Former New Mexico Republican Gov. Gary Johnson, has endorsed the marijuana legalization initiative headed for the November ballot. Johnson, running for president under the Libertarian Party, called Initiative 502 “fiscally responsible and socially pragmatic” in a statement sent out by the initiative campaign.
I-502 is the first marijuana legalization initiative to make the ballot in Washington. “We should regulate and tax it like alcohol and tobacco instead of propping up black market profiteers,” Johnson explained. He also expressed concern about the thousands of marijuana arrests that occur every year. “We have better uses for our police, courts, and jails.”
Johnson is a longstanding advocate for legalizing marijuana. Other backers of the 502 includes former U.S. Attorneys, a retired FBI agent, judges and public health officials.
I-502 would legalize sale of small amounts of marijuana to adults 21 and over from stand-alone, state-licensed stores, and impose a 25 percent tariff at each link in a regulated cannabis supply and distribution chain. The estimated $215 million in new tax revenue would be buttered across public health and substance-abuse prevention programs.