Marijuana Legalization Fails in Wash. Legislature
A bill that would have legalized marijuana possession for adults ages 21 and over has been rejected by a House committee in the Washington state legislature, the Associated Press reported Jan. 20.
The House Public Safety Committee voted 6-2 against the bill, as well as another measure that would have decriminalized adult marijuana possession. The legalization bill would have imposed a 15-percent tax on marijuana sales; the money would have been used to pay for addiction treatment and prevention.
The decriminalization bill failed 5-3; it would have downgraded marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a civil offense with a maximum penalty of a $100 fine.
The chairman of the committee said that he voted against the measure because legalization would conflict with federal law.
Washington legalization activists are moving ahead with a plan to put a ballot initiative before voters in November.