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A key reason that Marijuana legalization passed in WA State was the support of communities of minorities, such as LGBTs, Hispanics and African Americans.   These communities are sick of police discrimination, sick of ruined lives due to being arrested for normal behavior.

As Jon Stewart points out “We (waste) spend $8 billion a year, and we lock up only minorities for marijuana usage”.  (And kick kids out of college into prison.)

There are many wrongs in society that are complicated to solve, and that we can’t easily change via ballot initiatives.    The difference is that the wrong of illegal pot is a wrong that fixing LOWERS THE DEFICIT TWO WAYS, by causing us to both waste less in prison spending AND collect much more in tax revenue.  

(And gives the police more time to stop real crime, which, yes, saves society even more money.  So, there are no money arguments against this civil rights issue.)
  More below on the Four Corners of the US strategy.

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States are competitive when it comes to tax revenue.
A few more states legalize, and all states will legalize.

Let’s use the initiative and referendum process to redress the ancient wrong foisted on us by the racist Republicans who outlawed cannabis, and gave it a (supposedly sinister) Spanish name of marijuana, in an intentionally racist gesture.

There’s a huge benefit for liberals (besides the civil rights issues):

We get young people to vote, and they remember who the good side is – us.

And let’s remember President Obama’s “Fierce urgency of NOW”.  

 Look, the same party doesn’t often win 3 elections in a row, and instead of Obama the former/future stoner, we could have a Puritan Repub in the White House in 2017.    We need to start now, and force the politicians’ hands.  Yes, force Barack's hands to cement our majority for a generation.

Note how fast WA governor-elect Jay Inslee went from opposing the WA ballot initiative to promising to be “assertive” with the Feds in respecting the will of the people of WA.  One day!

History tells us in the 1920s and 30s, eleven states voted and told the Federal government “We will no longer enforce booze prohibition in our state, we want to use scarce police resources elsewhere”.    In fact, New York repealed Prohibition only 4 years after it started.     There is precedent in the state actions by Washington State and Colorado.  

In fact, state-by-state repeal is our best  only chance.   (You don’t think Boehner is going to upset his paymasters in Big Tobacco and Big Merlot drug lobbies by introducing a Legal Weed bill, calling it H.R. 420?)

Looking for ideas and input on the next states that we should target.

Suggest we use a Four Corners of the US strategy starting in 2013 and 2014 elections.

Will confess right now that I don’t know the ins and outs of getting onto the ballot in all states.    But we need to do it.

If we get just two or three more states to legalize, the rest will follow over time, or else lose their tourism dollars, conventions and tax revenue to more progressive states.

States we can target:
Florida – Amend the FL constitution.    No question that the majority of Floridians have used pot, and would vote for it.   As a major agricultural state, Florida can’t afford to get behind.   Presidents can’t ignore this state.

Ohio – trending our way, we could cement our gains and win the governorship back in 2014 with legal pot on the ballot.   Also large ag state.   Swingingest state, if it passes here, no Presidential candidate can ignore it.

Illinois – President’s home state – and a Heartland state full of heavy metal loving weed users.   Would pass easily.     Hard to ignore biggest state in Midwest, with lots of farmland.

Massachusetts – Just voted in favor of weed, would do so again.

Maryland – Trending the right way with Gay Marriage vote, let’s give the people a chance to vote for something they like just as much.

Nevada – Big Vegas wants it bad for bender tourism, they almost got legalization 8 years ago.

Oregon and California – No worries, these initiatives are being drafted as we speak.   They aren’t going to lag too far behind Washington State and Colorado.   California agriculture depends on it, because it grows where other crops don’t do as well.  (Plus, 15 million consumers can’t be wrong.)

Where else can we get this on the ballot in 2014 (or sooner)?  I’m sick of paying taxes to put my minority brothers in jail for no reason.

If the eight states above vote in favor, we are well on our way to solving this pressing civil rights issue.

   Millions of minority children need our help.  Now.

National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML)

MPP

Rick Steves, may have won it for WA

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