Information about the activities and events of Democrats in the 8th LD and Benton County, as well as opinions about state and local politics. Not an official blog of any political organization.
WA State Rep./Rev. Brad Klippert (R-8) on Marijuana Law Reform IN BOLD Thank you for contacting my office concerning House Bill 1177, a bill proposing to reclassify possession of marijuana of forty grams or less from a misdemeanor to a class 2 civil infraction.I have seen many times the effect marijuana has on people, children and families. It is an addictive, mind altering, drug that ruins lives.Addictive like caffeine, mind-altering like laughing gas, drug that only ruins your life if you are caught with it. Although some disagree, as a Pierce County and a current Benton County Sheriff Deputy, I have seen firsthand that mariiuana is a gateway drug that leads the user to try other illicit drugs.Shame on you Rev Brad. The gateway drug theory has been disproven so many times you should be ashamed to even mention it. What you’ve seen as a deputy are the worst-case scenarios of hard drug abusers and criminals who also happen to smoke pot. You don’t see that millions of us smoke pot responsibly because you’re never called to any incidents involving us! Any savings to taxpayers as a result of this bill does not account for the unseen costs of drug abuse on the user, their families, and our communities. Families are destroyed as they struggle to cope with their loved one’s abuse. The lives of innocent people are negatively affected when drug users steal to feed their addiction.Please find me the marijuana smoker who has stolen to feed her addiction. Plus, you must presume that costs from drug abuse would rise higher than those costs are now should we pass marijuana decriminalization in Washington State. The experience of twelve other states that decriminalized marijuana use in the past shows that use of marijuana and hard drugs, like alcohol or cocaine, does not increase. A fine is not enough to deter drug use. If passed, HB 1177 would encourage in many ways the use of marijuana by removing the threat of jail time. An increase in drug use will also put more stress on already tight budget resources in our communities that are trying to eradicate drug abuse.Again, cannabis use does not increase under fine-only penalties. Everyone who wants to smoke pot is already smoking pot. Because some parents will continue to abuse marijuana - their children will likely also. Thus truancy by kids would most likely increase and learning would be affected as well. We will struggle to keep and get our kids on track. I believe the proposed reclassification is dangerous public policy.You ought to try making it harder for the kids to get marijuana by asking to see their IDs. Black market dealers don’t card kids; legal market dealers do. Finally, marijuana production and distribution is often controlled by criminal gang activity. These groups are violent predators who should be held criminally responsible for their actions.I completely agree. In fact, I hate violent criminal gangs so much I think we ought to stop subsidizing them through prohibitionary price supports on their sales of illegal drugs. Once again, thank you for contacting me. Ir you have any other questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact my office again.
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