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Nov 07 2012

52 to 48

It’s close, still too close to call for sure definite, but it’s going the right way so…I’m optimistic. Referendum 74 legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state is currently at 52-48 in favor.

Election parties in Seattle spilled out into the streets in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, where police closed off several blocks for an outdoor election celebration of President Barack Obama’s re-election, and where more than 1,000 people were dancing and chanting “74, 74, 74.”

The measure was losing in 31 of the state’s 39 counties. But it had its strongest lead – 65 percent of the vote – in King County, the state’s largest county and home to Seattle.

State Sen. Ed Murray, a Democratic gay lawmaker from Seattle who sponsored the marriage law that passed the Legislature, said he felt confident that Washington state’s numbers would hold.

“We’re almost there, and we should celebrate,” he said.

Also Maine, Maryland, Minnesota partial.
Meanwhile, Maine’s measure passed Tuesday night with 54 percent of the vote. The measure that passed in Maryland matched Washington state’s lead of 52-48 percent. In Minnesota, voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in their state. Gay marriage remains illegal under Minnesota state law.

Legalization could help bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in pot taxes, reduce small-time pot-related arrests and give supporters a chance to show whether decriminalization is a viable strategy in the war on drugs.

The sales won’t start until state officials make rules to govern the legal weed industry.

The legal weed industry – that makes me laugh.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Rieux

    Just to toot Minnesota’s horn: as far as GLBT rights are concerned, last night we did indeed only vote down a homophobic ballot amendment, rather than the cooler thing Maine, Maryland, and you Evergreen Staters did–but we may be only a few months behind you!

    Check out my Daily Kos diary carrying today’s Minnesota political scuttlebutt.

  2. 2
    Ophelia Benson

    Hey, Rieux, you have a diary at Daily Kos! That’s like having a blog, right? We’ve been wanting you to have a blog for ages! [rejoices]

  3. 3
    Martin Cohen

    The problem, as we have found in California, is that the state making pot legal is not much help if the federal government stomps all over pot smokers and dispensaries.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    True. But, it’s a step.

  5. 5
    Worldtraveller

    I’m surprised the marijuana initiative passed so overwhelmingly, but the gay marriage amendment, while passing, is much closer.

    Come on you potheads, get with the program.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    Hahaha that’s a point. I guess they were so groovy they kind of forgot the other stuff.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    CGM3

    The problem, as we have found in California, is that the state making pot legal is not much help if the federal government stomps all over pot smokers and dispensaries.

    Then get the Washington GOP to join you in the battle against federal interference. I mean, the Republicans seem to be the ones always bleating about states’ rights… :-)

  9. 9
    baal

    I’m not interested in smoking pot and couldn’t care less about the taxes it could raise. My issue is that it’s not a particularly harmful act and absent some real harm, the State should not punish folks. Worse, the drug war has been less than effective despite driving up the prison population beyond dictator levels. Reducing the prison population is a sufficient reason for legalization.

  10. 10
    Argle Bargle

    baal #9

    During the 1920s the US tried prohibiting a popular recreational drug. The experiment was a failure at legislating morality, it funded organized crime, and being a scofflaw was socially acceptable. The similar prohibition against marijuana has had similar effects.

  11. 11
    kyoungers

    I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and I had no idea you were a fellow Washingtonian! I agree, good for us (and no thanks to half my family).

  12. 12
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    With the marriage question, it should be noted that there are still ~700,000 ballots to be counted according to the Washington Secretary of State, with over 200,000 in King County. Counting is done for tonight, but the big counties are resuming tomorrow afternoon at various times.

    With regards to pot, the combination of that and the new duty rules meaning I can go across the border just to grab a 40oz bottle or 24-case of beer without paying duty means I really really should get off my ass and invest in a passport. I’ve always wanted to ride the train down to Seattle in the morning and come back to Vancouver in the evening…

  13. 13
    notsont

    The passing of these laws gives me a little hope that people can stop listening to their “gut” and start listening to facts. The war on drugs has done so much verifiable harm and pretty much nothing good has come from it. We continue to spend hundreds of billions on it and all we get to show for it is bodies and wrecked lives.

    Denying marriage rights to people is just unfathomable, people make arguments defending bigotry that are so twisted and contrary to reason that it boggles the mind.

    We have a long way to go but at least we are making some progress.

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