Washington state would be defying federal drug laws if a new initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana is adopted, reports the Seattle Times. Backers said states can take the lead in ending what they call the nation’s failed war on drugs, much as individual states, including Washington, repealed Prohibition before the federal government.
Several of the initiative’s backers, including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, travel guide writer Rick Steves and former Washington State Bar Association President Mark Johnson, kicked off the initiative yesterday. “New Approach Washington” has until Dec. 30 to gather 241,153 signatures to put the issue before the legislature. Lawmakers then could approve the measure or send it to voters. Backers said polling showed about 53 percent of state voters favored legalizing and regulating marijuana.