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I-502 best way to trigger reform

I want to sincerely thank the community of Sunnyside and the surrounding areas. It was not easy for many of you to listen to what I had to say about our marijuana laws. I was always aware of this.

As a fiscal conservative who believes in states' rights, individual liberty and laws that promote responsible behavior, I fought to reform our marijuana laws. As a young father with a family that means the world to him, I continue to believe I-502 was the best way to trigger that reform.

This was not a joke to me. I believe that it is honorable for one to stand up for what he believes is right, even if it is unpopular.

The problems facing our country are huge. Sitting around and complaining will not change a single thing. Some of you may find comfort in the following points:

1) Business owners, you do not have to employ marijuana consumers. Educate yourselves on the symptoms of marijuana impairment (rapid breathing typically is not a symptom).

2) Parents, I supported I-502 partially because I was sick of seeing youth marijuana use rates climb along with criminal penalties. Be honest with your kids about marijuana. Let them know that the law has serious consequences for youth use.

3) I-502 creates strict new DUI penalties.

4) Educate yourself on I-502. Go to www.newapproachwa.org and click on the "initiative" and "faq" links.

5) Farmers, make an effort to learn about industrial hemp.

6) Marijuana consumers are common in our society and defy stereotypes. Not a single one has ever fatally overdosed from marijuana.

7) Not even the Institute of Medicine endorses the Gateway Theory. There is nothing in marijuana that causes an individual to use harder drugs. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.

/s/ Alex Newhouse, Sunnyside

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