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Travel guru Rick Steves coming to Tacoma Wednesday to talk pot legalization

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Oct. 16, 2012 at 11:51 am with No Comments »
October 17, 2012 5:16 pm

Travel guru Rick Steves will speak in Tacoma Wednesday night in support of Initiative 502, the ballot measure that asks Washington voters to legalize marijuana.

The event — set for 7 p.m. at the Pantages Theater — is part of a 10-city tour Steves is on to promote the initiative.

Expected to join him in Tacoma are fellow I-502 sponsor and former Washington State Bar Association president Salvador Mungia and the Rev. Dr. Gregory Christopher,  pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church and President of the Tacoma Branch of the NAACP.

A similar event staged in Olympia last week drew about 20 noisy protesters who interrupted Steves’ speech in the Capitol Rotunda (see photo).

Largely headed by medical cannabis advocates, the No on I-502 campaign takes issue with the ballot measure because it seeks to implement a new THC threshhold for DUI offenses that opponents say would unfairly target non-impaired drivers.

No on 502 campaign manager Steve Sarich said his group won’t be planning to protest Steves in Tacoma. Instead, Sarich said, he’ll be attending a Leauge of Women Voter’s ballot issues forum, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. event at UW-Tacoma’s Philip Hall.

“I don’t need to watch their dog and pony show,” Sarich told me today. ” I’ve seen their dog and pony show 100 times. It’s not going to get any better.”

A longtime advocate of marijuana legalization, Steves has poured $350,000 into the New Approach campaign supporting the ballot measure, state campaign finance records show.

Here’s the press release put out by New Approach about Steves’ Tacoma tour stop.

Rick Steves to Speak at Pantages Theatre on His Support for Initiative 502, To Legalize, Tax, and Regulate Marijuana for Adults

Joined by Former Washington State Bar Association President Salvador A. Mungia, and Rev. Dr. Gregory Christopher, President of the Tacoma Branch of the NAACP

TACOMA – Travel guru Rick Steves is on a 7-day, 10-city tour with New Approach Washington, the committee supporting I-502, and will make a stop October 17th at 7:00 p.m. at the Pantages Theatre in Tacoma.  Steves will discuss his reasons for sponsoring and supporting I-502, and his experiences talking about the measure in communities across the state.  Admission to the event is free.

“Marijuana use—and how we deal with it—is a serious, expensive, and persistent challenge in our society,” says Steves.  “And it’s time for a new approach.”

Steves will be joined at the event by fellow I-502 sponsor Salvador A. Mungia, a former president of the Washington State Bar Association and the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and the Rev. Dr. Gregory Christopher.  Christopher is the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church, President of the Tacoma Branch of the NAACP, a member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective, and a board member of the Tacoma Urban League.  Steves, Mungia, and Christopher will answer questions from the audience following their presentations.

Steves is a travel writer and public broadcasting producer who employs 80 people at his Europe Through the Back Door headquarters in Edmonds, Washington.  He produces over 50 guidebooks on European travel, the most popular travel series in America on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, and a weekly column syndicated by the Chicago Tribune.

More information is available at www.newapproachwa.org.

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