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Ex-Seattle U.S. Atty. John McKay Backs Push to Legalize Pot

John McKay

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Granted, the irony is rich. But ex-Seattle U.S. Attorney John McKay, a President Bush appointee, says he has his reasons for joining a coalition that’s pushing an initiative to legalize marijuana in the state of Washington.

McKay, 55, contends that criminalizing marijuana creates a black market that benefits  international cartels and crime rings, according to an article in the Seattle Times.

“That’s what drives my concern: The black market fuels the cartels, and that’s what allows them to buy the guns they use to kill people,” McKay said, according to the Times.  “A lot of Americans smoke pot, and they’re willing to pay for it. I think prohibition is a dumb policy, and there are a lot of line federal prosecutors who share the view that the policy is suspect.”

The group is being led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. The group decided to push for the initiative after Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a medical-marijuana bill that had passed the state Legislature, the paper reported.

The paper reported that the group will have until  the end of this year to gather more than 240,000 signatures to get the initiative before the Legislature, which could approve it or let it go before the voters.

McKay was one of eight U.S. Attorney’s fired by the Bush administration in 2006 in what became a highly controversial matter.  Critics accused the administration of playing politics. The administration claimed the firings were based on performance.

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