Category Archives: Washington

Washington Sheriff Urquhart Pushed Marijuana Cover-up

TV Ads for Other States Promote Deception

When Oregon had a ballot to legalize marijuana in 2014, King County Sheriff John Urquhart appeared on TV ads claiming that legalization hadn’t created problems  in Washington.  However, on November 4, 2013, King County experienced a massive butane hash oil (BHO) fire explosion that required 100 police and fire fighters to extinguish over a 7-hour period. What a cover-up!

BHO labs are marijuana labs and today they’re far more common than meth labs. This type of fire was extreme, having completely damaged at least 10 apartment units, killing a woman.   Other sheriffs rebuked Sheriff Urquhart when he went on TV the first time.

Last year Urquhart repeated his deception, appearing in ads for Massachusetts. Colorado doesn’t coverup its pot problem so well. Continue reading

Washington resident warns about recreational pot

A letter to the editor, Erie Times- News (PA) , found on Go.Erie. com, August 18, 2017    retyped by Nancy Starr :

I disagree with letter writer Larry Havard’s view that legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania would be a “win-win” solution to the financial problems of Erie’s schools.

I am a former Erieite now living in a state that has legalized both medical and so-called recreational marijuana. I have peacefully protested at two downtown pot shops in Spokane.

While protesting, I have seen young people who appear to be minors waiting outside the pot shop or going around the corner while a companion with the required ID goes in and buys marijuana. When I informed a pot shop owner about this, she told me that once their product leaves the store, it’s out of their hands.

The fact is that pot shops are unable to keep their products out of the hands, bodies and brains of minors, who are most vulnerable to marijuana’s harmful effects. This, in my opinion, is reason enough to overturn the legalization of so-called recreational marijuana where legalization has been approved. Young minds and lives matter.

I do not want a continuation of the war on drugs that has targeted and imprisoned the poor and especially people of color. Alternatives to arrest and jail for nonviolent drug crimes exist and should be expanded.

— KH, Spokane, Washington  (we are leaving out his full name to protect his identity)

State of Washington Called on the Carpet for Federal Violations

Last year Washington Governor Jay Inslee, above, called for increased funding to treat mental illness, an outgrowth of marijuana legalization.  In the US, Washington leads the states with the greatest percentage of fatal accidents involving drivers under the influence of marijuana.   (Read our previous article)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently wrote letters to Governor Jay Inslee (top), Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado and the attorney generals of both states, asking how they propose to address their failed marijuana regulation.

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently wrote a letter to the Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington.  AG Jeff Sessions highlighted the following violations in Washington’s so-called “recreational” marijuana industry.

“[T]he medical market [for marijuana] is considered `grey’ due to the lack of regulation and oversight” and, furthermore, aspects of Washington’s regulatory structure for the “medical market” have “unintentionally led to the growth of black market enterprises”;
The “recreationally licensed” marijuana market also is incompletely regulated: the leading regulatory violation in that market has been the “failure to utilize and/or maintain traceability” of marijuana products;
“Since legalization in 2012, Washington State marijuana has been found to have been destined for 43 different states”;
90% of public safety violations of the state’s marijuana “regulatory structures” for “recreational licensees” involved minors, according to data from the first year of Washington’s “recreational marijuana” laws. Violations include, for example, sales to minors and employment of minors;
“One in five 10th grade students reported riding with a driver who had used marijuana — 9% reported driving within three hours of consumption,” according to the most recent data in the report;
“49% of young adult drivers who used marijuana in the past month had driven a car within three hours after using marijuana” and 64% of marijuana DUIs in Spokane Valley involved youth, according to data from the first year of Washington’s “recreational marijuana” laws;
“61.9% of drivers do not believe marijuana makes a difference in their driving ability” and “[d]rivers with active THC in their blood involved in a fatal driving accident have increased 133.2% from 2010 (16) to 2014 (23)”;
In 2014 alone, 17 THC extraction labs exploded; and
There was a 54% increase in the number of marijuana calls to the State Poison Center from 2012-2014.   These findings are relevant to the policy debate concerning marijuana legalization. I appreciate your offer to engage in a continuing dialogue on this important issue. To that end, please advise as to how Washington plans to address the findings in the Northwest HIDTA report, including efforts to ensure that all marijuana activity is compliant with state marijuana

laws, to combat diversion of marijuana, to protect public health and safety, and to prevent marijuana use by minors.

I also am open to suggestions on marijuana policy and related matters as we work to carry out our duties to effectively and faithfully execute the laws of the United States. You may direct your response and suggestions to the Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison within the Office of Legislative Affairs, which can help coordinate any communications logistics. I look forward to your response.

Left Out of Sessions’ Letter:

Despite the incredible problems from legalizing weed,  a video from Huffington Post chooses to call reminders of these problems “Reefer Madness.”

Another Young Victim of Washington’s Marijuana Policy

A stoned driver killed high school senior Cheyllyn Ranae Collinsworth, 18, on May 17, 2017.  “Chey,” as she was called, would have graduated as one of the top 25 students at Centralia High School.  She planned to attend Central Washington University and  pursue her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher.

Our condolences go out to the grieving family.  Another young person’s life on earth ended too soon.

A crash on May 17, 2017 in Thurston County  killed Cherllyn Collinsworth,18. The other driver – under the influence of marijuana – had crossed the center lane of Old Highway 99.

The driver, 25-year-old Donald Siegler, crossed the center line of Old Highway 99 at Oregon Trail Road.  He is extremely sorry and remorseful, according to his Facebook posts.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who bragged that he will defend Washington’s marijuana program should be sorry, too.   He said, “My office will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that the federal government does not undermine Washington’s successful, unified system for regulating recreational and medical marijuana.”

However, another family must live with a big hole in their hearts.

Other Marijuana Driving Victims in Washington

Cheryllyn’s death adds to a growing list of victims in Washington who are also young people.  Since Washington legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, drivers under the influence of marijuana killed these students (and perhaps others).

Cadence Boyer, 7 (killed from accident on sidewalk on Halloween)

High School Students

Jenna Farley, 14,

Kassidy Clark, 16

Luther Stroudermire, 18

Shane Ormiston, 18

Gabriel Anderson, 15

Cheyllyn Collinsworth, 18

Marijuana contributed to other deaths in Washington:

Blake Gaston, 23

Tyler Martel, 27

Stephanie Nicole Proffitt, 27

Bicyclist killed in Spokane, July 16, 2015

Jennifer Berry, 43

Donald Collins, 62

Maria Hoagland, 61, (driver had “medical” marijuana card; both marijuana and Suboxone – was “medical” marijuana for opiate addiction?

In Washington the percentage of traffic deaths involving stoned drivers is nearly the same as those involving those under the influence of alcohol, 27% vs. 29%.  It is unbelievable that any state would add to the problem of drunk driving by calling for a policy that increases stoned driving and results in a higher rate of traffic deaths.

Hamza Warsame, 16,  another young victim in Washington, died from suicide while under the influence of marijuana.   How can Washington — with so many young victims — continue to defend a marijuana policy that goes against federal law?  Read the next post for information on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ letter to Washington’s governor.