Anita Alvarez

  • Anita Alvarez

Elected officials in other places are talking openly about pot.

Last week Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn called for legalizing marijuana, saying prohibition finances a violent criminal trade and “fuels a biased incarceration policy.” Chicago also has a racially disparate enforcement policy—the grass gap—but in Washington voters will get to weigh in on the matter this fall, when statewide ballots will include an initiative legalizing possession of an ounce of pot for recreational use. It’s sponsored by the former U.S. attorney in Seattle. A similar measure just made the ballot in Colorado.

Meanwhile, governors Chris Gregoire of Washington and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island have called on federal authorities to reclassify marijuana so medical use isn’t a federal crime, and other states have since joined in resisting the Obama administration’s capricious pot policies. Closer to home, Evanston softened penalties for low-level possession last year, while officials in downstate Galesburg are currently pondering a ticketing policy. And there are more.