Another busy year for marijuana legislation
Last update: January 26, 2016
Washington lawmakers spent much of last year tackling issues related to the state’s marijuana laws, and so far 2016 has no shortage of similar efforts to fine tune the program.
So far, well over a dozen measures have been presented. Among some of the more significant bills, HB 2347 would reduce the excise tax from 37% to 25%; HB 2364 would allow out of state residents to take ownership positions in Washington marijuana businesses; and SB 6375 would allow cannabis cafés to operate, catering to adults who want to consume marijuana with other adults in a regulated retail location.
As important as these measures are, one glaring omission is a bill that would reduce the unreasonably harsh penalties minors in possession face. While use by minors should not be encouraged, a simple possession charge should not be treated as a criminal offense that can result in jail time. According to the ACLU, nationwide, 62% of marijuana arrests in 2010 were for people who were 24 and younger, and 34% were for teenagers or youth. Email your legislators and urge them to support legislation that makes marijuana possession by individuals under 21 subject to a civil fine, not jail time.
Thank you for supporting the Marijuana Policy Project and all of our allies. If you have questions about marijuana policy reform in Washington, please contact us by email at [email protected] for more information. Don’t forget to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service, if you haven’t done so already.