[Editor’s Opinion: Watching portions of the “The 2nd Great I-502 Debate” video in silent movie fashion I find that this poorly played scene of drunken good cop, played by Steinborn a lawyer, and drunk off his ego bad cop, played by Hiatt a lawyer, reminded me of why I never liked NYPD Blue, because it was shit. To me this “man,” Hiatt, is so utterly vile I can only tolerate a few moments of his mouth moving – probably due to my PTSD.
Personally, I find that the core of Hiatt’s and his cohorts’ arguments are based on false premises, or what I like to call lies, combined with fallacious arguments, or what I like to call bullshit. By the way, it certainly is one big ass shovel Hiatt uses to pile up the lies and bullshit, which is why I am glad he wrote an op-ed published by The Olympian. This condensed soup version of the typical verbal diarrhea is easier to digest – although it still tastes like and leaves the taste of shit in your mind – facilitating the process of converting this mental fecal matter into a palatable and coherent form for you the valued reader.]
[NOTE: The “Reference List” provided at the bottom of this article can also be accessed in a separate tab by clicking here.]
After analyzing the op-ed piece, “Should pot be legal? NO”, by Douglas Hiatt a criminal defense attorney based in Seattle and co-founder of Sensible Washington I felt compelled to dissect his statements and present them with my own analysis to single out his errors, to point out his lapses in memory, and to debunk his propaganda – although, he can change his own dirty fucking diapers.
“Washington voters are being told a big lie. New Approach Washington, the campaign be hind Initiative 502, is advertising that it will “legalize” marijuana. It would not.”
If anything, the big lie here is what Mr. Hiatt claims in this paragraph. New Approach Washington’s “About” page states “[t]his law legalizes(1)(2)(3) the possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older” not that this law “legalizes marijuana” as he so dishonestly asserts in this passage.
“It creates a very narrow exception that defines the possession of one ounce by adults” over 21, and the state’s rules for production, as “not a violation” of the law.”
The first thing I am addressing is the phrase “not a violation” applies to the “state’s rules for production” is false(4), it is not found anywhere in I-502 relating to the regulatory structures as Hiatt claims in within this statement.
He also omits the fact that in addition to the maximum of one ounce(5) of marijuana it will also “adults over 21” to legally possess up to an additional sixteen ounces(6) of food product and up to an additional seventy-two ounces of liquid product(7) while heaping up this pile of dung.
In case you are adding it up this works out to be 1 and 1/16 pounds of solid marijuana and 1 and 1/8 quarts of liquid marijuana, which are felony amount of cannabis that every adult twenty-one and older will legally be able to possess. As of the 2011 census Washington state has 6,830,038 (2011) residents. For the sake of argument, I will spitball an estimate that roughly 50 percent of Washingtonians are “adults over 21.” Hypothetically, this means that 3,415,019 adults who will no longer be criminals if they choose to own and consume those felony amounts of cannabis. In addition, after I-502 passes these people could legally own a combined 3,628,457.6875 pounds and 3,841,896.375 quarts (or 960,474.09375 gallons) of marijuana. I do not have to tell you this but I am compelled to state the fact that this is a lot of theoretical fucking pot!
Moreover, Hiatt’s use of the quotation “not a violation” to downplay the importance of this small yet important part of the statutory addition 69.50.4013(3) that in no uncertain terms states that adults twenty-one and older are not in violation of any Washington State law(8) when possessing these felony amounts of cannabis is appalling. In addition, it seems that the old man forgot that “not a violation” is legal speak for “it is legal” since it requires a law restricting an action in order to violate (i.e. break) a law; or he does not want you to know this fact.
Personally, I think that this is huge step forward for Washington cannabis consumers and non-consumers alike and only an asshole would intentionally call this a “very narrow exception” after read I-502.
“I-502 leaves every single law now making marijuana illegal on the books.”
Every single law now on the books now that make all Schedule 1 drugs illegal includes marijuana (with one statute being the one exception, “Possession 40 grams or less of marihuana”), which means that it was impossible to remove “every single law now making marijuana illegal.” He is a lawyer, he should know this shit; or he does and he does not want you to know this information.
As long as he brought it up, I-502 does change the possession law(9) that among other things allows for those felony amounts. It also changes the law that broadly deals with the manufacture, deliver, and sales of all controlled substances adding language that permits state licensed individuals to perform these acts to supply the public with cannabis(10).
“Walk out of the state-sanctioned, licensed and taxed store and hand the marijuana to your significant other and it is a delivery of marijuana.”
That’s not delivery, that’s DiGiorno. How nice of this fictitious person to get their fictitious significant other’s cannabis, although, if both hypotheticals went into this proposed state-sanctioned, licensed, and taxed store each one could theoretically by their own ounce of marijuana, pound of infused food product, and quart of infused liquid product. Then our two characters can get really fucking fictitiously high! I guess Hiatt means that this will harm cannabis consumers in some fashion but this makes I-502 sound even better.
“This is not comprehensive, real reform.”
I-502 is pragmatic, real reform that has made it further than Hiatt’s failed initiative attempts and it stands a damn good chance of winning this year. It appears to me that this dude has initiative envy and takes pathetic potshots like this at any opportunity.
“What I-502 does change is our DUI law. Our current DUI laws are working just fine and result in conviction rates of over 90 percent. This initiative sets unneeded, unasked for and unscientific levels for impairment for adults “
Wait, what the fuck did I just read? Seriously, did he actually write “our current DUI laws are working just fine and results in conviction rates of over 90 percent” in the context that this is a good thing? In case it slipped his mind, current DUI laws are unneeded, unasked for, and unscientific that allow prosecutors to convict people for any amount of active THC and inactive THC COOH(11) resulting “in convictions rates of over 90 percent” which is an unacceptable, unnecessary, and un-defendable zero tolerance policy for adults twenty-one and older.
I-502 in fact does change Washington’s DUI law by adding language that will benefit a vast majority of cannabis consumers by establishing a 5ng/mL whole blood active THC threshold(12) for adult cannabis consumers. Meaning anyone below 5ng/mL active THC and everyone with only inactive THC COOH is not legally impaired therefore prosecutors cannot take the driver to trial let alone get a guilty verdict from a jury.
The initiative also adds language for affirmative defense(13), which closely matches that established for alcohol. Simply stated, if a competent lawyer can prove that you consumed cannabis (i.e. smoke some pot or consumed an edible) after you began driving (i.e. smoked, ate, or drank cannabis after taking off) but before the administration of the blood test it nullifies results showing levels at or above 5ng’s active THC(13). This makes it damn near impossible to convict a person unless they were impaired and the officer gathered enough tangible evidence showing that the defendant was impaired such as video of the defendant and or officers’ testimonies conclusively proving impairment.
These changes combined create new protections for cannabis consumers while making the prosecutor’s job convicting cannabis consumers for DUI much more difficult – in some, if not most, cases impossible.
To put things in proper context we must now look at the punishments prescribed by law for a DUI gross misdemeanor conviction compared to those prescribed for convictions of possession of marijuana as a class C felony. DUI are gross misdemeanors punishable by a maximum sentence of up to 365 days in county jail and or maximum fine of up to 5,000 dollars(14).
Shitty I know, but class C convictions for felony possession of cannabis are punishable by a sentence of 5 years in state prison and or a 10,000-dollar fine(15). As someone convicted in my state of DUID for cannabis I can tell you the impact jail time and fines have on your life is not as detrimental as the impact that I have witnessed state prison and fines of this level have on a person’s mind, body, emotions, and life.
In effect, he is arguing in this portion of the text for the current system that sets “unneeded, unasked for, and unscientific levels for impairment for adults,” which “result[s] in conviction rates of over 90 percent” of people with any amount of active THC impaired or not and all unimpaired people with only inactive THC COOH in their systems. Way to fight for prohibition while pushing your own personal and political agendas Hiatt!
“(5 nanograms, rejected three times by the Colorado Legislature)“
What exactly is the point here? We are discussing what the voters of Washington, including the people who do not consume cannabis, will vote for not a bill in front of the Colorado Legislature. I suppose pointless bits of dreck slip their way into the shovelfuls of manure.
“while establishing a zero-tolerance provision for all drivers 16 to 21.”
I-502 establishes a legal threshold of 0.00 ng/mL thru 4.9999 ng/mL of active THC for minors 16 years of age to minors 20 years and 364 days of age with additions to “Driver under twenty-one consuming alcohol”(16). These are misdemeanor charges(17)punishable upon conviction by a maximum term of 90 days in jail and or a maximum fine of 1,000 dollars(18). Right now, minors receive “Driving under the influence” (DUI) gross misdemeanor charges for any amount of cannabis in their system, same as adults, but after I-502 passes children receive legal protections from the draconian DUI laws. I suppose that information slipped the Hiatt’s mind but to be fair this is a lot of crap to cram into one pile of poop.
“It also takes away your ability to defend yourself. If you meet the levels, you are guilty.”
“This is, of course, pure bullshit” is a quotation from the immortal John Cleese’s professor of logic character in the skit “A Lesson in Logic” that I feel best describes, addresses, and summarizes this statement.
“No explaining that you are a patient, no arguing about the levels or tolerance, nothing.”
Of course, Hiatt includes fear-mongering rhetoric about the “patients” that ignores the vast majority of people illegally consuming cannabis medicinally and those who chose not to participate because they cannot attain a recommendation. The opposition prefers you that think of all people who use and could use cannabis medicinally in Washington as patients when legally this only refers to a small number of people. Folks who suffer from one or more of the limited number of conditions considered qualifying under the law. Who possess insurance and the finances to visit a health care professional who was not a dick and signed the tamper proof paper to making these people qualified, recommended, quasi-legal patients in Washington State. These fortunate few are the only ones lucky enough to call themselves “patients” as the law stands now, unfortunately all patients end up as propaganda tools by this man and his cohorts to put up a smoke screen, which obscures a countless number of Washington’s forgotten patients.
Another important point is this happens now to all cannabis consumers (e.g. recreational, spiritual, and medicinal) at “conviction rates of over 90 percent” on all forms of THC, active or inactive THC COOH(11). This current zero-tolerance limit for determining impairment is an unacceptable, unnecessary, and un-defendable legal standard for determining if a person is impaired, I-502 adds language to the statute that addresses this deplorable situation.
“For drivers age 16 to 21, any detectable amount of marijuana will result in a DUI conviction and disastrous effects on their parents’ insurance.”
“This is, of course, pure bullshit,” says the spirit of the professor of logic and I concur with the caricature. Again, minors, if convicted, will be guilty of a misdemeanor violation(17) as per the additions to the statute “Driver under twenty-one consuming alcohol — penalties”(16), which is far less detrimental than a “Driving under the influence” conviction. This initiative in fact provides protections for minors’ driving privileges, how thoughtful of New Approach Washington to include that in legislation aimed at legalization for adults.
Moreover, this has nothing to do with I-502 and is in fact a matter of parental and personal responsibility to ensure that children know not to get high and drive – and how to handle getting pulled over if they do – and that these children need to understand the burden this would place on their parents and act accordingly.
“This is not based on impairment; it is simply a new penalty for marijuana for kids. But it is a very impactful one for parents with teenage drivers. What parent wants to face the requirements for insurance and the expense of a DUI, all because of some youthful experimentation?”
This paragraph is just a reiteration and continuation of the “what about the children” dreck from the last paragraph.
Again, parents need to fulfill their parental responsibility to their children by raising them to understand by the responsibilities of driving privilege and abide the rules governing the public roadways. The children need to exercise personal responsibility while exercising their driving privilege to avoid burdening their parents with the consequences of their reckless actions.
“This initiative is also being sold as “pitting the citizens of Washington state against the federal government” and “carefully drafted” to withstand federal preemption. Not true. I-502 essentially wastes your vote to force federal change and will likely result in the federal courts construing this initiative to change the law to one ounce decriminalized, with nowhere legal to buy it and leaving the terrible changes to our DUI laws.”
I Googled the quotation that opens this passage and the only result that matched this exact quote (at the time of this writing) is the republishing of Hiatt’s article on The Weed Blog. I suppose he was tired from finding facts to twist and misrepresent and decided to start making shit up to throw on the pile as he writes this speculation.
I would like to add this is nothing more than a wild guess of a criminal defense attorney pretending they are an expert in matters relating to conflicts between State and Federal laws.
“As U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan has stated, she knows of no attorney who thinks that this will survive federal preemption analyses. There are ways to avoid this drafting problem.”
Holy hell this just shows how desperate things are getting over at the Sensible Washington camp. Hiatt is using the hearsay opinion of Jenny Durkan “the chief federal law enforcement officer in Western Washington.” Whose job is, in part, combating “the scourge of drug dealing” and heads an office of “68 attorneys and 69 staff” members. This is a shitty way to transition into the shameless plug for his competing legalization organization’s website in the last sentence of this paragraph that is the next excerpt I will address.
“See sensiblewashington.org for real cannabis reform.”
I want a fucking refund! I clicked that damn link and all I got was a blog article – “Deconstructing I-502 Part 8: Opposition In Summary” – talking shit about I-502 not “real cannabis reform” as was asserted in this statement.
To be perfectly honest, I think this entire article is nothing more than a shameless plug for Sensible Washington’s final article shit talking I-502 tooth and nail. This allows Hiatt a chance to show off for his disciples by pretentiously grandstanding until the very end.
“Because the federal government will not allow the state to begin regulating and taxing a federally banned substance, these projections are moot. I-502 imposes taxes at three distinct levels and does not allow growers and sellers to be the same entity. This will produce taxes that will make the store-bought marijuana way too expensive to even begin to impact the current market.”
The only projections discussed at any length are Hiatt’s and they are more than moot, they are in fact deceitful prognostications of doom and gloom used as propaganda against a thoughtfully written and carefully constructed initiative.
Just for the sake of argument let us assume that he is correct that the feds will preempt the states regulation, this makes your claim based of poor math about the taxes making “store-bought marijuana way too expensive” moot.
Now, regardless of what the feds do, these claims about the over taxation of store-bought cannabis are derived from faulty math. All projections from the opposition leave out standard markups on the unit prices by wholesale and retail sellers (i.e. the grower charges 1 dollar a unit, the processor charges 2 dollars a unit distributor charges 4 dollars a unit, the retail outlet charges 8 dollars a unit). When calculating taxes you must add these factors into the equation or you get an incorrect answer and all statements derived from this arithmetic are false. This makes the point moot, or what I like to call bullshit propaganda.
“I-502 will have absolutely no effect on criminal organizations in Mexico or anywhere else.”
Balderdash, for an attorney in Hiatt’s position as a legalization activist to make this statement is pure non-sense. It shows that he is either ignorant to the fact that Mexican cartels operate throughout the United States, including Washington, or he chose to ignore that fact when compiling this dreck.
Mexican cartels are entrenched throughout the vast majority of America’s lower 48 states with well-established distribution networks; Washington State is no exception to this reality as the graphic “Moving Into The U.S.” from The New York Times online publishing “The Reach of Mexico’s Drug Cartels” illustrates.
As of February 2009 Washington State was the nation’s second largest “domestic producer of marijuana” mostly controlled by Mexican cartels growing marijuana in clandestine grow operations that produce varieties comparable to “BC BUD” according to The New Your Times Report “Tough Border Can’t Stop Mexican Marijuana Cartels”
These clandestine grow sites disproportionally impact Native American tribal lands such as those of the Yakama. At the peak of State Patrol and Yakama Tribal Police seizures of cannabis on tribal lands in 2008, they confiscated “more than 204,000 marijuana plants at more than two dozen grow sites” according to the August 2011 report by The Seattle Time “Marijuana growers find cover on tribal lands.” Law enforcement believe the majority of these cultivation locations are operated by Mexican cartels and the marijuana seized from these grows on average comprises one-quarter of the seizures in Washington State.
This inevitably leads to a proliferation of the cartels other endeavors such manufacture, trafficking and sales of hard drugs like methamphetamine by the likes of alleged cartel member “La Bonita” as reported by CNN in the online report “Alleged Mexican cartel operative ‘La Bonita’ arrested” in July of 2012.
Another danger these cartels pose to Washington, and all Americans, is that people like the suspected leader of a violent drug cartel was arrested in connection with the murders of over 200 human beings left to rot in unmarked mass graves discovered by authorities. Residents surrounding the Tieton region who knew also reported Omar Estrada Luna the alleged ring leader of Los Zetas “had plenty of run-ins with authorities before being deported” according to a report published by the Yakima Herald-Republic “ Is former Tieton resident now a Mexican drug cartel leader? ” in April of 2011.
Whether it is shipping Mexican grown marijuana into and throughout the U.S., running clandestine grow operations on public and Native American Tribal lands, or proliferating hard drugs and ruthless killers the cartels are operating in Washington State. If you think that a state regulated system for producing and distributing cannabis “will have absolutely no effect on criminal organizations in Mexico or anywhere else” I think that you are either ignorant or an asshole.
“To actually get the benefit of ending prohibition, as we did with alcohol, you have to actually legalize the substance in question, not play games and pander to fears.”
Here I agree, unbelievably, I actually do agree, in part. I disagree with the context but I agree with the statement. Yes, we must end the prohibition of cannabis as we did with alcohol by legalizing marijuana and that this is not the time to “play games and pander to fears.” This is why I feel it imperative that Hiatt and his cohorts stop implementing these Anslinger-like, drug warrior influenced tactics of lying, cheating, and stealing to attain their idealized version of marijuana legalization. This behavior does not benefit consumers, activists, or the movement. In fact, this is detrimental to consumers and the cause.
“I-502 also fails to legalize hemp, which would open a $430 million domestic hemp market currently supplied primarily by China.”
This is a trivial and misleading thing to point out here. It does not legalize “hemp” but it does legalize the production of marijuana with levels of THC commonly used to distinguish varieties of cannabis hemp from drug varieties making this point moot. I-502 does however make “marijuana” the new “hemp” as I detailed in “I-502, marijuana is the new hemp, and the facts with a side order of opinion”.
“With regard to other criminal justice savings, because more than 90 percent of current marijuana possession charges are the result of traffic stops, the 10,000 possession arrests per year can easily be converted into 10,000 (or more) DUI arrests, thereby eliminating any savings in the criminal justice system stemming from reduced prosecutions.”
What is this I see before me Hiatt, more speculation? If as he claims it is true that “more than 90 percent of current marijuana possession charges are the result of traffic stops” and possession of marijuana provides the officer with probable cause to initiate DUI field tests. Why do we not see “over 90 percent” of possession charges and convictions coupled with DUI charges and convictions? Seriously though, all prosecutors need do now is show inactive THC COOH(11) in the drivers system to convict these folks at rates of “over 90 percent.” This is, in effect, a slam-dunk. Why then is this not occurring already throughout Washington State?
“The zero-tolerance driving standard for drivers 16 to 21 will eliminate any savings on criminal justice costs and produce much misery for many families.”
Ten-thousand reckless children hell bent on behaving badly is what may possibly void any savings. I doubt that will happen but if it does this would not be the fault of this initiative. It would be the fault of bad parenting and lax laws permitting children unfit to operate vehicles to drive on the public roadways. Moreover, I-502’s so-called “zero-tolerance driving standard” cannot eliminate any savings to the criminal justice system, it is impossible for language in legislation to violate itself thereby garnering criminal or other charges ; the claim itself is simply daft and desperate. Again, it is irresponsible children permitted to drive that would cause this hypothetical situation.
“Just say no to I-520.”
If you think the privilege(19)(20)(21) of driving(22)(23)(24) is more important than the human right(25)(26)(27) to consume cannabis vote no on I-502.
If you feel that the human’s right to consume cannabis is of utmost importance vote for the first step in ending prohibition and being the process of reestablishing the civil(28) and Constitutional rights(29) of We the People.
Vote yes on I-502.