Washington State Cannabis Legalization Action Is Needed
Even though politicians on all political sides support legalising homegrows as the final nail to end prohibition in Washington State, it’s still in danger of not passing and let me explain, as the lawmaking process is an arduous one where money talks louder than the will of the people. This is especially true if you don’t know how to play the game.
A law does not merely pass because the House of Representatives and Senate agree upon it, a bill passes with the coordination of individuals like Bailey Hirschburg who show up at the Capitol every day and seek face to face with each member of our Government.
Recently I wrote about my experience of giving testimony in front of the Commerce and Gaming Commision, but this was only a step amongst many to get a Homegrow bill heard on the legislative floor.
There have been reports of politicians saying they would vote against the homegrow bill, out of fear of a Federal crackdown but I have to say this is horseshit. If the Federal Government were to crack down on “legal” states, I think there would be a more significant issue of liberties at hand once that happened. Now is the time for homegrows, not next year or say when someone with deep pockets comes along and helps edge the right thing along.
Homegrow and releasing prisoners are essential parts of legalisation, without these, we just made it, so that big business can succeed and not the average Jane/Joe. Something is wrong when an industry exists for only the business and not for the consumer.
Recently, John Kingsbury put out a call to arms to consumers and lovers of cannabis, and it is with great pleasure I relay the message to you and urge you to email, phone call, or both, anything helps towards a cannabis common sense approach.
Letter From John Kingsbury
Hi Cannabis People,
If you have been following the action you know that we are at a critical point in seeking home grow legislation. HB 2559 is sitting in Finance at the mercy of Representative Kristine Lytton. You may remember that. last year, 1212 passed out of Commerce and Gaming, went to Finance, where Representative Lytton refused to take action on it. Representative Lytton claims that she does not have time to consider it. “Maybe next year” is her refrain.
The companion Senate Bill 6482, has a good list of co-sponsors but has yet to receive a committee hearing. Senator Karen Keiser repeats the excuse that it could provoke the federal government to move in. Given that all other legal rec states, plus Washington D.C., permit home growing without fear of federal intervention. My take is that Vicki Christophersen has told Keiser “no.”
Not even passing HB2559 through Finance, or even giving SB6482 is unacceptable. Their excuses are nonsense. I do not believe something magical will happen next year to make home growing more appealing in their eyes.
There are some tools at our disposal. But, what we absolutely must do today is to get as many people to write. These emails should be brief to be read, or if long, the essentials should be at the top.
Emails should include the following features;
- What you are asking for. “Give SB 6482 a hearing.” “Give HB 2559 a hearing.”
- State clearly that waiting until next year is not acceptable. “There is no reason to wait.”
- Cc the Legislator’s aide. That makes it much more likely that it will be noticed and not drowned in the noise of the other emails.
You should encourage as many other people as possible to write as well. Writing to the committee chair and her aide is essential. Corresponding to the other committee members as well is very helpful.
Here are two stock emails. Use them, modify them, to write your original email, forward them to friends. However you do it, they need to be sent ASAP.
I have sent my emails. I will not be discouraged, and I will work on other fronts. Please, at least, work on this effort. If you have connections in the Legislature, please utilise them.
To: email@example.com, Robin.Howe@leg.wa.gov
Dear Representative Lytton,
Please schedule a hearing for HB 2559. This bill deserves consideration. There is no reason to wait. There is no reason to believe that next year will be more opportune. Thank you.”
To: firstname.lastname@example.org , Jennifer.Minich@leg.wa.gov
Subject: SB 6482
Dear Senator Keiser,
Please schedule a hearing for SB 6482. This is an important issue that deserves consideration. There is no reason to wait.
Washington State is the only state the has legalized the recreational possession and use of marijuana that does not permit small-scale home growing. Even Washington DC permits small home gardens. The contention that permitting small-scale home growing could provoke the federal government to intervene is not a credible concern on the face of it.
This bill at least deserves discussion.
Please write as quickly as you can. Please share this email widely, and encourage others to write.
If you have questions, have ideas, need help, do not hesitate to contact me.