Inside Opinion

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Tag: i-502


Save marijuana licenses for those who play by the rules

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The Legislature doesn’t normally amend an initiative within two years of its passage. But the state doesn’t have that kind of time as it makes the rules for the soon-to-arrive legal marijuana industry.

The Liquor Control Board – which will regulate legal pot – has to get it right the first time. That’s why lawmakers should deliver the required two-thirds majority to make necessary tweaks to Initiative 502.

State Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, has proposed an important amendment to the initiative. It would allow the board to charge fair-market rates for the growing, wholesaling and retailing licenses it will distribute.
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A banner year for same-sex couples and pot smokers

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

2012 was the year that Washington voters made history on the national stage.

This state became the first in the nation to allow same-sex marriages by virtue of voter approval, not through legislative or judicial action. And – for better or worse – voters made Washington one of two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana (Colorado is the other).

The Nov. 6 approval of Referendum 74 was an important step forward for civil rights and has galvanized proponents of same-sex marriage in other states. Passage affirms that a majority of this state’s voters believe homosexuals should have the same right to marry the one they love as heterosexuals – with all the benefits and responsibilities that go along with that right, at least at the state level.
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For pot stores evading taxes, any rationale will do

Marijuana plant

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

As if the world of medical marijuana weren’t confusing enough, now comes news that some dispensaries are faithfully paying sales taxes while others consider it strictly optional.

The ones that don’t pay offer a variety of reasons – none convincing and all self-serving.

They portray themselves as legitimate businesses yet argue that their product shouldn’t be taxed – because it’s illegal. Try to parse that logic.

One pretext is that marijuana is exempted from taxation because it’s a prescription drug. But under state law, marijuana is explicitly not a prescription drug. As medical marijuana people usually take pains to point out, the “green card” authorizations that some naturopaths, nurse-practitioners and doctors hand out like confetti are not prescriptions. Read more »