Steven Elliott reports in Toke of the Town
Washington drug agents have illegally seized signed petitions for marijuana legalization, according to organizers of ballot initiative I-1068.
Marijuana advocacy group Sensible Washington says it has learned that a dozen signed copies of the marijuana legalization initiative for Washington State of which it is the sponsor, were seized last week by the federally-funded WestNET drug task force.
Advocates say that the drug agents who seized the petitions are interfering with a constitutionally-protected legislative procedure.
“Our estimate is that 2009 signatures are sitting in WestNET’s offices in Port Orchard, apparently seized as ‘evidence’ during a series of raids against the North End Club 420 in Tacoma,” said Sensible Washington campaign director and initiative co-author Philip Dawdy.
“We have made repeated calls to WestNET’s office, but have yet to receive any assurance that the task force’s personnel have secured the signed petitions and that they plan to promptly return them to Sensible Washington,” Dawdy said.
“It proves how insane marijuana prohibition has gotten, that law enforcement would seized signed copies of I-1068 as ‘evidence’ in a drug raid,” Dawdy said.
“The only thing they are evidence of is democracy in action,” Dawdy said. “It is not a crime or evidence of a crime for citizens to sign a statewide initiative.”
Sensible Washington is calling upon WestNET to immediately return the seized petitions to its offices at 3161 Elliott Avenue, Suite 340, Seattle, WA 98121, or to make other arrangements for the immediate delivery to Sensible Washington.
Rachel Hawkridge, chair of the Libertarian Party of Washington State, says “The interference of drug thugs in the legislative process is chilling. What’s next? No knock raids on Medical Marijuana doctors to get names of medical marijuana patients? Following people who buy more than one bag of Doritos home?
Or posing as census workers to get you to open the door so they can smell your house and clothes?
Liberty weeps. Remember that Washington is a Medical Marijuana state, and this is a Washington drug task force, persecuting patients and their caregivers.”