Marijuana Ballot Initiatives

GOP Senate Candidate Endorses Washington's Marijuana Initiative, Incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell Opposes It

He also wants to end the war in Afghanistan


but what's his stance on abortion??

Washington is one of three states (with Oregon and Colorado) which will have an initiative on marijuana legalization on the ballot in November, and as Reason 24/7 noted its Republican Senate candidate, Michael Baumgartner, became the first state-wide candidate to endorse the measure. Washington's governor is not running for re-election, but both the Democrat and Republican vying to replace him oppose the initiative, with the Republican candidate, Rob McKenna, going so far as to say legalizing marijuana is not a states' rights issue and that there's "federal supremacy when it comes to laws like this." Bizarrely, McKenna won't even say what he'd do if the initiative passed, given his antagonistic stance, writing it off as not having a chance to pass. A poll taken in the state last month shows the initiative enjoying support from 57 percent of respondents.

 Baumgartner, meanwhile, is down some 20 points in the polls. His low-key campaign got some attention over the summer when he responded to an article linking his position on abortion to Todd Akin with a "fuck you" there's a war going in Afghanistan response. The candidate is one of a growing number of Republicans opposed to the war, though any growing support among elected Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) for marijuana legislation is still a long ways away, especially considering the conventional wisdom still believes higher youth turnout in favor of marijuana legalization ought to help the president, despite his clear status as a drug warrior.

In fact, Barack Obama's supporters are pushing the delusion that he could very well end the war on drugs after his re-election, or even that he's already begun to do so. This, of course, could not be further from the truth. So much for "empathy". 

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  1. Unless he switches parties, they’ll just shit all over the guy anyway. He’s a filthy Rethuglicant, after all, and they can’t be trusted to lead the provinces of Hussein I’s empire into the bold future.

    1. Cantwell is going to win…this might give him a tiny bump but not enough to matter.

      Dems really do not need to shit on Republicans in this state. It is just a given that the dem will win.

      Scare tactics really only come into play in state wide elections when initiatives come into play that might limit government.

  2. Damn shame, seems like he would be a good senator.

    1. Baumgartner wants to end the war in Afghanistan, legalize pot in Washington, end warrantless wiretapping and indefinate detention, and preserve social security and medicare. In many ways he’s more of a liberal than Cuntwell. But liberalism isn’t about nonviolence and civil rights anymore. Its about aborting fetuses and sticking it to those damned rich people. He’s going to get crushed in a landslide, and Cuntwell will be right back in the senate, voting for every war and erosion of civil liberties that she can.

  3. I actually was just reading a Seattle Times article about the opposition to I-502, and it noted that it was weak, with no visible opposition from law enforcement or even prosecutors. This is very promising.

    1. Are there any prohibitionist tendencies in the general community? Because, for some reason, I feel a Million Mom March-esque shitstorm coming your way on this one.

    2. See my comment below for a possible reason.

      1. 5 nanograms?!? No wonder the cops aren’t opposing the initiative. Those sneaky fucks. Wow.

        1. Perhaps Jacob Sullum could tell us how long it stays in the blood, and would a blood draw give a different result than a piss test?

          1. I say we just draw blood from Episiarch and then piss on him. Seems way easier than bothering Sullum.

            1. We just did that last Friday, Hugh, or have you forgotten already? You did take a bunch of Quaaludes, so I guess your memory might be faulty.

              1. I, for one, refuse to partake in any showers, golden or otherwise, unless a full Portugese Breakfast option is on the table.

  4. The WA pot initiative looks like it could pass, but the scary thing is the DUI clause. Anything more than five nanograms is considered the same as .08% bac. Seems like an excuse to bust a shitload of people.

    1. Holy shit. Nothing good ever comes without strings, does it?

    2. umm how do the cops ever get a sample to test?

      They can’t make you give them your blood.

      1. What happens if you refuse a blood draw with a suspected dui? My guess is you get beat up and go to jail. This would be the same.

        1. What happens if you refuse a blood draw with a suspected dui?

          They don’t draw blood. They make you take a breathalyzer.

          1. My understanding is that you want to refuse to blow because of stupid corrupt cops using an inaccurate machine they don’t understand.

          2. What happens, at least where I live, is that they take your license anyway. They can’t force a blood or breath test without a warrant, but they can pull your license. And the license revocation is a civil matter, so if they don’t want to give it back (if they can’t make a DUI case), it can be a big pain in the ass to get it back before 6 months.

        2. sage do you live here?

          Did you just move here?

          1. Lived here since 95.

        3. Well, in NH at least, if you refuse a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, you automatically lose your licence (for a month I think) regardless of whether you were inebriated or not.

          1. Jesus. Can someone remind me why the Free State Project chose NH?

            1. Only a month? Nearly every state (if not all) have an implied consent law, and the penalty is usually more like 6 months.

              1. Its a whole year in MN. Bit that bullet twice…

            2. Well, I think most states have pretty much the same DUI laws. Nh has (relatively) good gun laws, no income or sales tax and mostly not too awful business regulations. Also, fairly small population, so it is easier to make a difference. I don’t know that it is the most libertarian state, but we do OK compared to most, I think. Especially the rest of the North East.

            3. Jesus. Can someone remind me why the Free State Project chose NH?

              Because in 2010, NH repealed all knife laws.

    3. It’s really a public transportation initiative.

  5. He has got my vote.

    Though I was probably going to vote for him anyway.

    Washington has been dominated by one party for far too long.

    1. I’ll vote for him if there’s no libertarian on the ticket.

      1. Washington state.

        There are no libertarians on state and local general elections. Only the top two progress from the primaries.

        1. Isn’t that convenient.

          1. I guess….but now in one party dominated areas of the state you get two democrats running against each other or two Republicans in the general election. When before you had two of the same party in the primary which no one pay attention to and no contest in the general. Those races suddenly become competitive.

            In many ways it weakens the parties…if you are a libertarian just choose the dominant party in your area and run as that.

  6. So pot is going to be legal while fatty foods and sugary drinks are going to be illegal? How does the cognitive dissonance work? No evil corporations (yet)?

    1. Can’t smoke cigarettes in bars in Washington state….and that was passed by initiative.

      1. Can’t smoke cigarettes in bars in Washington state….and that was passed by initiative

        Is the act of smoking pot going to be legal?

        1. If this passes?

          In bars?

          If it passes it will be legal to smoke but not legal to smoke it in bars would be my guess.

          Though it would be pretty funny if it ends being legal to smoke pot in bars but not cigarettes.

          1. Though it would be pretty funny if it ends being legal to smoke pot in bars but not cigarettes.

            That would be hilarious.

            What if they ban smoking in all public spaces? Will it be illegal to smoke pot too?

          2. I wonder if the smoking ban law just says smoking or if it specifically mentions tobacco smoking. If it is the latter, that scenario seem s plausible.

            1. Well here’s Toronto’s anti-smoking by-law.

              It does state that a health warning sign specifically mentions tobacco but defines smoking as “carrying of a lighted cigar or cigarette, pipe
              or any other lighted smoking equipment.”

          3. NY’s recent anti-smoking laws (not the old fire code ones) are specific to tobacco.

    2. The only significant reason that there’s any remaining sympathy on the left for drug legalization is that drugs are associated with the 1960s, and a major emotional reason for opposition to it on the right is… drugs are associated with the 1960s. Drugs are the odd man out on both sides of the political spectrum when it comes to the “should people be allowed to consume what they want?” question, to the degree that the left supports drug legalization at all, which is not much.

      If there had been no drug laws, and hence drugs were sold by big companies the same as everything else, we’d be seeing liberals filing lawsuits and calling for Congressional hearings against Big Cannabis, accusing R. J. Reynolds of marketing to kids with their Mary Jane cartoon mascot and protests against Monsato’s genetically-engineered marijuana plants.

  7. Not being too familiar with the ins ampersand outs of Washighton politics and also being from a state without an iniatative/referendum process (damn you Texas!), can anyone enlighten me on the outcome when the drug warriors seek to challenge passage in court? They only call it juducial activism when they don’t agree with it and call it judicial review when they do agree. How are WA courts going to handle this? Thanks.

    1. Initiatives that are very unpopular with the powers that be generally are enforced with little legal challenge.

      Though our current governor got around one of tax laws by claiming it was an emergency a few years back…but the law technically allowed that.

      We got a lot of passed initiatives that limit taxes that the dems hate but they do not bring legal challenge to.

      Also I do not think in their heart of hearts the dems hate pot legalization…they just do not want the possible political fall out they may get for supporting it.

      Washington also is pretty lax in its pot laws and enforcement.

      If it passes my guess is that it will stay passed.

    2. How are WA courts going to handle this?

      There will not be a strong challenge.

      It is the federal courts you have to worry about.

      1. I don’t see why the feds would challenge this at all, when they can simply proceed in individual cases under federal law.

        1. If pot is legal then the state will come into possession of pot and pot growing facilities through civil means.

          In other words the state will see it as valuable property while the feds will see it as illicit. Are the feds going to put county treasurers into jail for owning pot growing facilities when they put tax sale property up for auction?

          Also the state has a responsibility to protect peoples legal property.

          This will get complicated and the feds could bring into court.

    3. being from a state without an iniatative/referendum process (damn you Texas!)

      Well we kind of do with voting on constitutional amendments (which are very common).

      1. I will agree with that only qualify by saying that it requires 2/3 vote of the legislature beforing being put to the public for ratification. I’d really like to see a citizen iniative process here, but definitely not holding my breath.

  8. Maria Cuntwell commits unethical political practices in the conduction of her duties regarding the Spokane trailer park hooking trade.


    1. Unleash the Kraken?

      1. The family values Kraken, yes.

        1. totally stealing this

          Sexual Harassment Panda
          Family Values Kraken

  10. He wants to end the war and drugs, he wants to end the war on Muslims, but guess why the Democraps hate him? Because he wants to stop killing the unborn.

    1. There is no war on Muslims.

      1. +1.

    2. Because he wants to stop killing the unborn.

      Abortions were legal in Washington State before Roe v Wade. It is political suicide in a state wide election to be a heavy anti-abortionist in this state.

  11. These dudes totally make a lot of sense man. WOw.

  12. I forgot to vote for him. Oops.

  13. I find this at the same time very promising, exactly what I want to see, and at the same time very disturbing. I am sure I am not going to exactly shock those here with this revelation, but todays so called liberals are not exactly liberals. They are statist sheep.

    All the GOP needs is more candidates like this, nationwide, and eventually they will destroy the Dems. The GOP establishment is way too stupid to realize that. But this is exactly Ron Pauls vision. And I still cannot say that he is wrong. We take over the GOP, or damn them to oblivion. Libertarians are their only hope for survival. The only hope for the survival of the Dems is a totally dependant lower class and total elimination of the middle class. And in the long term that plan is doomed.

  14. Write me off as a silly dreamer if you wish, but I’ve begun to think there is a good chance Obama might suddenly become a lot more pro-pot in late 2016 if he wins the re-election. (Not that that’s a particularly good excuse to vote for him, anyway)

    Not because he was a stoner in high school and feels it’s his duty to help the cause, but because he’s a two-faced politician who changes his whims like a weatherwane.

    When Obama’s time begins to run out, he’ll start thinking about his legacy and what people will remember him for. He wants to be remembered as a centrist, ever-so-bipartisan yet forward-looking president, and based on the trends, by 2016 over 60% of the overall population will be anti-prohibition – the drug war is bound to end. That’s when he’ll have a calculation to make: either to remain a well-payed shill for the prison/LE/pharma -cartel for a while, or “evolve” his position and be remembered as the cool president who decriminalized pot. (Years from now, he’ll want people to think back “Remember Obama? He wasn’t too bad a president, was he?”, despite all the evidence to the contrary)

    Not saying he’ll definitely side with the changing tides, but there’s a chance. Right now he’s got all the reason to be a Very Serious Drug Warrior, because that’s what DC believes is the right thing to do. Four years might change some of that.

    (In case this makes me look pro-Obama, I’m not. I just think he’s a lot more narcissistic than people give him credit for.)

    1. That’s a much more realistic speculation of how he’d become pro-pot than the ones his apologists float

    2. I don’t know that Obama gives a shit about his legacy. Everything about his career has been racing to the top as fast as possible. He’s on a mission, though what that mission is and if he’s given up on it is unknown to me.

    3. The problem with this scenario is that the moment he wins the election (assuming he does) he becomes a lame duck, and will largely be ignored by members of his own party as the 2016 hopefuls start jockeying for position. None of them will want to be perceived as being soft on crime. Add in that the drug crimes are what keeps the prisons filled, and by extension keeps the members of the prison guards unions employed, and this is a non starter.

  15. lot of confusion in this thread about mandatory blood etc. draws

    we already do them (not personally, but we direct somebody to draw blood).

    most commonly, we take blood when a person is suspected of DUI and is being medically transported. no breathalyzer at hospital or on scene, so we do a blood draw.

    we can do a forced blood draw in some circs (warrant, etc.). even w/o a warrant, a forced blood draw (again, varies state to state) is often ok w/o a warrant because it is rapidly dissipating evidence. iow, if it takes 3 hrs to get a warrant, the reading won’t be accurate as to the blood alcohol AT THE TIME OF THE COLLISION.

    the ironic thing under WA law is some smart defense attorney pressed the issue that a person under the law must be read certain provisions of the law before the draw. so, he got a case thrown out. the guy was under anesthesia and completely unconscious, so the officer figured ti was not required

    it is. no exceptions

    on a few occasions, we have to scrub/gown up, go into the operating room and read the warnings about draws to the unconscious, intubated patient. it’s comically ridiculous. but it’s the law.

    1. an example of PROCEDURE DERP DERP DERP

      or what cops in the 70’s crime shows call “a technicality”

      procedure matters. even if it’s horrendously stupid, as in having to read certain statutory blood draw warnings to a person who is unconscious.

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