Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Tag: marijuana legalization

Nov.
25th

Shameless politicians should practice what they preach

When Rep. Henry “Trey” Radel, R-Fla., pled guilty to one count of cocaine possession on Wednesday (TNT 11/20), it was something more than a political scandal.

It was a federal crime. A felony.

That fact does not seem to register with the public, perhaps because Radel is not the first elected official to be arrested on drug charges (though he may be one of the few to apologize).

Few may recognize the name Steve Katz, a New York Assemblyman arrested for marijuana (despite voting against legalization), or Willie Gandara Jr., a Texas County Commissioner arrested on federal

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Dec.
28th

The prime time crime of 2012

Year end reviews are a time-honored tradition in print journalism. Looking back on the year’s crime stories may not match the feel-good quality of other reviews, but it may highlight our progress on the many challenges we have faced. And vice versa.

So, here is a laundry list of the most popular topics addressed in Blue Byline this past year (based on site visits and commentary).

January: We began the year with the steamy topic of marijuana legislation. The state legislature was under a great deal of pressure to fix the gaping, truck-sized holes in the then current statute, and

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Dec.
7th

Wrapping up the week

There were quite a few notable news stories this past week. While I wish there were time enough to dissect them all, alas, there is only time for the briefest of post-mortems (with apologies for the depressing metaphor).

The Powell saga: The AP finally received thousands of photos from a public records request seeking Steven Powell’s computer files. Those images are, if nothing else, proof that Powell had a deeply disturbing and prolonged attraction to his daughter-in-law, Susan Powell. It can be argued that Steven Powell (convicted of voyeurism on the basis of related photos and

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Nov.
19th

Could legalized marijuana increase cartel profits, violence?

In the realm of unintended consequences, irony rules supreme.

Take legalized marijuana for instance. It has generally been assumed that the profits from legalization, now a reality in Colorado as well as Washington, would come at the expense of the violent drug trafficking organizations operating in North and Central America. According to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, that may not be the case.

After a recent meeting with leaders from Honduras, Costa Rica and Belize, Calderon and representatives of President-Elect Enrique Pena Nieto spoke at length about the potential implications of legalized pot (Trib 11/12). To paraphrase the politico-speak,

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Nov.
10th

Legalized marijuana has arrived, but will it last?

“A solid majority” is how the Trib’s most recent article (11/7) described the passage of I-502. For recreational pot aficionados, Tuesday’s election results provided much cause for celebration.

While some might be tempted to mark the occasion by sharing a bong among friends, I would suggest reading the aforementioned article first. It clearly outlines some of the new guidelines stipulated by I-502, beginning with the date of the new law’s enactment: Dec 6, 2012.

Also included are: the legal limits for personal use- one ounce for people 21 and over; the DUI limitations, a complex restriction that

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Oct.
14th

I-502 discussion important – and entertaining

Many local and national issues await our decision on November 6. One of those guaranteed to resonate on many levels is Initiative 502, the measure to legalize marijuana. Its controversial presence on the ballot may be the final lap for legalization- but what a long and strange trip it has been.

Forget about jobs and the economy; that bitter and acrimonious debate is as full of rhetoric as it is never-ending. For shocking surprises, surreal parallels and unholy relationships, no issue has more political drama than the pre-election flap over legalized pot.

If the road up to this point has

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Sep.
9th

Illegal dispensaries are a roadblock to legalization

Here’s the scenario: You are part of a grassroots movement trying to change a law you perceive as outdated, irrational and just plain wrong. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that your goal is the legalization of marijuana. How do you go about it?

You begin by educating politicians, the media and the public on marijuana’s medicinal value, the potential increase in tax revenue resulting from its legalization, and the money that could be saved by not enforcing, trying and incarcerating those who use it.

You make some headway, and your timing is good. The one big hurdle standing in

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Jan.
17th

Some facts to consider in the marijuana legalization discussion

 

Several times over the last few months I have written columns on the controversial topic of marijuana. There’s been a lot to discuss. Legalization. Medical marijuana permits. Enforcement. I-502.

I based much of the writing on both my experiences as a police officer enforcing drug statutes as well as a few recent Trib articles. These stories ranged from status updates on marijuana legislation, a review of both Tacoma and Seattle’s stance on marijuana enforcement, and the results of an investigative piece wherein a reporter successfully applied for a medical marijuana permit.

The comments I

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