I-502 is hardly perfect. The DUID clause (as recommended by federal drug czar Gil Kerlikowske) reeks of probable prejudice, there’s no protection from federal preemption and 25 percent excise tax for retail and wholesale may redirect significant commerce back into a black market where lower prices, better product and tax evasion beckon.
Locally, Seattle’s MMJ marketplace operates more or less harmoniously, with cannabis prosecution a low priority for city attorneys. Come I-502, will the black market fall subject to municipal raids in order to combat its economical allure? It appears likely, so either cannabis enthusiasts will have to shape to I-502′s mold or suffer the consequences.
I empathize with I-502 dissenters. The initiative has direct effects on medicinal access and usage; MMJ businesses and livelihood. But idealism is not the means to legalization. Small victories, such as legalization in Washington, Oregon and Colorado, are the stepping stones to national normalization.
The initiative is contentious, yet represents progress toward cannabis normalization. Voting for the initiative means that cannabis users possess the gall to stand up against a large consortium of special interest groups and Federales. That we placed the DEA in check and while the rest of the nation holds their breath, we state brazenly: “Your move.”
Decide for yourself. I, however, will vote yes on I-502.