Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn made a plea for the legalization of marijuana during yesterday’s State of the City address. During his speech, marijuana legalization was one of the methods McGinn cited which would help to decrease crime in the city.
McGinn stated that marijuana prohibition is fueling crime in Seattle, as well as a “biased incarceration policy.” The second claim refers to the fact that victims of the war on marijuana and the war on drugs are primarily younger men of color.
In his speech, McGinn also expressed confidence in his fellow legislators’ support of marijuana legalization. He said, “I know every one of the city council members sitting to my left and right believe as I do: it’s time for this state to legalize marijuana, and stop the violence, stop the incarceration, stop the erosion of civil liberties, and urge the federal government to stop the failed war on drugs.”
A marijuana legalization initiative, I-502, is set to be on the November ballot in Washington. If passed, I-502 would make Washington the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. During his speech, McGinn didn’t specifically cite I-502, but his expression of support for legalized marijuana is likely to have an impact on the way that undecided voters look at the Initiative on the ballot this November.