Our societal response to marijuana is doing more harm than good. It is ineffective at controlling marijuana use, especially among young people; it costs Washington taxpayers many millions of dollars annually; it diverts law-enforcement and judicial resources from more pressing uses; it contributes to other pressures to build costly new prisons; it burdens thousands of non-troublesome users with criminal records that create obstacles to employment and education, increasing the likelihood that they may become public charges; it sustains a lucrative black market with associated criminal activity and loss of tax revenue; and to the extent that it has been expressed in laws that many citizens view as unwarranted and consistently disregard, it promotes disrespect for law.
It looks a lot like Washington needs New Zealand's legal regulated soft drug law and policy, Class D!
In a victory of 'due process' over potential political foul-mongery mid elections, NZ turned the tide by "Order in Council" recieving Royal assent on November 6th 2008. These gazetted ammendments implemented 'historic' lawful sale of soft drugs subject to controls and regulations to the classification innovation of "Class D".
NZ's National Drug Policy priority of overall harm reduction now includes "Beyond Zero Tolerance" R18 regulatory non-punative amendments to the principal act, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 thereby "contemplates a system in which marijuana would be available for lawful purchase by adults without a medical prescription or other special license to purchase it." - exactly as proposed by Washington State Law and Health sectors.
Perhaps "it is time to talk" about a Seattle-Christchurch cultural exchange? / Blair