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June 7, 2010 at 5:27 PM

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The No-Marijuana Left

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

You have to hand it to Philip Dawdy, spokesman for the effort to legalize marijuana. It's standard in politics to put out a press release when somebody supports you. When they don't support you, you slink away, defeated. Not Dawdy. The man has imagination. Today he put out a press release as follows:

Sensible Washington learned earlier this afternoon that the Service Employees International Union and other players in progressive causes in Washington State have declined to financially support paid signature gathering for I-1068. Over the last month, the SEIU and others in state politics have talked with Sensible Washington about steps they could take to ensure that the initiative turned in enough signatures to qualify for this November's ballot... Now after stringing the I-1068 campaign along for four weeks, they've walked.

Why would the SEIU, which represents nurses and other service workers, care about legalizing marijuana? Because it is a left-leaning union, and in order to keep its people in office, it needs left-leaning voters to come out in November. And one of the things that might bring them out is Initiative 1068, which would legalize marijuana.

That was the theory, anyway. Apparently the reality is that they don't care about it, at least not now.

“Politics in this state stink,” said Dawdy. “Marijuana smells better."

Dawdy's group has had a tough time. At the beginning of the signature drive, a bank refused to process online donations, fearing it was money laundering for a dope business. Later a police bust of a medical-marijuana dispensary seized signed petitions as evidence (of what?). And now the I-1068 people are dumped by our local Left.

The last move does not surprise me too much. I keep telling people that a lot of the lefties in this state, and particularly in this city, are not liberal. They aren't interested in individual rights--at least, not rights to do very many things outside a bedroom. Progressive activists are believers in government. They want to save the Earth by controlling people more, including by banning the use of tobacco outdoors in the public parks. I think the broad group of people who vote leftward are far more tolerant than the activists, and would vote for I-1068 if they could. Maybe now they won't get the chance.

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