Incoming Seattle Mayor Wants to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol

Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn says he supports efforts to end marijuana prohibition in Washington state.

In an interview Friday Mayor-Elect McGinn said that marijuana should be regulated “like alcohol…not treated as a criminal activity.”  In 2003, city voters approved a measure making enforcement of marijuana laws the lowest priority for Seattle police and it now seems Seattle citizens want to go a step further.  On Mr. McGinn’s website, which asks for ideas on how to improve Seattle, “Legalize marijuana and tax it” is in second place behind expanding the city’s light rail and subway system.  If you recall, “legalizing marijuana,” was the top idea on President Obama’s website earlier this year.

Last week two Washington state Legislators submitted a bill calling for the end of the state’s prohibition on marijuana, a bill McGinn says he will support.

40 thoughts on “Incoming Seattle Mayor Wants to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol”

  1. I think it should be legal and regulated in every state. It’s too bad the Obama administration and Drug Czar are protecting their political platforms while we the people are opening people’s eyes. “The Genie will not go back in the Bottle!”

  2. Yes, I agree, it should be legal in every state, especially Texas. The government is loosing out on too much money. Legalization will make so much more money available that would go to the Federal deficit. Why is alcohol legal? It is much worse, more dangerous with more long term effects than smoke. I take 2 puffs out of a pipe and I’m good!

  3. First California, now Washington? State officials are realizing the gold mine cannabis will bring if and when legalized. It’s now becoming a rat race bewteen states to see who does it first. Will Oregan do it first?, will Texas come from behind? The air is thick with change, can you smell it?

  4. Hear in Mn. I still smell crap. I do see change coming fast out west and in the east now, but in the midwest there is still to many bible thumpers in elected offices. Why is there not a national med mj card system. If there was sach a plan it would not matter what state you were in, you would be legal. I see those states that do have med mj already will be the first to tax and regulate like booze. What we have to watch out for now is the goverenment telling us that only they can grow cannabis. That is next, I hope and prey it is not, but I see us being turned into a socialist country with Obama driving us to hell.

  5. Clarence #6: “What we have to watch out for now is the government telling us that only they can grow cannabis”.
    That’s basically what I interpreted Maryland’s cannabis actions to entail. Utah will most likely do the same. And I don’t like it, I want this medical marijuana business to stay in the hands of the people.

    Welcome to MPP Kurt.

  6. A few things:

    1. Great!, at least one politician is paying attention to the will of the voters.

    2. The government already says that only they can grow cannabis, but the laws of nature override that position.

    3. Happy to hear about the Transportation system being up there with cannabis legalization. That will do far more to curb traffic accidents than any prohibition style laws.

    4. Utah will have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards legalization. It will be a very, very long time before we are treated with dignity here in the beehive state. If you want legal pot and you’re in Utah, your best bet is to move.

    5. I wish Obama was a socialist, but he isn’t. Here’s what the Socialist Party U.S.A. says about drug reform:

    “We call for the decriminalization of drug use and the regulation of narcotics by doctors through the use of prescriptions rather than by the criminal justice system.”

    “We call for the redirection of funds spent on the “war on drugs” to comprehensive community-based, client-controlled rehabilitation programs”

  7. Great news to hear! … The rest of the government needs to follow suite or fuck off though! I will not tolerate this hypocrisy any longer. I am irate at our broken system of justice and the fraudulent activities conspired by large corp, banks, and our own gov! BS in the extreme!

  8. I didn’t know a mayor had the power to make pot legal in his or her city because if that were possible, I’d be asking why hasn’t Bloomberg legalized it in NYC? Because after all, he admitted to smoking it and liking it. Plus he has plenty of FU money to pay off whomever needs paying off. Yet NYC has the highest arrest rate in the entire country with over 40,000 arrests for posession alone last year. Yea its great that this guy is pro legalization, but really, this is just wishful thinking and doesn’t accomplish the ultimate goal which could be achieved in just 30 days – full out legalization.

  9. Luke_C: Utah. When the church realizes that it can make money off of ending Prohibition then you can bet the wheels will turn rather fast. Besides, they’re being hassled by gay rights activists now because the church sent gobs of money to California to Not support gay marriage, or whatever the heck it was.
    AND … if I were to stay in Utah, which I won’t be, I’d be in their faces to end this madness. One person can accomplish a great deal.

    AND … the Seattle turn around is due in large part to HarborsideHealthCenter dot com. The amount of tax revenues generated by this Medical Marijuana facility is astounding. They are the largest Medical Marijuana facility in the US right now.

  10. Lea:

    In 1861 Brigham Young told his followers that they should produce tobacco as even though it was against church teachings, people were using it anyway and it made no sense to have outsiders making all the money when it could be produced right here. In the same speech he said that hemp should be grown everywhere in Utah that was suitable for it’s growth. The Leader of the Mormon Church recommended 148 years ago that we should produce tobacco here for economic reasons, but it hasn’t come to pass in all this time. I’m certainly not holding my breath for the hemp part to be accepted either. Yes, one person can make a difference, but not even Brigham Young could bring about this kind of change of thought in the quasi-democratic state of Utah.

  11. Soooo … guessing here Luke_C that you live in Utah and you are Mormon?
    Sorry to say, it’s difficult to “trust” anyone who lives in Utah as the police here are pretty obsessed with busting people. Remember the 17 year old that was shot in the head because the trooper “smelled” marijuana? Disgusting behavior on the part of law enforcement, don’t care that the 17 year old kid had a gun, care that the trooper “smelled marijuana” and Over Reacted.

  12. @mark #11 Your right the Mayor cant change the law single-handedly. BUT two reps from Seattle just introduced a bill into state legisature to legalize small amounts of Cannabis. So here we see Cannabis reform has a united front in Seattle! (nice to have government exercising the will of their constituents for once)

  13. Lea, part of your guess is wrong. Under no circumstances am I asking you to trust me, I would prefer it if you didn’t. If you are interested in the integrity of what I’m saying please see the links I attach to my posts and make up your own mind.

  14. Some of the anti-pot comments on the mayor’s website are truly disturbing.
    One even tried to blame the US losing the Vietnam War on cannabis use.

  15. I think it is a great thing! You have to remember our laws are made to cater to the lowest common denominator. Untill people are educated with real science, not opinion or hunches(from each side), that the eyes will open and the fear will wash away. I hope we get to a point that real science can do real research with marijuana.

  16. # 17:

    Ya I saw that one too. Its funny…a lie got us into the war we got people using a lie as the reason we got out or lost. Lie’s abound…sicking.

  17. Legalization is inevitable. In the age of Information, too many people are learning that government propaganda and wasting valuable efforts combating something that we cannot win isn’t working. The only sensible thing to do is to model it like Tobacco and Alcohol.

  18. Thanks for the post.
    Don’t get me wrong, please, but I am wondering if in the future if their is a push by a majority and there is also a great tax we can place on the product, will we wanting to legalize cocaine or something else like that?

    Just a question. No stand on either side about a blanket legalization of marijuana

  19. I cant smoke marijuana due to drug screening i go through, but i tell you what, when it is finally legalized throughout AMERICA i will cry like a baby. Just thinking about what the day will be like when it happens almost brings tears to my eyes. Wish Florida would hurry up and get on the band wagon, but this state is run by senior citizens who control everything eventhough they will not live long enough for it to matter to them. I think they still believe in reefer madness LOL

  20. Something tells me that crackheads are not gonna be trying to push legalized crack anytime in the near future regardless of Marijuana Legalization :) Although it would be somewhat funny to see a crowd of them out trying to protest for it ROFL!! The thing is that the ones who smoke crack and shoot up heroine and such already know that those things are very bad for people, and they, aswell as all of us know that there is no reason for marijuana to be illegal

  21. I must comment on my last post though that i do also believe that as human beings we should all have the right to put whatever we want into our bodies regardless what it is. Government should not control consumption but should hold us responsible for action we make do.

  22. Things are really starting to come together. Even here in Wisconsin we’re in the process of legalizing medical. Its supposed to be one of the more comprehensive bills too from what i’ve read. It apparantly will combine Michigan and Rhode Islands bills. Too bad i haven’t seen much about this on the MPP site

  23. Seeing as marijuana has been the lowest law enforcement priority in the city for years, they have legislators from Seattle introducing legalization bills into the Washington legislature AND the incoming mayor favors regulating marijuana like alcohol. It seems to me like the City of Seattle is poised to take action on this issue. If the mayor were to take office and say “I want marijuana taxed and regulated like alcohol in my city”, I’m sure that sort of thing could be instituted in a relatively short amount of time with very little resistance, well ahead of any legislature votes. The federal government isn’t likely to take any action to stop it and I’m not sure how the state government even could. With a little pressure Seattle could be the first truly legal American territory in a matter of months!

  24. Off topic, but on Wed, the gals on The View were talking (fairly extensively) about the disproportion of blacks arrested in NYC over pot.

  25. This is why marijuana is illegal, so the super rich can be the mega colassal super rich.
    this is long but worth it(straight from wicapedia)
    [edit] DuPont, William Randolph Hearst, and hemp
    The decision of the United States Congress to pass the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was based on hearings,[22] reports[23] and in part on testimony derived from articles in newspapers owned by William Randolph Hearst, who had significant financial interests in the timber industry, which manufactured his newsprint.[24]

    Cannabis activist Jack Herer has researched DuPont and in his 1985 book The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Herer concluded DuPont played a large role in the criminalization of cannabis. In 1938, DuPont patented the processes for creating plastics from coal and oil and a new process for creating paper from wood pulp. If hemp had been largely exploited, Herer believes it would have likely been used to make paper and plastic (nylon), and may have hurt DuPont’s profits. Andrew Mellon of the Mellon Bank was DuPont’s chief financial backer and was also the Secretary of the Treasury under the Hoover administration. Mellon appointed Harry J. Anslinger, who later became his nephew-in-law, as the head of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (FBNDD) and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), where Anslinger stayed until 1962.[25]

    In 1916, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientists Jason L. Merrill and Lyster H. Dewe created paper made from hemp pulp, which they concluded was “favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood in USDA Bulletin No. 404.”[26] In his book Herer summarized the findings of Bulletin No. 404:[27]

    USDA Bulletin No. 404, reported that one acre of hemp, in annual rotation over a 20-year period, would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres (17,000 m2) of trees being cut down over the same 20-year period. This process would use only 1/4 to 1/7 as much polluting sulfur-based acid chemicals to break down the glue-like lignin that binds the fibers of the pulp, or even none at all using soda ash. The problem of dioxin contamination of rivers is avoided in the hemp paper making process, which does not need to use chlorine bleach (as the wood pulp paper making process requires) but instead safely substitutes hydrogen peroxide in the bleaching process. … If the new (1916) hemp pulp paper process were legal today, it would soon replace about 70% of all wood pulp paper, including computer printout paper, corrugated boxes and paper bags.

    Hemp was a relatively easy target because factories already had made large investments in equipment to handle cotton, wool, and linen, but there were relatively small investments in hemp production. Big technological improvements in the wood pulp industry were invented in the 1930s; for example the recovery boiler allowed kraft mills to recycle almost all of their pulping chemicals, and other improvements came later. There was also a misconception hemp had an intoxicating effect because it has the same active substance, THC, which is in potent cannabis strains; however, hemp only has minimal amount of THC when compared to recreational cannabis strains.

    An alternative explanation for Anslinger’s opinion’s about hemp is that he believed that a tax on cannabis could be easier to supervise if it included hemp and that he had reports from experiments with mechanical harvesting of hemp reporting that the machines was no success and reports about cannabis farms.[28]

    “The existence of the old 1934-1935 crop of harvested hemp on the fields of southern Minnesota is a menace to society in that it is being used by traffickers in marihuana as a source of supply.”[29]

    “they were able to cut only a part of the Tribune Farm crop by machine, two thirds of it they did by hand with a sharp hand cuttertuff”.[30]

    An argument for the alternative theory is that hemp was not an alternative as material in the new commercial products from DuPont using oil or coal as raw material, the nylon-bristled toothbrush (1938) followed more famously by women’s “nylons” stockings (1940). Nylon was intended to be a synthetic replacement for silk not hemp.

  26. If everyone would stand up to the government and say that We as the people want the laws changed and change it now, They might get re elected. It is our choice,not Theirs. Arresting People has not changed the want of the People. The polititians always sidestep the marijuana subject when They are trying to get the vote. Make Them say what they will do if elected.They seem to think that They are the BOSS. NO, WE are.

  27. wouldn’t it be a great day for all who know how good the herb truely is. We will be able to tell our great grand children about the days of marijuana prohibition. I hope one day we can collectively come to the understanding together that this is over and i feel that the days are nearing we are coming close to an new age of tollerance.

  28. It’s a foot race now, to see which state grabs the brass ring first. If Seattle wants to be the one that goes first I’m all for it. All that is needed for this industry to EXPLODE into existense is for a legitimate market to present itself and Seattle will do just fine. If the rest of the state doesn’t follow suit quickly enough then Seattle will become known as the birthplace and center of commerce for the most lucrative opportunity to present itself in many decades.

  29. So…if one state legalizes and others follow suit, then the whole nation is legalized, what will the controll freaks in our government do? What laws will they invent..or have already…to control with?

  30. The one thing I do not pretend to understand is this:
    If a state, or states, decide to legalize MJ, Since it is illegal on the federal level, what does that do to its legal status?
    unless the arguments of states rights can be won, does it matter if a state says its legal when the feds say its not?
    I can see it all pushing towards a merry day when it all caves and the feds say its states right, much like Obama did for MMJ recently, but what about the people living there until that happens?

  31. No recent updates so this is off track. Todays question is “Should cannabis be legal? ” 1-877-783-8388 This needs to get out to all of America Can all of you help?

  32. Luke_C – thank you for the insight regarding Brigham Young and The Church as referenced above.

    Brigham’s writings in, “The Gift of God, etc.”, is counseling people to, “Hunt out places and soil most suitable for flax and hemp.”

    I hope Utah takes the lead in industry here shortly because they are already the second biggest grower in the U.S. year after year.

    It sure would be easier to make a tissue factory up in them thar’ hills when the crops roll in next year instead of wasting hard-working taxpayer’s money the way they do.

    Not if but when..another year or two and Utah will have a cannabliss clinic also.

    After all, we are all created equal and demand our equal rights.

    I am determined to grow my own this upcoming season and I will walk into the Sheriff’s Station and say so to their faces.

    I refuse to contribute to the crime and cartell any longer, and I will tell any Judge if necessary and they will understand.

  33. People on the East side of the state will travel to Seattle once or twice a month to buy or sell. This will continue ’til the “morons who believe themselves to be our masters” notice all the revenue that is leaving. I think these idiots will hold their breath for about six months or so before they too give it up.
    One would think that an idea as stupid as prohibition would have died of loneliness years ago. I suppose in a rational world that would make sense but the fact is stupid ideas, like stupid people, are NEVER alone.

  34. J.W. Why would you have to go anywhere if you live in wa. state? GROW YOUR OWN, KEEP YOUR MONEY.

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