At Hempfest, opinions differ on legalized pot

While Democratic party delegates were voting Saturday to back a state initiative to decriminalize marijuana, petitions in support of Initiative 1068 were circulating in Tacoma’s Wright Park during Hempfest.

Festivalgoers mostly were happy about the political move, but some had reservations.

Daniel Forges, 20, of Spanaway, feared legal marijuana could lead to taxes on the substance.

“I have opinions both ways,” said 18-year-old Shane McCreery, also from Spanaway. He said it might be “more entertaining” to get pot if it’s still illegal. But he also was intrigued by the idea that you someday might be able to just run down to the corner drugstore and pick some up.

Kevin Oliver, director of the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said Washington is one of five states looking at changes in marijuana laws.

Renata Rollins, I-1068 campaign manager, said she is glad to have the support of the state Democratic Party. She said the state Libertarian Party already endorsed the campaign.

The deadline for petitions to be turned in is approaching, and Rollins said the campaign is in its last big push.

Asked if enough signatures have been gathered, she said, “It will be tight.”