King County Sheriff Endorses Marijuana Legalization

King County Sheriff Steve Strachan: I think the current situation is bad for the rule of law, bad for the criminal justice system and and it sends a bad message to our kids.

The movement to legalize marijuana gained more momentum this week with a nod from the King County Sheriff and another $1 million in donations, the Seattle Times is reporting.

Steve Strachan, who is running for election, told the Times Monday he would vote for Initiative 502, which would “bring clarity” to the conflicting state and federal laws regarding marijuana. “I think the current situation is bad for the rule of law, bad for the criminal justice system and and it sends a bad message to our kids.”

Strachan also said as a former school resource officer, he knows that marijuana is easier for kids to get than alcohol.

“With alcohol being highly regulated, we’re able to have a more reasonable discussion about it, in societies and in our families. If we treat marijuana like people are already informally treating it, you can make choices based on boundaries set by parents… (Currently) people are sort of winking at it. It lives it this kind of limbo –- its illegal, but also not. I think discussions will lead to better outcomes than the really ambiguous, confusing messages we’re sending to our kids.”

Strachan’s opponent, longtime Sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart, has also endorsed I-502.

According to the Secretary of State office’s website, I-502 would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over 21; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.

The effort to legalize marijuana also received an influx of money last week. With his $670,000 donation, Peter Lewis, the Progressive Insurance founder and marijuana-legalization advocate, has given $1.55 million to the cause, which has raised a total of nearly $4 million, the Times said.

The only organized opposition to I-502 is by a group of medical marijuana patients and retailers. No on 502 has raised $5,760.


Now that both candidates for King County Sheriff have endorsed I-502, are you more or less likely to support the measure? Which way will you vote? Tell us in comments.

John C October 11, 2012 at 12:18 AM
I already observe that typre of driving. Why should any more of it occur? Obviously the people driving that way are very likely high on something......the numbers could remain somewhat constant. If marijuana is legalized perhaps someone with an actual problem wouldn't be fearful of asking for help. The way things work now the system feeds off of these people's addictions.
Jordan October 21, 2012 at 12:37 AM
I used to grow marijuana in the early 1970's, and I can say for a fact that what I grew then was stronger (it was tested following an arrest) than what I can find now. It is arrogant to suggest that although humans have been using as well as manipulating for strength this plant for thousands of years, it has only been in the past 30 years that they figured out how to make it higher quality. In fact, a few years back a shamans marijuana stash was found in Northwestern China that dated to over 2,700 years old and had a higher THC content than the average medical marijuana available currently. The rest of your post is so ill-informed about marijuana that I seriously hope that as a "mental health professional" you are not working with narcotics or narcotics abuse.
Jordan October 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM
You should read the law, or just your voters' pamphlet, and then you would learn that with legalizing marijuana there will be increased penalties and enforcement of driving while high. If you did the smallest amount of research you would also learn that not only is marijuana as addictive as ice cream and no more, but that money gained from taxing marijuana sales would go to helping recovering addicts of actually drugs. The main cause of drug use is not the drug nor the availability of the drug (alcohol and tobacco are legal, that does not necessarily imply that every one is an alcoholic or smokes tobacco), but rather drug use is contributed to a host of socioeconomic and cultural issues the most common of which is poverty. Portugal decriminalized all drugs from marijuana to meth and they found that, rather than focusing on arresting and punishing people for drug use, but instead rehabilitation and fighting the reason for drug use, drug use in fact went down.
dorimonsonfan October 21, 2012 at 12:58 AM
i'd be all for the measure if it expanded personal freedom by allowing people to grow their own. but this sounds like just another way for government to become larger. frankly, i'd rather see hard working drug dealers make the money vs. just handing more over to politicians to be blown. after tax it probably will cost about the same as it does now, so people really shouldn't get too excited about the measure.
ski_fast October 24, 2012 at 02:58 AM
You people that work in the mental health profession amaze me. You state facts about marijuana that are not true and you ignore study after study showing its safety. It is almost painful to read all your lies. Laced with additives? What might those be? 70% stronger? High quality Hawaiian, Thai stick, and hash has always been available. Everything you said is right out of the reefer madness playbook.


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