In the upcoming November election, voters in Washington will be voting on Initiative 502. If passed, it would allow licensed distributors to sell pot. Backers of 502 say its passage will raise $2 million in tax revenue over the next five years. The stated “intent” of the measure promises to take “marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug organizations and brings it under a tightly regulated, state-licensed system similar to that for controlling hard alcohol."


But there’s a dark side to the initiative. The new law would be brutal on drivers. If you’re stopped driving with any THC in your system, you’re subject to a DUI. You may not have ingested pot in days, or even week, but the THC may still be present in your system. So you’re guilty. Period.


Also selling or distributing unlicensed marijuana would remain illegal. In other words, recreational growing is prohibited.


But supporters of the measure maintain that any step forward toward legalization is positive arguing: “No real reformer would vote against any re-legalization initiative.”


In the coming months the debate will, no doubt, get hotter. The HIGH TIMES Medical Cannabis Cup comes to Seattle on Sept. 14-16. We expect to host a lively discussion of the merits and detriments of I-502. Join us at Fremont Studios for a celebration of cannabis. Help us clarify and crystallize the issues. Go to for all event info.