A group of Washington state activists that includes former U.S. Attorney John McKay are campaigning for ballot initiative 502. The initiative would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, allowing its possession by people 21 years old and older.
Over the weekend, the Washington state Democrats’ Central Committee passed a resolution endorsing the initiative. The resolution says the state is “wasting millions of dollars” on resources that “could be directed to more important public safety priorities;” therefore, the party is endorsing the legalization of marijuana as outlined in Initiative 502:
WHEREAS thousands of Washington adults are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted for simple marijuana possession each year, wasting millions of dollars in police, court, and jail resources that could be redirected to more important public safety priorities; [...] THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, endorse and stand in support of Initiative Measure No. 502 to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over.
Earlier this year, the Washington State House of Representatives Office Of Program Research estimated that the state would save $240 million every year from marijuana legalization, both from savings to law enforcement agencies and new revenues generated by taxes.