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Alison Holcomb for Mayor? [Seattle Weekly]
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Alison Holcomb for Mayor?
[Seattle Weekly]

Back during the general election campaign, many in the medical marijuana community in Washington state wondered just what was the source of all the over-the-top hostility to political opponents shown by quasi-legalization measure I-502 author Alison Holcomb.
In numerous instances, Holcomb — drug policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington — would simply stop speaking to 502 opponents, simply cutting them out of her circle of friends, excommunicating them, as it were.

There were rumblings within the community about Holcomb’s ambition being placed ahead of the needs of patients, since several of the provisions of 502, particularly the onerous, unscientific, overly strict DUI-marijuana section of the measure, were, on the face of it, quite bad for patients.

It seems Holcomb cavalierly swept patient concerns aside in the service of what she undoubtedly saw as a Greater Good — something that looks sort of like marijuana legalization in Washington state. Clearly, Alison was not going to stop before she was the Lady Who Legalized Weed In Washington, even if meant writing a measure that specifically made it illegal to pass a joint to a friend (yes, 502 does that).

Alison Holcomb, I-502's main author, included language in the "legalization" measure that makes it illegal to share your cannabis
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Alison Holcomb, I-502’s main author, included language in the “legalization” measure that makes it illegal to share your cannabis

Of course, as long as you’re not allowed to grow your own at home, it ain’t legalization. If you’re forced to buy your weed from state-licensed stores, that’s just a change of dealer. And never mind the crazy zero-tolerance rules that 502 put in effect for drivers aged 18-21.

So why, oh why, did Holcomb demonize those who, in good conscience, pointed out 502’s huge flaws? Why did she write it that way to begin with, as far as that goes? (Her likely answer: to appeal to the “soccer moms.”) Why legislate ignorance about marijuana into law, rather than actually educating people?

Well, now things are becoming clearer. Holcomb is now hinting at running for Seattle City Council or even the Mayor’s office. On Tuesday she said she’s “having conversations with people whose advice I respect on political matters and taking in as much information as I can,” reports Bob Young at the Seattle Times.

That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, since the last time Alison “took in information” she wrote a notably bad piece of legislation then saw it through the initiative process into law, bulldozing and marginalizing those who dared differ.

This time, Alison said she hopes to make a decision soon and hasn’t yet decided whether to run for Seattle City Council or the Mayor’s office itself.

Holcomb, almost certainly not coincidentally, is appearing Tuesday night as part of a panel discussion of I-502 at the Naked City Brewery in Greenwood, with Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb and Ross Reynolds of public radio station KUOW.

“Why would a progressive like Holcomb take on fellow pro-pot super liberals such as O’Brien or McGinn?” wonders political blog PubliCola. To which we reply: It’s not really about policy; Alison is Ambitious.

Editor’s note: We asked, but it’s not likely Toke Signals will be able to get a response from Alison Holcomb, as she stopped speaking to us last fall, for opposing I-502. 

 

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