Letters to the Editor

Legalize marijuana but not at a cost to our freedom | Letter to the editor

In the state of Washington there is a disproportionate amount of black men in prison for smoking pot compared to whites. This is a fact – look it up. Do you wonder why? It’s not that more of them are smoking marijuana; it is just ugly old bigotry shaking its mighty head.

So at first glance I-502 which claims to legalize marijuana sounds like a good deal; one less way to send them to prison. But THINK AGAIN! I-502 hands the police a powerful tool to slam black men behind metal doors.

What does “high” look like? A drunk will stagger, slur their words and drive erratically. But high, that could be hesitating at a stop sign, driving with an open bag of munchies or smiling too long. I-502 gives the police a free rein to pull anybody over and search their car or person just for looking high. Of course, if their THC level is below 5 nanograms, they won’t be charged with a DUI. Even so they have been harassed and humiliated. Think it won’t happen? If you read any of Seattle’s news you should know the Seattle Police Department and the Afro-American community do not have a loving relationship.

Marijuana should be legalized but not like this. Not at the cost of our freedom. VOTE No I-502

Jan Hickling

Renton

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