Newly Filed Initiative Wants to Make Sure Officials Don’t Ignore State Marijuana Law

According to the Secretary of State’s office, an Anacortes man - Jared Allaway - has filed an initiative with the State Elections Division that, according to the bill’s wording, seeks to make it “a misdemeanor for any employee or agent of the state of Washington to provide any information about marijuana or cannabis-related activities to any federal government employee or agency for furtherance of any federal criminal or civil investigation that would not also be a criminal violation for persons over twenty-one years of age under the laws of Washington state.”

In other words, the initiative wants to make sure Washington’s law enforcement types and state officials play by the legalized pot rules created under I-502 - and don’t help the feds prosecute or persecute individuals under federal marijuana laws for things that are now legal in the state of Washington (specifically, an adult over the age of 21 possessing up to an ounce of weed).

The initiative also states: “It is a gross misdemeanor for any employee or agent of the state of Washington to assist in the arrest, prosecution, or detention of any person for any violation of federal laws relating to marijuana or cannabis that is not also a criminal violation for persons over twenty-one years of age under the laws of Washington state.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, “The sponsor has 15 working days after the initial filing of the initiative to the Code Reviser to file the final draft of the initiative with our Elections Division. Once this happens, a number will be assigned to the measure. Next, the Elections Division will send the final draft to the Attorney General’s Office, which will write a ballot title and summary of the measure. Once this occurs, the wording of the ballot title is sent to the sponsor and the Elections Division. It is possible for the sponsor or someone else to file a challenge to the initiative ballot title or summary in Thurston County Superior Court in Olympia. If a challenge occurs, the court has five days to issue a decision.

“Once the ballot title and summary have been finalized, the initiative sponsors can start gathering signatures.”

If all those hoops are successfully navigated, the initiative’s sponsor will have until Jan. 3, 2014 to gather at least 246,372 valid signatures to ultimately reach the ballot.

You can read the full text of the initiative here.

 
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