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For those who are interested in the Marijuana legalization movement:

SensibleWashington.org has sponsored Initiative 1068, whose goal is ending marijuana prohibition and enacting sensible civil regulation of marijuana (for adults) in Washington State.

The Washington State Constitution reserves to the people the right to approve or reject certain state laws through the process of initiative or referendum. A registered voter, or group of voters, desiring to qualify an initiative or referendum for the ballot must gather signatures on petitions in order to do so.

Interested? Want to help ensure that Initiative 1068 gets onto the general election ballot this November?

Meet me below the fold...

The process for Washington State, for Initiatives is laid out on the Secretary of the State of Washington's website, here.

How many signatures are needed to qualify an initiative or referendum?

Based on the number of votes cast for the office of Governor at the last regular state gubernatorial election, the number of signatures required for initiatives is: 241,153 and the number for referenda is: 120,557.

During the certification process, it is common for a number of signatures to be invalidated (for a variety of reasons), therefore Initiative sponsors should collect as many signatures as possible - to ensure that sufficient eligible registered voter signatures are collected to ensure the Initiative gets on the ballot.

Which means that Initiative signature collectors need at a minimum, at least 40% more than the require number of signatures, to be sure that they meet the minimum required number of signatures. (which translates to just about 338,000 signatures)

Anyone who lives in the SW WA area and is interested in assisting SensibleWashington.org in pursuit of this goal, please mark your calendar for Saturday, April 3rd!

Sensible Washington.org is organizing in all counties in WA State, to reach as many people as possible who are likely to assist in moving this Initiative onto the ballot. The local group is scheduled to meet on Saturday, April 3.

From their website:
On the heels of a successful first meeting for I-1068 volunteer signature gatherers on March 20th, I’m pleased to let one and all in Southwestern Washington know that our next volunteer meeting for Vancouver and surrounding areas will be on Saturday April 3 at 10.30 a.m.

Where this meeting takes place:
Cascade Park branch of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library system
600 NE 136th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 256-7782

You can find (sorry, .pdf file) a map for parking at this facility here.

If you, like me, find the utter failure of the War on Drugs, and especially the war on Marijuana,  one of the most heinous wastes of taxpayer dollars over the past century, please make time to attend this meeting. California has already certified their Initiative,and it will be on the California general ballot this fall. Let's help put Washington voters in the driver's seat on this most serious of issues.

I hope to see a number of Kossack at this meeting - and as it'll be the first time I meet any of you, I'm really, really looking forward to it!

For an idea of how much money has been thrown down the toilet in pursuit of prohibiting Marijuana alone, watch the 1999 documentary, Grass, narrated by the actor Woody Harrelson.  You will be sickened at the end of each chapter in the documentary when they ring up just the Federal money spent during the time period in question (the length of time covered in each section varies, but it starts in the early days of Prohibition and stretches all the way to the 1990s.)

I warn you, you will be astounded at how much money has been spent on Marijuana prohibition alone. The numbers are in the multiple billions.  It's serious money.

It's why Legalization is the right answer for our times.  With increasing violence in US/Mexico border cities leaking over into US cities, it's not just the money anymore, but what the money in the illegal drug trade is buying - DEATH, in the thousands, and they are not all Mexicans that are dying. Retired Americans are being killed in this violence in a number of Mexican cities.

Be a part of the solution.  Attend the meeting and help Washington State residents change the law to meet the needs of our people and our time.

It's time to Legalize Marijuana and stop the violence and crime.  Help make our cities and our neighbors safer. Regulation and taxation equals an increase in tax revenues, and a huge reduction in the costs to Law Enforcement and the Judiciary. Regulation will keep this drug out of the hands of minors, just as regulation of alcohol does.

Don't just believe me, or SensibleWashington.org, listen to retired and former law enforcement officers, who also believe that legalization and regulation is the correct choice today.

You can hear what a number of Law Enforcement officers think about this issue at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

A local voice on the issue: Norm Stamper

Norm Stamper is a 34-year veteran police officer who retired as Seattle's chief of police in 2000. He is currently a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com), a 10,000-member organization representing cops, judges, prosecutors, FBI/DEA agents, prison wardens and others who now want to legalize and regulate all drugs after witnessing horrors and injustices fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs." In addition to serving as Seattle's top cop, Norm led San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson's Crime Control Commission. He is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing.

Originally posted to My .02¢ from The Other Washington on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:19 PM PDT.

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