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Washington State Activism: News & Events

Want to influence public opinion and policy on Washington State justice issues? Become a member and participate in democracy at Political blogs are an important part of the media landscape. Washblog and others are read by public opinion leaders. Criminal justice issues should not be left out!

Is It Time To Legalize Marijuana? Interview with Douglas Hiatt, Esq., co-author of the Sensible Washington Campaign, from King 5 News, Seattle, 4/4/10, via YouTube
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The Sensible Washington Campaign

Support I-1068, the ballot initiative to repeal criminal penalties for adult marijuana use and cultivation in our state.

For more info, visit

WA State Activism Events:

April 24, 2010, Colville, WA. November Coalition 6th Annual Spring BBQ Benefit. Doors open 4:00 PM at the November Coalition Building, 282 West Astor, Colville, WA. Dinner 6:00 PM, music 9:00 - midnight. Featuring dinner, silent auction, guest speakers, music and dancing with The Planetary Refugees. For more info, contact 509-684-1550 or

On The Radio:

WA State Activism & News:

Washington Marijuana Legalization Initiative Aims for November Ballot; from Drug War Chronicle (US), 4/2/10

The Colville Mountain Peace Sign; from Statesman-Examiner (WA), 3/31/10

Medical Marijuana Shootings in Washington State; from Cannabis Defense Coalition (WA), 3/16/10

Marijuana Petitioners Clash With ACLU Over Legalization Effort; from Covington Reporter (WA), 2/26/10

A Q&A With Doug Hiatt of Legal Weed Initiative Sensible Washington; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 1/18/10

Seattle Police Keep Up Pot Arrests -- Mostly of Black People; from The Stranger (WA), 2/24/10

Olympia Mayor Pro Tem Joe Hyer Arrested on Marijuana Charges; from The Olympian (WA), 2/19/10

Reefer Rights: Forces Rally To Get Legal Pot On The Ballot; from Pacific NW Inlander (WA), 2/18/10

Reasonable Doubt: How Spotty Detective Work And Careless Prosecution May Have Put The Wrong Men Behind Bars; from Pacific NW Inlander (WA), 2/18/10

Court Decision Has Medical Marijuana Users Wary Of Compassionate Legislation; from Daily News (WA), 2/14/10

WA Corrections Head Covers Up For Misbehaving Anti-Pot Officers; from Toke of the Town (US), 2/8/10

Opinion: Do The Math On Pine Lodge; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 2/8/10

Prison Fight: Eastern Washington Legislators Band Together To Keep The Governor From Closing Pine Lodge. For Now.; from Pacific Northwest Inlander (WA), 2/5/10

Landmark Case Could Restore Felon Voting Rights, from Truthout (US), 2/1/10

Spokane County, City Eye Joint Use Of Pine Lodge Facilities For Jail; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 1/29/10

Fed Court Temporarily Suspends Controversial Felon Voting Ruling; from Seattle PI (WA), 1/28/10

WA: Pot Bills Go Up In Smoke As House Panel Stops Both; from Seattle Times (WA), 1/20/10

Seattle's New City Attorney To Dismiss Cases Of Pot Possession; from Seattle Times (WA), 1/15/10

WA: The Felon Vote; from Pacific NW Inlander (WA), 1/17/10

Marijuana: Washington State House Committee Holds Hearing on Decrim, Legalization Bills; from Drug War Chronicle (US), 1/14/10

Details Emerge On International Drug Ring With Spokane Ties; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 1/10/10

WA: State Plans To Appeal Ruling On Felon Vote; from Seattle Times (WA), 1/6/10

Column: Pine Lodge Inmates Just Want To Stay There; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 12/22/09

Two Washington State Lawmakers Offer Pot Legalization Bill; from Capital Weekly (CA), 12/17/09

Drug Web Snagged Many; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 11/29/09

OpEd: Washington State Should Decriminalize Marijuana; from Kirkland Reporter (WA), 11/25/09

Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes Backs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill; from KUOW News (WA), 11/21/09

Going Underground; from Pacific Northwest Inlander (WA), 10/30/09

Needing A (Funding) Fix; from Pacific NW Inlander (WA), 10/14/09

Candidate Pete Holmes Spreads 'No New Jail' Message In West Seattle; from West Seattle Herald (WA), 10/12/09

Wash. Medical Marijuana Law Sparks Confusion; from Associated Press (US), 9/20/09

Medical Pot Supplier Raided; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 9/11/09

OpEd: Support Seattle's Alternatives To The War On Drugs; from Real Change (WA), 9/3/09

WA Pot Law To Get Court Test; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 9/2/09

Raids On Local Somalis Over Khat Smuggling Result In Fallout; from Seattle Times (WA), 8/17/09

Medical Marijuana In WA: Bubble Bath And Higher Education; from Federal Way Mirror (WA), 6/27/09

Pot Establishing Medicinal Niche; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 6/24/09

Feds Indict Zehm Officer; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 6/23/09

Medical Marijuana In WA: Academics And The Turning Tide; from Federal Way Mirror (WA), 6/18/09

Medical Marijuana In WA: Patients And Defenders; from Federal Way Mirror (WA), 6/12/09

Medical Marijuana In WA: Pushing The Legal Limits; from Federal Way Mirror (WA), 6/11/09

WA: Prison To Shrink By Half; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 6/3/09

First Thieves, Then Cops Take Man's Medical Pot; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 5/27/09

WA State: ACLU Hails Signing of Voting Rights Restoration; from ACLU of Washington, 5/4/09

WA State Activism Resources:

Save $16 Million: Stop Arresting Adults for Possessing Marijuana; from ACLU of Washington State, Jan 2010

ACLU of Washington State - Download their WA State Medical Marijuana Workshop flyer here.

Backbone Campaign - To embolden citizens and leaders to stand up for our future.

Cannabis Defense Coalition

Communities Against Rape and Abuse - Mobilizing communities to create liberation.

Drug Policy Project of the King County Bar Association

Get Up, Stand Up is a campaign to end felony disenfranchisement, supporting the restoration of voting rights to men and women once they leave prison and re-enter the community.

Hepatitis Project - Providing educational materials and support groups for hepatitis patients and their families.

Inland NW NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws)

Justice Works! - To provide a safe, affirming and unique community whereby African Americans, with the support of their allies, use self-determination to solve problems encountered with or created by the criminal justice system.

King County Defenders Association - Providing Public Defense in Seattle and King County Since 1969.

King County Defender Association ­ Racial Disparity Project - The RDP enables the Defender Association to broaden its advocacy to encompass not only representation of individual clients, but also efforts to change the system for the benefit of disadvantaged communities, and particularly communities of color.

KYRS 92.3 FM Thin Air Community Radio. Local radio with a progressive edge..

The Law Offices of Douglas Hiatt; Seattle lawyer and activist specializing in medical marijuana cases.

Lifer's Union Advocacy Group - Providing updates on laws and case-law regarding the death penalty; civil commitment; life or indefinite sentencing schemes; recidivist schemes, and; studies, reviews, and other relevant information. We are also devoted to supporting family networking and reintegration of ex offenders into society.

National Police Misconduct News Feed; from Injustice In Seattle (WA)

New Horizons Ministries - In relationship with homeless youth, serving and loving in the way of Jesus, equipping youth to leave street life.

Olympia Hempfest

People of Color Against AIDS Network (POCAAN) - A multicultural AIDS prevention organization created in response to the devastating impact that HIV/AIDS has had and continues to have on communities of color.

Physicians For Social Responsibility - Engaging the community to create a healthy, peaceful and sustainable world.

Prison Legal News - An independent, 48 page magazine which has published monthly since 1990 and which reports on the human rights of prisoners primarily in United States detention facilities, but also of prisoners around the world.

Prison Reform Project - Bringing about positive change in city, county, state, and federal jails and prisons via litigation on behalf of prisoners whose constitutional rights have been violated.

Prison Scholar Fund - The Fund is a small grassroots operation that empowers would-be incarcerated students through direct scholarship support.

Seattle HempFest - Billed as the largest annual Cannabis/Drug Policy Reform Event in the world.

Sensible Seattle sponsored Initiative 75, passed by Seattle citizens in Sep. 2003, which established cannabis offenses as lowest possible law enforcement priority.

SpoCannabis is a medical marijuana activist group in Spokane.

Spokane Peace and Justice Action League - Committed to involving individuals and local communities in building foundations for a just and nonviolent world.

Spokane Police Abuses Blog - The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

Spokane Racism Blog

Statewide Poverty Action Network - Fighting to ensure everyone in Washington State is able to meet their basic needs and have the opportunity to prosper.

Transition & Reentry Reform Coalition - Improving the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in providing a safer community, assuring fair and equitable treatment in all stages of the process, maximizing rehabilitation and helping people successfully reenter society.

United Way of King County Out of the Rain Homelessness Initiative - Using tenant education as a tool to end the cycle of homelessness.

Washington Law Help - Helping Low-Income People Find Solutions to Civil & Legal Problems

Washington State Criminal Justice Reform Network - A network of organizations & communities who seek progressive change in our criminal justice system.

Western Prison Project - Coordinating a progressive response to the criminal justice system, and building a grassroots, multi-racial movement that achieves criminal justice reform and reduces the over-reliance on incarceration in the western states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Nevada.

Case Documents: Jane Roe v. TeleTech, in which a customer service employee was fired solely on the grounds of her medical use of cannabis.  The significance of this case is that the Court of Appeals said that there is no problem with a private employer firing a qualifying patient engaged in the medical use of cannabis in compliance with the Washington State Medical Use of Marijuana Act, even if the job is not a safety-sensitive position (transportation, e.g.) and even if the medical use of cannabis does not impair the employee's job performance. -- provided by ACLU of WA State. (All documents in PDF format)

 Petition For Review, 10/15/09

Answer to Petition for Review, 11/16/09

Amicus in Support of Petition for Review, 11/14/09

Motion for Amicus in Support of Petition, 12/14/09

Housing For Alcoholics Saves Money, Improves Recovery, Study Finds; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/2/09

WA State: Historic Opportunity For Felony Disenfranchisement; from Justice Works! (WA), 4/1/09

Medical Marijuana: Kitsap County vs. Bruce Olsen, by Ben Livingston, Cannabis Defense Coalition, Mar 2009

Kitsap Medical Marijuana Defendant Bruce Olsen Acquitted; from Port Orchard Independent (WA), 3/24/09

OpEd: Retired Judge Says It Is Time To End War On Marijuana; from Bellingham Herald (WA), 3/21/09

De-escalating the Drug War; from In These Times (US), 3/13/09

Report: The Consequences and Costs of Marijuana Prohibition (in WA State); from ACLU of Washington, 3/5/09 (pdf)

Official: Seattle Police Chief To Be Drug Czar; from Associated Press (US), 3/10/09

Wash. Activist Fights Immigrant Detention Center; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 2/23/09

Column: End The Collateral Damage Of Marijuana Misdemeanors And Save Tax Dollars; from Seattle Times (WA), 2/20/09

Obama Taps Seattle Police Chief For Administration Job; from Seattle Times (WA), 2/11/09

Stop Planning For Prisons And Start Betting On Schools; from Seattle Times (WA), 1/25/09

Our Failing Economy's A Boon To Drug-Law Reformers; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 1/21/09

State Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana Would Save Millions; from The Stranger (WA), 1/14/09

Fired Officer Gets His Job Back With Settlement; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 1/13/09

State Targets Women's Prison In Medical Lake For Closure; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 12/24/08

Legislature May Extend "Good Time" Policy For Inmates; from News-Tribune (WA), 12/7/08

Busted: Washington's Medical Marijuana Law Marks 10 Years; from Pacific NW Inlander (WA), 12/5/08

Editorial: Early Treatment Of Mentally Ill Can Reduce Inmates; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 10/28/08

The War On The War On Drugs Hits Kirkland; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 10/8/08

State Rule Clarifies 60-Day Supply Of Medical Marijuana; from Seattle Times (WA), 10/7/08

You Would Smoke, Too, If It Happened To You: from Seattle Weekly (WA), 10/1/08

Minorities Overrepresented Among Felony Convictions; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 9/28/08

Medical Pot Limits Challenged; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 8/25/08

Commentary: About That Jail; from The Inlander (WA), 8/13/08

Feds Get Involved In Local Drug Case; from Seattle Times (WA), 7/31/08

Column: The New Reefer Madness: Arresting People In Pain; from Seattle Times (WA), 7/23/08

New Jail Could Cost $245 Million; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 7/10/08

Big STEP Toward Sobriety; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 7/10/08

OpEd: Medical Marijuana Is Needed By Seriously Ill Patients; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 7/8/08

Center In Olympia To Educate On Medicinal Marijuana Law; from The Olympian (WA), 7/8/08

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish; from The Stranger (WA), 6/18/08

Medical Marijuana: How Much Is Enough? from Seattle Times (WA), 5/21/08

[WA] Medical Marijuana And Organ Transplants Don't Mix; from Los Angeles Times (CA), 5/19/08

OpEd: Give Them Homes; from USA Today (US), 4/29/08

Man Refused Liver For Using Medical Marijuana; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/27/08

Washington State Opens 'Environmentally-Friendly' Control Unit; from Prison Legal News (US), 4/24/08

Prisons Shift From Solitary Confinement; from Seattle Post-Intelligentser (WA), 4/17/08

Organization Seeks To 'Rectify The Injustice' In The Judicial System; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 4/8/08

Travel Pro Steves To Challenge Futile U.S. Drug War; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 3/21/08

Random Student Drug Tests Banned; from Seattle Times (WA), 3/14/08

Editorial: Addicted To Jail; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 3/2/08

Life on the Block; from The Inlander (WA), 2/27/08

The Bong Show: Pot Legalization Goes Prime Time; from The Stranger (WA), 2/15/08

Deputies Suspended For Wheelchair Dump; from Seattle Times (WA), 2/13/08

"We Cannot Build Prisons Fast Enough"; from Washblog (WA), 1/30/08

AT&T Charged Too Much For Prison Calls; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 1/18/08

Bill Targets Inmates' Record Requests; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 1/17/08

A Death In Edmonds; from The Stranger (WA), 1/2/08

'Women Behind Bars' Is A Shocking New Book; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 12/10/07

Has The War On Drugs Gone Too Far? from The Herald (WA), 11/30/07

Throwaway Women: Interview with Silja Talvi; from Real Change News (WA), 11/15/07

Spirited Talk On Drug Reform; from Real Change News (WA), 11/14/07 --

[Med MJ] Patients Caught In A Cloud Of Confusion; from Kitsap Sun (WA), 10/20/07

Jail Estimate Surprises County; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 9/26/07

Justice Works! Supports Creation Of Independent Oversight Office To Monitor WA State DOC; from Justice Works! (WA), 9/24/07

What's The Standard Dosage For Pot? from Los Angeles Times (CA), 9/23/07

Group Protests Firm's CIA/Torture Ties; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 8/24/07

Notes From [Seattle] Hempfest; from CounterPunch (US Web), 8/26/07

Pot Peace in Seattle as Another Hempfest Celebrates Cannabis Nation; from Drug War Chronicle (US), 8/24/07

Drug Case Hinges On Dubious Informer; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 8/19/07

Hempfest Turns "Sweet" 16; from Seattle Times (WA), 8/19/07

Information About Rulemaking And Report-Writing Processes On Medical Marijuana; from The Washington State Department of Health, Aug 2007

Court Upholds Ban On Voting By Felons; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 7/27/07

Washington Coalition For Open Government To Present James Madison Award To Paul Wright Of Prison Legal News; from Washington Coalition for Open Government (WA), 7/23/07

OpEd: Budthirsty; from The Stranger (WA), 7/18/07

Washington To Limit Medical Marijuana; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 7/1/07

Appeals Court Upholds DEA Ruse; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 6/17/07

Some Strip-Searches Illegal; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 6/13/07

Surprise Side Effect: Medical Marijuana User, 66, Accused Of Dealing; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 6/5/07

Drug Sting Praised, Questioned; from News Tribune (WA), 6/2/07

Outside View: Action On Offenders; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 5/23/07

Shortage Of Corrections Officers Ends Jail-Space Deal; from Seattle Times (WA), 5/22/07

Legislators Amend Washington State Medi-Pot Law; from NORML (US), 5/17/07

Column: Rescuing Drug War's Prisoners; from The Seattle Times (WA), 5/17/07

Editorial: A Smoother Re-Entry; from New York Times (NY), 3/27/07

Senate OKs Revamping Medical Marijuana Rules; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 3/15/07

State DOC Resumes Early Felon Releases; from Seattle Times (WA), 3/14/07

Senate OKs Prison Reforms; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 3/11/07

Herbal Remedy: Marijuana Medicine; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 3/8/07

83 Convicted Felons Freed In King County As State Exceeds Jail Limit; from Bellingham Herald (WA), 2/27/07

GU Arrests Bring Shock, Acceptance; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 2/12/07

Prison Coffee: Starbucks Admits Its Contractor Uses Prison Labor; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 2/8/07

Deadly Prescriptions; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 2/4/07

2 Activists See Drug Raids As Revenge; from Seattle Times (WA), 1/19/07

Agents Raid Medical Marijuana Advocacy Office; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 1/18/07

Medical Marijuana Law Leave Patients, Police In A Fog; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 11/13/06

Man With MS Busted For Pot; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 10/25/06

Jack-Pot; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 10/18/06

Plan Aims To Cut Recidivism; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 9/17/06

Column: Designing An 'Exit Strategy' For The War On Drugs; from Washington Post (DC), 8/27/06

Advocates For Legalizing Marijuana Tout The Benefits At Hempfest; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 8/21/06

Club Pot Med; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 8/16/06

Is Justice For Sale In Border County? from The Olympian (WA), 6/11/06

Man Pleads Guilty To Bogus Crime; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 5/1/06

Activists Also Get A Hearing Downtown; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/18/06

Deaths Raise Taser Questions; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/17/06

Inmate's Calls To Cost Less; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/16/06

Counties Try To Find Solutions For Crowded Jails; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 4/15/06

Test Program Lets Convicts Check In; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/14/06

Liquid Assets: PAML Seeing Fast Growth In Drug Screening; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 4/9/06

Lawsuit Causes School To End Use Of Dogs For Random Drug Searches; from Daily News (WA), 4/1/06

Court Rejects Felon 'Poll Tax'; from NewStandard (US), 3/31/06

Bi-State Effort Answer To Jail Overcrowding; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 3/2/06

Marijuana's Not Just A Token Crop; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 2/24/06

Meth Bill Proposes Sweeping Reforms; from Spokesman-Review (WA), 1/17/06

Seattle Conference on Drug War Exit Strategies Gets Down to Nuts and Bolts; from Drug War Chronicle (US Web), 12/9/05

After I-75: Seattle's Move to De-Prioritize Marijuana Arrests Is Working; from The Stranger (WA), 12/7/05

Local Attorneys Tout Exit To War On Drugs; from King County Journal (WA), 12/3/05

Two Years Later, Little Fallout From Seattle's Pot Initiative; from Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 11/23/05

Washington State Drug Policy Coordinating Group: 2005 Retreat & Workshop. At 'Our House', Colville, WA, October 7 - 9, 2005

Lawyer Says Drug War Needs Major Changes; from South Whidbey Record (WA), 9/17/05

The Drug Issue: Drug War Peace Plan; from Seattle Weekly (WA), 8/23/05

Hempfest Fans Rockin' The Joint; from Seattle Times (WA), 8/21/05

Dellums Commission Begins Work on Public Policy Reforms to Expand the Life Paths of Young Men of Color; from US Newswire, 7/26/05

New Weapons for War on Drugs; from The Seattle Times (WA), 7/25/05

November Coalition Performs At 3rd Annual SpoCannabis Rally; May 7, 2005, at The Big Easy Concert House, Spokane, WA

Column: Prison Not Best Way To Deal With Drug Use, By Roger Lauen And Daniel R. Merkle, Guest Columnists; from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA), 3/24/05

New Report: Leading Medical, Legal And Civic Groups Propose Workable Exit Strategy For The Failed "War On Drugs"; from The King County Bar Association (WA), 3/3/05

RESOLUTION: State Regulation and Control of Psychoactive Substances; from The King County Bar Association, (WA), 1/19/05

After 20 Years: Reform Priorities of Washington State Prisoners; from The Razor Wire, Winter 2004/2005

2003 Report - Race and the Enforcment of Drug Delivery Laws in Seattle - Prepared on behalf of the Defender Association's Racial Disparity Project, Seattle, Washington - (PDF format)

Guidelines & Contact info: Letters to the Editor in Washington State; from Justice Works!

Letters to the Editor Samples from Washington State

Working to end drug war injustice

Meet the People Behind The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

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