Isn't It Weird That... Pot and Parks
Some weird things we noticed about proportionality.
1. Isn't it weird that the City of Fife may end up declaring I-502 cashed?
Tuesday's Fizz had the news that later this month, the city of Fife will argue in Pierce County Superior Court that I-502, the ballot measure Washington state voters passed in 2012 legalizing the recreational use and retail sale of small amounts of marijuana, doesn't mean the city must let outlets sell pot.
The city's brief lays out two arguments. The first one, which the pro-502, liberal Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson agrees with, is a standard legal conceit: 502 allows pot sales, but it doesn't require pot sales; it's only when laws outlaw something that everyone has to abide by the rule.
However, Fife's second argument alarms the AG, because, as Ferguson told PubliCola, it could jeopardize the law. Fife is arguing that federal law preempts 502, which is a pretty solid argument. A Fife win on those grounds would put 502 in hot water overall.
Here's what's weird: Fife voters approved I-502 53-47 in 2012, with all four Fife precincts favoring the measure. But now the small city (population 9,000-plus) may instigate a chain of court decisions that could overturn 502, which passed statewide 55.7 to 44.3.
Speaking of out-of-whack proportionality...
2. Isn't it weird that today's Seattle Times story about last night's vote favoring the Metropolitan Parks District devoted three times as much space to describing opponents' views on the proposal than it did to outlining the arguments made by the successful proponents?
Not so weird, we guess: The Times editorialized incessantly against the measure, which creates a permanent citywide property tax to pay for parks), even arguing recently that voters should oppose the MPD because "Helping pay the bills [at Woodland Park Zoo] does not earn respectful treatment" for elephants.
Summing up the Seattle Times anti-MPD position best, a frustrated pro-parks advocate reportedly quipped in an exchange with the Times editorial board (which was stuck on the idea of a levy), "Okay, so should we come back with a levy for you to reject?" (The Times, supposedly in favor of a levy approach now, actually came out against the previous parks levies.)