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They asked WHO for help?

by panachronic
on 6/9/2010 @ 5:26pm
I've been following the progress of the I-1068 campaign with great interest and, more recently, with concern... and now disappointment. There are some great people doing important work on this matter, and I applaud them (and dearly wish that I could join them). But, enthusiasm aside, the effort has felt a bit weak from the beginning. And I think that today's article in the TNT ( might hold some answers as to why.

It seems that Sensible Washington ( has been soliciting, and perhaps even counting on, help from groups that, at least nominally, are reliable supporters of liberal causes. Those mentioned in the TNT are the SEIU, the Democrats, and the ACLU. But it shouldn't have been hard to see that none of those groups were going to throw their hats into this particular ring, because all three have a vested interest in continuing cannabis prohibition.

Ending the prohibition is, first and last, a government-cutting proposition. Done right, it will result in reduced budgets for corrections, courts and special law enforcement units. And not one of the parties being courted by Sensible Washington want to see that happen.

Unless, of course, it can be done the way it appears to be happening in California, where the Legislature is taking a hard look at legalization as a TAX measure, not as a rollback of government interference in the lives of citizens.

Sensible Washington can only succeed with its present offering by cultivating authentic grass roots support. There are no liberal political entities in this state that will aid in the shrinkage of government, regardless of any social benefits to be realized. Cannabis reformers need to recognize that.

by jenyum on 6/9/2010 @ 9:45pm
There's no big money conspiracy going on, people just don't want to risk their careers on the issue, which they probably view as tangential to their core mission and likely to result in a lot of criticism from their constituents.

I agree that it's a shame, and that if they want to be successful they'll have to not rely on the "establishment" progressives.

actually, maybe they're barking up the wrong party...

strange bedfellows.

by panachronic on 6/9/2010 @ 10:01pm
I'm not suggesting a conspiracy; I'm merely pointing out that each of the organizations mentioned in the TNT have their cynical reasons for opposing the initiative.

"Progressive" isn't a word that comes to mind here, particularly when it comes to the Democrats.