s optimistic Washingtonians will be able to purchase weed over the counter anytime soon. “I don’t have any illusions that this is going to pass this year, but we’ve never had the conversation in a hearing or otherwise,” she said.

Appleton said Chopp has indicated he would allow a conversation about marijuana this session.

I’ll be talking to someone from law enforcement for a story for print and the main site this weekend.

California may be headed toward legalization, either through legislation or voter initiative. The federal government could disallow such a move. If California does successfully legalize marijuana, however, it makes it all the more likely that Oregon and Washington would follow suit. Better that, many will argue, then letting potential tax dollars leave the state.

Appleton said she does not smoke marijuana herself. Her husband died of cancer a year ago. “Pot was probably something that could have made him pain free. So it is personal to me in the sense that I think we spend too much time putting people in jail for doing something millions of people do and get away with,” she said.

9 thoughts on “Poulsbo Legislator Says ‘Legalize It’

  1. Watched the best movie on this topic I have seen recently. Watch “The Union”. It shows how ludicris is it that alchohol and nicotine are legal but pot is not.

  2. I love the guy’s hair in the pic. Is that from smoking marijuana?

    From the article:

    “Washington’s largest cash crop, one that the state sees no revenue from.”

    “…saving money by not having to prosecute people…”

    “…the state could tax it…”

    “Millions of people smoke pot and we’re not deriving any taxation from it.”

    “…we spend too much time putting people in jail for doing something millions of people do…”

    “Pot was probably sonmething that could have made him pain free.”

    Incredible! A Politician that doesn’t have their mind stuck in 1955!

    Well Sherry Appleton, you most certainly have my vote, and probably the vast majority of thinking Kitsap Peninsula’s, as well. The Moraloozers would never allow anything that would take unnecessary pain away (But it’s not God’s Will!), so please don’t pay too much attention to their self-righteous, ignorant rantings.

  3. Very brave of Rep. Appleton to speak up. Perhaps times are so tough there are no sacred cows left, including re-examining our drug laws.

  4. Saw “The Union” about a month ago- excellent documentary.

    In a free society- peaceable, responsible adult choices should be left to individuals to make.

  5. I guess when good people are losing their jobs over unsubstantiated rumors about drug use, it’s time for our community leaders to speak up.

  6. Willy,

    If you click on the link in the photo caption, you’ll see the movie this character (and his hair) comes from.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Caucus

  7. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your husband, Representative Appleton. Thank you for co-sponsoring the bill that is allowing the discussion to happen.

    I can’t weigh in on whether pot should be decriminalized, I don’t know enough about it. What I find unacceptable is the limbo and gray areas surrounding both the use and attitudes about the use of marijuana. It is against the law.

    Either decriminalize it or put some teeth into the slander laws and then institute some across the board drug testing. Let the people who start and perpetuate rumors about people’s drug use understand that running their mouths caused the loss of personal liberty that is mandatory drug testing. I don’t believe in drug testing in theory, but I do believe slander about a person’s drug use is a bigger loss of liberty, and so, in this instance, drug testing is the lesser of two evils.

    I also believe the career ending and reputation shredding slander and innuendo regarding drug use is more damaging to society than any actual pot smoking.

  8. Thank you Steven. I’m familiar with the Movie.

    Many people feel “Reefer Madness” is a Documentary.

    It’s Propaganda. Show it to people who have smoked a little pot, and they’ll be in hysterics. Not hysterical like the pyschco that gets stoned and then, I don’t remember, what’d he do, didn’t he murder half a dozen or so people with a cleaver or whatever — the guaranteed affects of getting high on pot — according to Reefer Madness — and also to those who bought the propaganda, hook, line, and stinker…

    But his hair was most fetching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: