BTC Commentary -- Washington State recently approved I-502, a measure to legalise an ounce of marijuana November 6th, dismissing 175 misdemeanor cases almost immediately after. The measure had its critics and its proponents in mortal combat to do something new. Washington State intends to makes hay from abolishing drug prohibition.
Every American locale has their version of freedom. 60% of Washington State voted in a new AFIS tax for biometric captures. The same population approved what is considered a libertarian measure to legalize marijuana. Washington State still leans statist regardless of party along with their budget ledgers.
I-502 allows police to stop and do blood draws of people they think are DUI or driving-while-high. That fits with the existing nature of police policy in King County and most of the State. For now, King County Police will still throw a hispanic restauranteur against the wall in full view of his customers for jaywalking in a city that doesn't have jaywalking laws. Now that Prop 1 has passed, police can simply log the fingerprints with the rest of the criminals in addition to entering "jayalked" the local Fusion Center SAR's report. That's all.
The big proving ground for Washington culture will come down to accomodating pot smoking tourists. The people who flock here are not going to be hand picked by the locals, who have a passive-agressive nature with both transplants and tourists. Businesses won't really be able to get away with playing smug for long when the newly dominant tourism model caters to out-of-towners. The competition will beat them into correction or attrition. That's the way it works.
Xenophobic landmarks will get ebbed away from projected crash tides of tourism. People will watch tourists swift economic racism out to sea as the commercial ships come in. Soon institutional profiteering from prisons will pale in comparison to the tourism boom from freedom. It won't make any sense to continue arbitrary prison retention in terrible conditions. The State will be strong enough for justice reforms without worrying about State funding.
If the locals can stand make enough in local tax revenues to self-finance their internal operations, they can sever the federal purse strings. In my competetive fantasy, this goes so well the welcome mat gets rolled up for Military R&D. The pentagon would be told they no longer need the privatized welfare cheese. They would handed their hat and told to try somewhere else, in their cold fishwharfy way of doing things.
For now, the majority of this State gets a lot of job growth and "sustainability" funding for fostering and exporting surveillance and military development projects abroad and around the country. An example of flow would be Washington State is the first to manufacture and Houston is the first buyer of anything that would miltarize police.
In the corner of optimism, King County is trying a new sherriff. He's going to deal with a lot of cognitive dissonance. Sherriff Urquhart will be in constant peril of defunding. Almost immediately the threat of revoking of federal highway funds emerged because Washington State is challenging federal supremacy. He will have to have the policy manuals rewritten so people of color are not instant targets for police harassment and the hate crimes are prosecuted from within. He will deal with longstanding union cliques who want to keep things exactly the way they are. He will need unwavering support and guidance from the community to flush out existing corruption and adjust to these changes.
|SOLD! Burrito at 4 AM for the Evergreen State Tourist|
The Sherriff's office will be the new fulcrum for a legalized marijuana State. Locals who want improvements and changes to accomodate tourism revenues to stick, along with a new economic boom, need to help the Sherriff's office. They will require fiscal and moral support, consistent with policy recommendations; which fit an economy becoming more autonomous from US federal funding.
The conclusion may seem counterintuitive, but if Washington State wants to keep weed legal, locals will have to support and come to the aid of the local Sherriff's office when the deep cuts come.
Legalizing marijuana a huge step in the right direction, but the adjustments will not be easy for this State. If they are a success, you can expect them to export local marijuana policy to Virginia and Maryland. Perhaps then it will be safe enough to cut trillions in military spending. More people are interested in strong local economies, supporting employment.
It makes elemental sense to bring the party instead of the war.