Initiative stance ‘positively Stalinesque’

Reader disagrees with criticism of Washington state's initiative system.

I’m retired from law enforcement. I’m now a minor rancher on the Okanogan, an author and columnist. I’ve never used any illegal substance even when I could have bought marijuana in basketball-sized bags in Pleiku street markets. Ergo I’m not ‘pro legalizing pot’, per se, other than as a means of combatting drug crime/violence by killing the massive black market profits.

Regardless, it’s disappointing to see the Press editorially attempt to conflate the recent marijuana law changes in Washington into some pogrom against our invaluable initiative process.

The Press’s “logic” that such complicated issues as our laws should not trouble the pretty little heads of the public but should be left to the all-knowing, all-wise political power elite is positively Stalinesque.

That power elite has precious few enough public checks on it now. Witness state government’s haste to throttle all public efforts to regulate taxation. Witness the vote being corrupted by massive corporate and PAC money, and by a number of other issues such as no credible voter ID. Worse, the power elite places getting re-elected above all other often more equitable factors in its deliberations, hardly confidence inspiring.

It’s easy to appreciate the Press’s concern for initiatives perceived to threaten a goring of its readership’s favored oxen, but that’s no more valid than calling for the abolition of the Supreme Court every time it rules against our pet ox.

Washington’s initiative process is the people’s only direct, essential, critical, vital check on state excesses. Moreover, the power of the initiative cuts all ways for all citizens equally.

Use it, don’t abuse it.

William Slusher

Riverside, Wash.



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