Peter Lewis backed Washington legalization

Published: Friday, Sep. 20, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Re "Billionaire pushing to ease access to marijuana" (Dan Morain, Sept. 15): Dan Morain is right that impaired driving has horrible consequences. Drivers who take the wheel impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or prescription medications put the lives of their fellow motorists at risk. We have to continue our successful efforts to reduce incidents of impaired driving.

Such efforts are part of, not contrary to, responsible regulation of marijuana. It is neither necessary nor advisable to leave marijuana in the hands of criminals as a strategy for minimizing the risk of marijuana-impaired driving. As Morain wrote, Washington State's new marijuana law included a DUI standard for marijuana impairment. It also dedicated new tax revenues for additional research into marijuana impairment.

Because I-502 thoughtfully addressed public safety, including impaired driving, I was proud to endorse the measure. In fairness, it should be noted that Peter Lewis, whom Morain implies is resistant to responsible regulation, was I-502's largest financial contributor.

-- Sheriff John Urquhart, Seattle, Wash.

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