Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

POT: I-502 could threaten federal contracts

Letter by Greg Carpenter, Kent on Jan. 10, 2012 at 9:39 am with 8 Comments »
January 10, 2012 10:58 am

Re: Initiative 502.

Legalization of marijuana in Washington state for recreational use will unquestionably have detrimental effects on employers, the citizens and ultimately the long-term viability of the state economy. Marijuana use is illegal by federal statute.

If passed into law, I-502 will place employers in an untenable position between state and federal laws. For example, employers that are subject to the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 may lose their ability to bid on federal contracts or receive federal grants. This will have a direct negative economic impact on firms that rely on federal contracts or grants and very well could lead to fewer jobs.

Although the initiative contains language regarding testing for impairment, it is an ineffective remedy. Drug testing for impairment, either through blood or urine, is not reliable. As such, this law effectively invalidates an employer’s ability to administer a drug-testing program and maintain a workplace that is free of drugs.

It places the employer in a position of taking on the increased liabilities and risks for accidents that may occur due to impaired employees. The results could be deadly.

Finally, employers may simply choose to not operate in the state of Washington. Ultimately, it’s the economy that suffers along with the citizens.

The risks of marijuana legalization far exceed the any potential benefits.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Spiderweb says:

    Great bit of fear mongering Greg, but short on facts and logic…

    FACT is that passing ANY law will have NO effect on the reliability of any substance testing. Does increasing the penalty for drunk driving affect the reliability of breathalyzer tests? Obviously not.

    There are no good reasons to continue with this failed expirement in prohibition…and plenty of good reasons to legalize:

    1) Decreased revenue for drug gangs and an increase of revenues for the state government.

    2) Law enforcement time will be freed up to fight real crimes.

    3) Decreased levels of incarceration will save money.

  2. bigredone says:


    you forgot to address the first paragraph of the letter: “Marijuana use is illegal by federal statute.”

    I personally don’t care if marijuana is legalized or not. The choice to legalize it on the state level is the problem. If you want to make it legal, go to the federal laws.

  3. Spiderweb says:

    Yes, it is. The legislature should pass it, but not implement it until other states follow suit….I believe Colorado and California have efforts in progress…

    The problem I had with the letter, Red, is that it is just fear mongering. Especially the ridiculous claims in regards to testing ….

  4. The letter tells the truth and only promoters of canabis use would claim otherwise. Please read the medical literature and do not smoke it or anything else.
    Not more druggies on highways please.

  5. Spiderweb says:

    Yes, some of us do support “recreational” use, for adults, Publico. One’s position on the subject has nothing to do with the veracity of the arguements being offered. The arguments stand or fall on their merit.

    I agree that nobody should be driving intoxicated, regardless of the drug involved, and that some do IS irresponsible. Don’t punish everyone for the choices of the irresponsible few.

    Still no GOOD reason offered for the continued prohibition of Marijuana

  6. alindasue says:

    Alcohol use was still illegal – unconstitutional even – at the time that many states repealed Prohibition. Most states had already repealed it on the state level before another amendment to the Constitution repealed it federally. The same pattern seems to be following for marijuana prohibition.

    Mr. Carpenter, those same “not reliable” drug tests that are in the initiative language are the same tests that are already used to enforce the Drug Free Workplace Act (hence the random pee tests at work). The success or failure of I-502 is not going to change that. If they are reliable enough for the federal government, they should be reliable enough for the state.

    Personally, I don’t do drugs or alcohol nor do I approve of their use. However, all the reasons for marijuana to be illegal could equally be applied to alcohol; and all the reasons for ending alcohol prohibition when they did can be equally applied to marijuana today.

  7. If my memory serves me correctly Federal Laws take precident over State laws.In other words,the Feds are in control of the Citizens.

  8. alindasue says:

    sincere said, “If my memory serves me correctly Federal Laws take precident over State laws.In other words,the Feds are in control of the Citizens.”

    True. However, it was that way in the days of alcohol prohibition too. Still, states voted to repeal it even though it was still illegal federally. Finally, the federal government followed suit.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0