This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.
Legal marijuana succeeded big in Washington Nov. 6 – and failed big in Oregon.
One reason: The stoners behind Oregon’s Measure 80 had no interest in restricting the drug. Their initiative specified no limit for possession, no limit on growing, and left regulation in the hands of a commission to be controlled by the marijuana industry.
It jabbered about the wonders and harmlessness of cannabis.
Washington’s Initiative 502, in contrast, specified serious restrictions.
It forbade the public consumption or display of marijuana, required tight licensing of growers and retailers, and – unlike Measure 80 – established a blood-level limit for people caught driving under the influence of marijuana.
In other words, it was written by grown-ups. It’s reasonable to conclude that a measure as lax as Oregon’s would have failed here as it did there.
In a year or so, we’ll find out if Washingtonians enacted I-502 on paper – but got Measure 80 instead.
The campaign for I-502 insisted that the initiative wasn’t about expanding drug use and trafficking. The argument was that the use and trafficking were already happening – and the state should legalize and impose rules on what is now an unregulated black market.
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