Over the last month, the SEIU and others in state politics have talked with Sensible Washington about steps they could take to ensure that the initiative turned in enough signatures to qualify for this November’s ballot because marijuana legalization being on the ballot would drive extra voter turnout in ways that would benefit progressive causes and candidates in November in what’s shaping up to be a tough year for Democrats and progressive issues. Now after stringing the I-1068 campaign along for four weeks, they’ve walked.
This, despite the fact that a slim but significant majority of Washington voters support the legalization of marijuana, according to a recent poll.
Anyone who is truly serious about reforming drug laws should have given up on the mainstream left as a reliable ally a long time ago. If you can't get a former litigator for the ACLU to vote the right way in Gonzales v. Raich, you're pretty much screwed.
Bruce Ramsey really nailed it on the Seattle Times blog yesterday:
I keep telling people that a lot of the lefties in this state, and particularly in this city, are not liberal. They aren't interested in individual rights [em. added]--at least, not rights to do very many things outside a bedroom. Progressive activists are believers in government. They want to save the Earth by controlling people more, including by banning the use of tobacco outdoors in the public parks. I think the broad group of people who vote leftward are far more tolerant than the activists, and would vote for I-1068 if they could. Maybe now they won't get the chance.