Steve Sarich 
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Re: “Pot fight

As usual, you're "cherry picking" your quotes. So let's let people read some other quotes from Ramsey's article.

How about we start with the title:

"Seattle Times opinion columnist Bruce Ramsey argues that Initiative 502, to decriminalize marijuana, is questionable law but good lobbying."

Ramsey realizes that this is a decriminalization bill, not legalization. He also believes it's "questionable law".

Since you cherry picked this one, I thought I'd give everyone the rest of the quote (I guess you forgot the part that describes the part of the law he was actually commenting on):

"Users would be allowed to drive with marijuana's active ingredient, THC, in their blood in amounts less than 5 nanograms per milliliter."

"Now that this is on the table, there is a sudden drawing back."

Now his comment, and the point he was trying to make, actually makes some sense. Very "creative" editing Mr. Spicoli. I guess you graduated from the NAW school of ethics in journalism. Ramsey then goes on to say:

"Defenders of the 5-nanogram standard use political arguments, not scientific ones. That is telling."

You can argue this till you're blue in the face, but you'll never convince anyone that this "political decision" to add a DUID component to the law was based on any scientific evidence. Holcolm has already stated that it was just added because her polling told her that it wouldn't pass without it. I can assure you that it won't pass WITH it. Mr. Ramsey is right...."That is telling".

You also conveniently forgot this quote:

"Holmes calls I-502 an effort of "starting a conversation" with the federal government. The measure conflicts with federal law, and the feds can have it thrown out in court if they want."

Yes, they can. When the distribution sections are thrown out, we'll still have the DUID section since that part does not violate Federal law. Since the legislature cannot appreciably change an initiative passed by the voters for at least two years, you won't be "fixing" this part of the law any time soon. So I'd avoid the "pass it now and fix it later" argument....unless you add "MUCH" later...that argument doesn't hold water.

Here's your quote from the article:

"If I-502 fails, particularly if it fails big, the opposite happens. Politicians will conclude that the people don't want it, and that the issue is off the table."

With all due respect to Mr. Ramsey, he's missed the point. If the initiative passes, and it's then thrown out in court by the Feds, politicians (and voters) will believe it's not legally possible to pass a legalization why try? Their argument would be a valid one. That's why passing bad legislation is a bad idea.

Ramsey concludes his article by saying:

"If you want a change, you have to get your issue on the table. I-502 does that. As law, it is flawed; as lobbying, it is about right. And lobbying is what it is."

I agree with Mr. Ramsey. If all you want to do is "have a conversation" and "get your issue on the table", rather than actually passing a law that will survive a Federal challenge, I-502 does that. It's "lobbying", not a serious "legalization" effort. As Ramsey says: "As law, it is flawed" and, again....I agree. If you want to pass a good legalization bill, write a good law in the first place. This oviously isn't it.

Please don't think that you can cherry-pick partial quotes out of articles that suit your argument and not get called out on it. It hasn't worked so well for you thus far....nor for the NAW.

Steve Sarich

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/14/2012 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Pot fight

"Ignorance is fixable. Stupid is forever....and I'm hearing a lot of really stupid arguments from the I-502 supporters so far."--Steve Sarich about these beauties:

"If we have state licensing the Feds will have to leave us alone." (*Note...this has worked really well in Colorado where they already have state licensing :-)

"I-502 will lower the price of marijuana and destroy the black market."

"Not THAT many innocent patients will go to jail for DUID."

"The cops will still have to have probable cause to stop you."

"Just pass it now and we'll fix it later."

We could go on and on with these little "gems of wisdom". I guess you could argue that these answers are just "ignorant" and not really "stupid", but I think that would just be splitting hairs.

You can keep arguing that you're arguments are correct simply because of some random comment from a newspaper writer who happens to agree with you, but we all know how well versed they are on the topic.

These random quotes from the press are not proof of anything other than the fact that they can read NAW press releases or that they have their own agendas. I hope those who are debating your side of this issue have something more than a list of one line newspaper quotes when it comes time to actually debate on the issues.

Steve Sarich

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/12/2012 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Pot fight

Mr. NotSpicolli,

(Did you see the article in The Puget Sound Business Journal on February 25? The article, "Medical dispensaries fighting pot legalization." opened with "A ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana is generating debate among suppliers of medical marijuana, who worry the new law could disrupt their thriving businesses.")

I see that you’re still avoiding the actual issues and you continue to try to make innuendo points by publishing one sentence sound-bites from “distinguished” and “widely read” publications” like the Puget Sound Business Journal. (This is probably the first time anyone has seen the Puget Sound Business Journal quoted on ANY subject....they must be pleased!)

No, I didn’t read it. Nor did most people. However, I was actually interviewed at some length for this particular article. I told the author that the vast majority of the current providers were not making as much money as a "new hire" programmer at Microsoft, and in some cases, less than new janitors there. Hardly enough money to risk prison for if money were their sole motivation.

My comments did not fit with the argument they were trying to push (which is the same argument you’re trying to sell)...that we are all “greedy entrepreneurs” just trying to protect our newfound wealth. What a crock!

When I found out the the article had been published, i wrote the author and asked for a copy. She told me that, even though I was interviewed for the article, that I would have to pay to get a copy, just like everyone else. (I'm sure the NAW paid up). Apparently this isn’t a “news” outlet. I won’t be giving them anymore interviews, and certainly won’t be paying to read it.

“So, rather than debating the "patients against," I will be spending my time trying to move the critical block of undecided voters to voting "Yes" on marijuana reform.”

Well that’s probably a wise choice since you’ll never convince patients that they should go to jail for DUID so recreational smokers can buy a “legal” ounce of $700 cannabis. We simply aren’t that stupid. Nor do WE want to be forced to buy $700 state schwag that they insist that they’ll only be paying $68 an ounce for.

Nope, I think you’re really better off NOT to focusing your efforts on anyone who uses cannabis. We seen through all the BS and we aren’t buying it. Focus on those voters who know absolutely nothing about cannabis and could care less if it’s $700 or $7,000 an ounce.

Just convince them that the state will be able to lower their taxes when all those pot heads are paying $700 an ounce for their pot and most of that will be going into state coffers.
Of course, that won’t be happening, but you’ve at least picked an unsophisticated audience that you may have some small chance of convincing, providing they don't watch any of the debates. It doesn’t sound like a perfect plan, but it does sound like it’s all you’ve got at this point.

God only knows, you can’t debate the issues with the rest of us. And if you think that we patients are nothing more than a “vocal minority”, you have truly underestimated the opposition to this initiative. Your poll numbers are at 47% and continue to fall. The support for medical cannabis in this state is well over 80%. Once the voters understand the devastating impact this bill will have on patients, you’re going to have a very hard sell on your hands.

“The issues raised have been addressed repeatedly and debated to death.”

Oh contraire, Mr. Spicoli! You and the I-502 folks have not even begun to answer all of the issues. There will be real televised debates over these issues. If those supporting I-502 don’t do a much better job of defending it than you have so far, they won’t win a single public debate. On a forum like this you can rely on personal attacks and avoid the actual issues. In a live public debate, that simply won’t fly. I predict that your poll numbers will continue to drop.

“When I meet with legislators about cannabis related legislation and when I write them letters, I use my own my name. When I contribute money to reform organizations, it is under my own name. When I attend organizational meetings for political work and planning, I use my own name.”

Amazing!....and I bet you even have your real name on your drivers’ license as well. It would appear that the ONLY time you don’t use your real name is when you want to slander people publicly on an internet forum. How convenient for you.

Steve Sarich
(my one and only name)

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/12/2012 at 12:44 PM

Re: “Pot fight

I love people, like Mr. NotSpicoli, who attack me publicly and misquote facts about about me, but are too chicken**** to use their own real names. People know a lot about me by now. Whether I like it or not, I’m a very public figure, but they also know who I am because I have never hidden behind a silly screen name.

We don’t know squat about Mr. NotSpicoli because he likes to hide in the shadows and just take cheap shots at me and others. We can’t criticize this guy’s motives because we have no idea who he is, or what HIS real motives are, and he likes it that way.

He again states that my interest in defeating I-502 is based on some hidden financial agenda. Like others, when he can’t argue issues with me, he has to resort to the warn out “secret agenda” argument. As I responded in my previous post, please tell us all about it. Give us some facts! If you can’t, we’ll just take your totally unsubstantiated argument for exactly what it’s worth.

The supporters of I-502 can’t defend the initiative on the issues. They are forced to resort to personal attacks and sleazy innuendos. They’ve even coined new terms for us, “medical prohibitionists”, “patients against pragmatism”, and I’m sure they come up with more before November; they love name calling. Spicoli’s idol, Russ Belville, got taken to the wood pile last week by the NORML Board of Directors over his ever-increasing level of virulent personal attacks against leaders in the medical cannabis community.

Spicoli doesn’t mind lying whenever he feels it bolsters his argument. Do any of you really believe for a second that there are medical cannabis activists actually working with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police? You are a liar Mr. Spicoli....clear enough for you? Of course you don’t have to worry about damaging the credibility of your alter-ego who hides in the shadows. “Spicoli” can lie all he wants without fear of ramification.

You stated that “Sarich isn’t a supporter of marijuana legalization”. You state this like it’s a fact and that somehow you know what I’m thinking. You’re a liar on both counts. My concern is, first and foremost, for the safety and well-being of medical cannabis patients in Washington. I’ve certainly proven that over the last decade. I don’t know anyone that would even care to debate that fact. Yet you continue to insist that this is not my “real” motivation, without providing any evidence whatsoever, beyond innuendo, to back it up.

If I thought I-502 was good for the patients we’d be having a different conversation. There are three other initiatives that are now attempting to get enough signatures to make the ballot in November. ALL of these would be better alternatives to I-502 and none of them seek to criminalize patients. If any of them get the required number of signatures to make the ballot, I may very well come out in support. I-1208 looks particularly promising. I don’t think anyone is more opposed to cannabis prohibition than I am, despite Mr. Spicoli’s baseless allegations. Unlike Spicoli and others, I simply won’t support a terrible bill just so we can claim we passed “something” that doesn’t even vaguely resemble “legalization”.

I’m impressed that Mr. Spicoli knows so much about my home invasion two years ago that he can attempt to use it for yet another attack on me. He states that armed robbers were going after my “385 plants”. Now THERE is a whole new theory on the case that the police entirely missed! I’m just wondering how they planned on getting themselves and the 385 plants into that Toyota that they were driving. Either the plan wasn’t well thought out, or Spicoli is lying again to make some other innuendo point.

Last week, his idol, NORML’s “Radical” Russ Beleville, had a different take on that armed robbery in which I was wounded. He wrote: “And I hope the rippers take better aim next time”. If the supporters of I-502 think that they can win votes with lies and vicious personal attacks like this, they are very much mistaken.

Why is it that these people can’t simply debate the issues? The answer is simple. This initiative is almost impossible to defend on the facts. When they want to quit throwing mud and debate the issues, I’m all for it. Sooner or later they’ll have to defend their positions with some actual substance.

Simply arguing that “not THAT many non-intoxicated patients will go to jail” is just not going to fly. I want to see them show actual projections on how many people will be willing to buy cannabis for $600-$700 an ounce. Thus far, they haven’t even attempted to. Show me how $700 an ounce “legal” cannabis will alleviate the black market, since that’s one of your stated goals. I’m thinking that street dealers have to LOVE I-502! Tell me how these new pot stores will be any more Federally legal than the current medical access points. These are just a few of the points that you’re eventually going to have to answer to....and it won’t be easy.

There will be plenty of televised debates over this initiative. We'll fortunately be sticking to the issues. If Spicoli actually shows up for the debate, you can sure he'll be hiding in the back of the room somewhere.

Steve Sarich
Executive Director

P.S. I sincerely apologize to “Flutie Flambert” for mistakenly attributing those quotes to him.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/11/2012 at 2:45 PM

Re: “Pot fight

“there's no need for name calling. I don't think you're stupid, and I resent you calling me or anyone else here stupid. Those kind of ad hominem attacks are unnecessary and hurtful.”

“I never said, nor do I think you have any ulterior or secret motives.”

REALLY? So you didn’t say?:

“Absolutely nothing but hysterical rhetoric from Mr. Sarich. The fact of the matter is that he's trying to protect his personal fiefdom and understands that re-legalization will take a large piece of his income.”

“What's really important to Mr. Sarich is his own pocketbook, not the well being of the patients.”

Sir, I suggest you read up on the definition of “ad hominem attacks”. That is exactly what YOU are doing when you claim that my opposition to I-502 is due to some vague undeclared financial motives. You declared this to be a “fact”. Now you’re lying and saying you didn’t say that I had ulterior motives based on personal financial gain. I asked you to provide proof and you are still refusing to do so.

MY opposition is not hysterical, and it’s not rhetoric. I’ve laid out some of the very real, and inevitable, outcomes that will negatively impact both patients and people under 21 years of age. You’ve stated that you “simply think” that fewer people will be hurt. I’m trying to show you that MORE people will be hurt, and hurt far more egregiously. You still failed to address these very valid concerns.

“I don't want anyone thrown under the bus, I simply think that fewer people will be hurt if we pass this initiative than if we do not. I am not alone in thinking this. Others who agree with me include Dr. Lester Grinspoon (presumably one of your heroes), NORML, and the ACLU. Meanwhile, our common enemies including the DEA, ONDCP, et al. oppose this.”

“If you want to side with the DEA and oppose the ACLU, certainly that is your right. However, I think we both would agree that the DEA has a miserable track record on preserving human rights whereas the ACLU has a stellar one.”

For the record, I’ve never come out and opposed legalization. I’m certainly not doing that now, and it's ridiculous to claim that I'm supporting the DEA. I’m simply opposing a heinous piece of legislation that is only masquerading as "legalization". I’m not, as your ad hominem attack implies, trying to “fool” anyone. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Find one word that I have written, ever, opposing legalization, or just shut the hell up!

One of the most vocal critics of I-502 has been an outspoken member of the national NORML Board of Directors, Seattle attorney Jeffrey Steinborn. Mr. Steinborn has published scathing criticisms of the initiative. Now, all of a sudden, he’s quietly voted for the initiative, but “with serious reservations”. Allen St. Pierre has also voiced serious concerns about the DUID requirement in the initiative. Paul Kuhn, the Chairman of the Board of NORML, has said that he has reservations that the bill is poorly written. These are not stellar endorsements from NORML. I have publicly criticized NORML for their “legalization at any cost” stance on this initiative and I will continue to do so.

Don’t even get me started on the ACLU of Washington. While other chapters of the ACLU have actively supported patients’ rights in other states, the ACLU of Washington has NEVER, not once, defended a single patient’s rights in court.

Alison Holcolm, with the ACLU of Washington and author of I-502, is responsible for the passage of several pieces of terrible medical marijuana legislation and even pushed for a bill that would have registered patients in Washington state like sex offenders. This law would have violated our 2nd Amendment rights, our 4th Amendment rights, our 5th Amendment rights and our federally protected HIPAA rights to medical confidentiality. If that’s your idea of a “stellar” track record of “preserving human rights”, your judgement is certainly questionable, at best. Now Holcolm wants to take away our ability to drive legally, just so she can get enough votes to get her legislation passed. Boy, I can see why you think she’s quite the human rights activist.

Once more, any time you want to debate on the issues, and the actual facts, I’m more than happy to do so. Continuing to sell the idea that I’m opposing the initiative because of some unclear greedy motivation is certainly not going to get you any traction. You simply look foolish.

As Forrest Gump would say: “Stupid is as stupid does”.

Steve Sarich

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/09/2012 at 1:22 PM

Re: “Pot fight

If you refuse to answer questions on the issues and simply want to argue "a pot DUID will probably never happen to you cause it never happened to me" or "Steve Sarich has got a super-secret financial stake in opposing I-502".....please come up with some new material.

Over the next several months leading up to the vote on I-502, you'll get tons of responses on the DUID issues from the attorneys that will be the ones tasked with fighting these charges. They have more experience in that area than I do, so I'll let them provide the answers since you don't like mine. You can argue with them.

If you think I have a secret financial interest in opposing I-502, I'm sure everyone, including me would like the specifics. Maybe I'm making money that I didn't know about! Maybe protecting the safety of patients is way more profitable than I thought. If so, I'm sure we'd ALL like to hear about that!

If you don't have any actual evidence of your accusations, then you're just slandering me to give some credence to your idiotic arguments on 502 by trying to discredit me personally. I won't threaten to sue you over that because I'm sure, from reading your comments, that you probably aren't running any Fortune 500 companies and probably don't know where your next 1/8th is coming from.

Take your best shot at me....but be specific. And please let me know if you're willing to pay $600 per ounce for your "legal" pot. You sure as hell won't be allowed to grow it! That would be called....OH!..."legalization"!

I'm sure you wouldn't call $600 an ounce pot "prohibitive", would you? They aren't "prohibiting" you from growing your own marijuana, are they? They aren't "prohibiting" you from getting your pot from anyone that's not state licensed and required to charge you crazy prices, right? They aren't "prohibiting" you, a college junior who's 20 years old, from buying or smoking pot, are they? They aren't "prohibiting" you, the same 20 year old, from ever having ANY THC in your system without risking a drug related driving charge on your record....(totally screwing up your life). They wouldn't do that, would they? That would be "prohibition" for you....not "legalization", right?

That couldn't possibly be what they're asking you to support....or is that exactly what they want you to support?

So let's see, as loyal "legalizationists" we'll throw the patients under the bus, cause they're a "selfish little minority" and they've had it too good, too long, it's our turn! Then we'll throw everyone under 21 under the bus, because that will win us even more votes from the stupid voters that don't really support legalization in the first place. (Hey...a vote is a vote!)

If we sacrifice enough young people and enough sick and old people, we can maybe get enough votes from the soccer mom's and NASCAR dads to let the rest of us feel a little safer smoking a joint now and then.... and pass this crappy initiative. We'll still continue to argue that it's "legalization", (wink wink..nod nod) not just a "new and improved", almost palatable, form of "prohibition". We'll ignore the awful smell we're all getting from this initiative and we'll just pretend it's "legalization perfume"...the "sweet smell of legalization"...not just old fish. We'll throw out a vague promise that "we can just fix it later" some mystical, yet unexplained way that's never worked before in the history of legalization.

This belongs right up there with "the check is in the mail"....and other famous lies that we're all familiar with. You convinced me! I'm with you! Screw those college students! They should be studying and not smoking pot anyway. Let'em drink Budweiser like the rest of us had to do! Hell, they can always do Oxy's if they REALLY want to get high. There's plenty of those out there....and THEY'RE prescription drugs! There's NO "per se DUID limits" on those puppies, you party animals!

I'm obviously just kidding....sort of. Hopefully this argument is going to get a lot less ridiculous as the months go by. Hopefully people will actually read I-502 and maybe defend it with some facts and not just slander. My gut tells me that this probably won't happen. Too many big money interests are heavily invested in this initiative and no one wants to look at the details of what they're voting on. They love slogans like "legalization now!". I grew up in the '60's...I remember.

Ignorance is fixable. Stupid is forever....and I'm hearing a lot of really stupid arguments from the I-502 supporters so far. I'm afraid that's all they've got. That won't put a win in their column in November.

Come up with a really good argument and I'm certainly more than willing to debate it with you. (But please at least tell me where all the money I've supposedly been making has mysteriously disappeared to and I'm willing to provide a finders fee) I believe in incentives:-) Please let me know as soon as car desperately needs work!

Steve Sarich

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/09/2012 at 2:10 AM

Re: “Pot fight

What's worse? You tell me. A $500 fine for pot possession or $10,000 in fines and legal fees (along with jail time) for a DUID (that you're not guilty of!). That's my worst nightmare.

The rest of your argument is simply ridiculous. You better vote for a bad bill because the next one could be worse?

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Steve Sarich on 03/07/2012 at 10:19 PM

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