Sooooo, if we can tolerate hops, barley, wheat and grape grows, what’s so horrible about legally regulated cannabis in a tightly controlled environment? And, with 40 to 50 jobs to boot! Our future economic vitality is wedded to a gainfully employed citizenry. Further, increased employment decreases crime.
Hopefully, our community will “grow” into reality regarding truth about marijuana. We’re all faced with the important task of educating away fear fostered by ignorance. A good place to start is the “Normal” website. It’s a trusted resource for accurate information regarding cannabis. And, since facts and fears are mutually exclusive, it’s incumbent upon us to stock up on facts and then respectfully promulgate.
The new law legalizes possession of marijuana for adults 21 and older. Only cannabis grown by specially-licensed Washington grow operations will be legal. And, the product can be sold only in privately operated stores licensed and regulated by Washington state. Initiative 502 stipulates a 25 percent sales tax, with 40 percent going to the state general fund and local budgets. The balance of this sales tax revenue will be invested in substance-abuse prevention, research, education and health care.
I have an immense respect for our city and county law enforcement folks. They’re among the most capable and conscientious police professions in the state. The peoples’ I-502 brought in an entirely new paradigm regarding marijuana. I have every confidence these professionals’ skills and experience will quickly adapt to Washington state law by redirecting their focus toward keeping BOTH alcohol and cannabis out of the hands of minors. Times they are a changin’, and change ain’t easy, but neither is it all-bad!
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on www.hometowndebate.com 3/27/13. If you would like to respond to this story go to hometowndebate.com