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Wash. Pro-Pot Campaign Gets Ahead

As Washington state gears up to vote on marijuana legalization, the "yes" campaign takes $1.25 million in new donations.

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Will Washington legalize the green stuff this fall?
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By Gabrielle Wuhl

07/23/12

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Come November, Washington will, along with Colorado and Oregon, have a marijuana-legalization initiative on the state ballot—and the pro-legalization campaign is gaining donations and momentum. Known as Initiative 502, Washington's measure aims to legalize the possession or sale of up to one ounce of marijuana—subject to steep taxation. Over the weekend, the pro campaign raked in an impressive $1.25 million in donations—bringing the current fundraising total to $2.95 million. Just four major donors supplied the latest funding: Progressive Insurance founder Peter Lewis, an anonymous arm of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, travel guru Rick Steves and the ACLU in Washington. According to I-502 campaign manager Alison Holcomb, the donations will pay for a $1 million media blitz late this summer. A recent statewide poll provides more good news for the pro-legalization camp; it found that 55% of Washington residents currently support I-502, with 32% against. Some oppose the initiative not because they believe marijuana should remain illegal but because the hefty excise taxes imposed by I-502 could dramatically increase costs for medical marijuana patients. 

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