kitsapsun Marijuana should be decriminalized and regulated to end the unnecessary violence spawned by the drug trade in the U.S. and Mexico, a former U.S. attorney from Seattle says.
John McKay was part of a panel of officials invited by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, to speak at a news conference Wednesday aimed at drumming up support for her marijuana legalization bill. McKay directed federal prosecutions in Western Washington from 2001 to 2006, when the Bush administration fired him.
“Prohibition has failed, and frankly has failed for over 80 years,” McKay said. “That means we have to have a different approach to the fact that 14 million Americans choose to smoke marijuana in the face of federal prison.”
[Russ adds: 25.3 million, sir, will smoke marijuana this year in the face of federal prison.]
Dickerson’s bill seeks to have the Washington State Liquor Control board sell and regulate cannabis, and would make marijuana possession legal for adults over age 21. It is being reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee after being tabled by another House committee last month.
Supporters say the bill could raise $440 million in tax revenue per biennium — much-needed money in the face of a $5 billion deficit in the next two-year state budget.