Sensible Washington stands for the repeal of cannabis prohibition, and an end to the failed war on drugs: through education, empowerment and outreach.
Founded in 2010, we are an entirely volunteer, non-profit political committee working to repeal cannabis prohibition for adults – in addition to reducing the harms of, and ending, the failed drug war – in Washington State. We are dedicated to pursuing an end to the attacks on our citizens perpetuated by our unethical drug laws.
Our Strategy for Repealing Prohibition:
Our legal strategy for repealing cannabis prohibition is to remove cannabis from the state’s list of controlled substances, while leaving in place existing penalties involving minors and impaired driving. We continue to work toward this goal via the initiative and legislative process.
As you can see here in the full text of our 2011 Initiative (I-1149), our method of reform is simple: to remove all criminal penalties for possession, use, manufacture or delivery of cannabis for adults, and direct the Legislature to create a taxation and regulatory system as appropriate. This is the most effective way to reform our laws, and the only way to end cannabis prohibition in its entirety; it’s also a process that can be applied on the federal level as a way to effectively end cannabis prohibition – simply remove it from the list of federal controlled substances.
We are constantly working to increase our base of supporters and volunteers, and to further our outreach and education efforts. We’re recruiting and mobilizing thousands of grassroots activists, refining our technology and social media, and keeping the issue alive in the press. Through the dedicated efforts of our volunteers, we are spreading the word of repeal throughout the the state and building our infrastructure in order to finally put an end to this destructive policy.
History shows that the best way to end prohibition is to simply repeal the prohibition language.
In 1932 Washington was one of the first states that repealed prohibition on alcohol through a statewide initiative (the Repeal of the Bone Dry Act“), before prohibition was ended at the federal level. The success of this initiative (I-61) established a legal precedent for repeal as a valid path to legalization. The initiative removed all state laws criminalizing alcohol, leaving the Legislature the task of creating regulations, which it did. Sensible Washington’s initiative is modeled after this method – removing cannabis from Washington state’s list of controlled substances
The federal government would have no means to preempt it (render it invalid in court), as they don’t have the legal authority to reinstate criminal sanctions at the state level.
This is still the best strategy. When trying to legalize a federally controlled substance, there is always the problem of conflicting with the supreme law of the land. If we enact regulations for something that is not allowed federally, the federal government has the power to trump the law. That would put us back at square one, demoralizing our supporters and our volunteers. It could happen immediately, or be held up in court for years. The initiative language used in 1932 gave nothing for the Federal Government to attack since it simply removed state prohibition laws and nothing new was being added that would conflict with Federal law. Using the repeal method for cannabis prohibition allows us to avoid the risk of federal interference, and protects our initiative from federal pre-emption.
Why We Won’t Quit:
We know and fully understand the terrible toll of the drug war.
10,000+ arrests in Washington every year, hundreds of millions of tax dollars wasted, dying medical patients being prosecuted for medical use, people losing custody of their children, the profiteering and violence of the black market, etc..
For these reasons, and countless more, we are determined, with unshakeable resolve, to end cannabis prohibition for adults.
How You Can Help:
If you believe in this cause, now is the time to show your support. Sensible Washington operates on grassroots activism and contributions. Volunteer your time, effort and skills. Make a donation towards the effort to make change. Talk to your friends, family, neighbors and peers about the effects of prohibition, and how important it is that we work together in our communities to bring reform.
No matter how you choose to help, take a stand against prohibition, and contribute what you can (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved or with any questions).
Thank you for your interest and support!