On December 5, 2007, the Board of Trustees approved the following resolution:
 
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Resolution on the Control of Marijuana

Marijuana should be regulated and taxed, and most criminal sanctions should be eliminated.

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.

 

The King County Bar Association Drug Policy Project (“DPP”) requested the Board of Trustees consider and adopt a “Resolution on the Control of Marijuana” at the board’s December meeting. This resolution is in line with a Resolution on State Regulation and Control of Psychoactive Substances, adopted by the KCBA on January 19, 2005, requesting the Washington State Legislature to establish a special consultative body composed of public officials, civic leaders and experts to develop recommendations for legislation to create regulatory systems for the control of psychoactive substances. Since the adoption of that resolution, the DPP has narrowed its focus in order to more effectively realize concrete policy changes. To that end, the DPP has proposed that the KCBA start by promoting the idea of state regulation and taxation of marijuana as an alternative to criminalization of the widely used drug. With experience with state regulation and taxation of marijuana, the DPP believes that the challenges associated with regulating and taxing more potent psychoactive drugs can be addressed in a more rational manner.

Click here for more on the approved “Resolution on the Control of Marijuana,” with background explanatory notes and footnotes.

The Board of Trustees voted on the DPP’s requested resolution at the Board’s December meeting. As the vote approached, your trustees greatly appreciated hearing from any members who had an opinion on the merits of the proposed resolution, as well as on the question of whether this is an appropriate subject for the KCBA to take a leadership role in.

For more information on the KCBA’s Drug Policy Project, please visit the DPP’s website or click here for a list of milestones and accomplishments since the DPP’s inception in 2000.

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