I-502 advocates support 'local solution' for dealing with marijuana prohibition

YAKIMA, Wash. — When George Rohrbacher talks about marijuana prohibition, his biggest concern isn't the merits of the drug, but a statistic he likes to call "the butcher's bill."

The numbers add up to about 26 million over the last 40 years. They don't represent the costs of enforcement, but the number of people who have been arrested for using pot.

"Even today, in the year 2012, we will arrest another 850,000 Americans for pot," said Rohrbacher, a former state lawmaker, before a crowd of about 150 people at the Capitol Theatre on Wednesday night. "This is a national disgrace with a local solution."

Rohrbacher and former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper shared the stage and statistics supporting Initiative 502, which calls for the state to regulate and sell marijuana for recreational use to adults. The measure would also impose a 25 percent excise tax.

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