Initiative to Decriminalize Hard Drugs in WA Fails Signature Test
We had told you a while back about WA I-1922 (Initiative) which sought to 'formally decriminalize hard drug possession (and basically personal use). Now, it's a moot point.
Supporters abandon the signature effort, for now
MyNorthwest.com is reporting a group called Commit to Change Washington has given up for now, and the initiative will not be on the ballot in November.
The Initiative required at least 324,516 valid registered voters' signatures, and election officials said a 'safe' number of 405,000 was recommended. The extra signatures are a cushion against duplicate, fake or non-valid signees.
The group, according to MyNorthwest, did not specify how many they had, but a statement released from them included the following report:
“We will not be moving forward to qualify Washington State Initiative Measure No. 1922 to the November 8th general election ballot, Signature gathering proved more challenging and prohibitively expensive than projected.”
Commit to Change had previously claimed a poll done by Data for Progress showed 67 percent of those surveyed in WA were in favor of such an Initiative, 22 percent against, and 11 percent undecided.
However, it appears once the signature effort began, Commit to Change apparently ran into much more resistance and opposition than they expected.
Oregon's law not really working.
Back in May, we reported Oregon's law not really working as intended. in 2021, they voted in favor of decriminalizing drugs such as meth, heroin, coke, and other hard drugs. People arrested would receive either a $100 fine, or could enter a state-funded rehab and treatment program. However, out of some 2,000 such citations, only 19 persons actually utilized the programs.
Tens of millions of dollars set aside for these 'treatment programs' has gone unused.
Opponents say offenders are using it as a 'get-out-of-jail-free' card, and it appears they never intended to enter the rehab programs.
For now, I-1922 will not appear on the ballot, and the issue of decriminalizing hard drugs will likely have to wait until the next legislative session in 2023.
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