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Marijuana Initiative 12/21/2011
Backers of a marijuana initiative plan to bring in petitions on Thursday Dec. 29th to the state Elections Division office in Olympia. Initiative to the Legislature 502 would authorize the state liquor control Board to regulate and tax marijuana for those 21 and older. Production, possession, delivery, distribution and sale of marijuana in accordance with the provisions of the new law would be decriminalized.  Sponsors say it would generate at least $215 million a year in tax revenue, roughly $80 million for the state treasury and the rest for research, health care, and related purposes.
Initiative backers say  “We are united in the belief that Washingtonshould stop wasting law enforcement resources on adults who use marijuana, and instead create a tightly regulated system that generates tax revenue for our state and local governments.”
It takes 241,000 valid signatures of registered Washington voters to be certified, although the Elections Division recommends at least 320,000, to cover duplicate or invalid signatures. If certified, the measure would go to the upcoming regular session of the Legislature, which would have three options: Pass it into law; ignore it or vote it down, sending it to fall, 2012, statewide ballot; or send it and a legislative alternative to the ballot.