About the Initiative

In plain language, here is what Initiative 502 will do:

21 years and older • I-502 legalizes the possession of marijuana for adults age 21 and older.

• Selling marijuana to minors will remain a felony.
Privately owned WA businesses

• Washington farmers and businesses will be allowed to apply for special licenses to grow and sell marijuana.

• Marijuana will only be available in stores that sell no other products, are located at least 1,000 feet from schools, playgrounds, and parks, and do not display marijuana in a way that is visible to the public.

• State employees will not be involved in growing, distributing, or selling marijuana.

Protects safety and public health • State agencies will regulate numbers of stores per county, operating hours, security, quality control, labeling, and other health and safety issues.
protects youth

• I-502 tightly restricts advertising and bans advertising in places frequented by youth.

• New tax revenue is dedicated to proven community and school-based prevention programs.

regulates where marijuana may be used or grown

• Prohibits public use and display of marijuana.

• Does not allow home growing for people who are not medical marijuana patients.

582 million in new revenue

• According to the state Office of Financial Management, a new 25% marijuana excise tax, combined with retail sales and B&O tax, will generate more than half a billion dollars in new revenue each year.

• 40% of the new revenues will go to the state general fund and local budgets.

• 60% will be dedicated to substance-abuse prevention, research, education and health care.

Keeps our roads safe

• A new marijuana DUI standard that operates like the alcohol DUI standard will be established.

• I-502 sets a science-based limit of 5ng/ml active THC blood concentration.

DUI checks active THC only

• DUI standard applies only to active THC, which drops below 5 ng/mL within a matter of hours, not the inactive metabolite carboxy-THC that can be detected days, or even weeks, after last use.

• Police officers still need proof of impairment to make an arrest and take a driver to a medical professional for a blood draw – just like current law.

Helps medical marijuana patients

• I-502 does not change Washington's medical marijuana law – patients still may grow their own marijuana.

• Patients will finally receive protection from arrest because possession will no longer be a crime for anyone 21 or older.

• Patients will finally receive access to safe, secure, reliable, and quality-controlled marijuana that has been grown locally.


Here's how Initiative 502 will be described on your November 6 general election ballot:

This measure would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues. 

And here's the summary we were required to print on signature petitions to put Initiative 502 on this year's ballot:

This measure would remove state-law prohibitions against producing, processing, and selling marijuana, subject to licensing and regulation by the liquor control board; allow limited possession of marijuana by persons aged twenty-one and over; and impose 25% excise taxes on wholesale and retail sales of marijuana, earmarking revenue for purposes that include substance-abuse prevention, research, education, and healthcare.  Laws prohibiting driving under the influence would be amended to include maximum thresholds for THC blood concentration.

Download the complete text of the initiative.



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