Initiative to legalize marijuana - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Initiative to legalize marijuana

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Five activists have filed a ballot initiative to legalize all adult marijuana possession in Washington state. Its sponsors include two Seattle lawyers as well as the director of Seattle's annual Hempfest. The group, calling itself Sensible Washington, says state government is wasting money on police, court and jail costs for people who use or produce marijuana.
      Douglas Hiatt, a lawyer who represents medical marijuana patients says the initiative would remove all state penalties for adult possession of pot. Criminal penalties for juvenile possession and for providing the drug to juveniles would remain in place. Marijuana would also remain illegal under federal law.
      Hiatt says volunteers are lining up to collect the signatures needed to get the issue on the November ballot.