Travel writer Rick Steves on stump for marijuana measure

International travel expert Rick Steves will speak at two events in Snohomish County this month, part of an 11-city statewide tour to promote passage of Initiative 502.

The initiative would allow people 21 and older to buy an ounce of marijuana from stores regulated and licensed by the state, where it would be taxed at 25 percent.

The Snohomish County events are scheduled for noon Oct. 16 at the Everett Station and 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood.

The events will include a 40-minute presentation by Steves and time for questions and answers.

I-502 is not pro marijuana, Steves said. “It’s anti-marijuana prohibition. The best way to control something is not to make it illegal, but to regulate it and educate people on the danger of its use.”

Steves, 57, owns a nationally recognized travel business in Edmonds. He also has been an advocate for reform of marijuana laws for 15 years, serving as an advisory board member for the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws.

He is a co-sponsor of I-502.

Opponents have objected to the initiative for reasons as varied as the problems in testing whether a driver is impaired by recent marijuana use, whether legalizing adult use would send the wrong message to youth about drugs, and whether the federal government might vigorously fight efforts by states to legalize marijuana.

Steves’ tour will take him to every corner of the state, from Bellingham to Vancouver, Walla Walla to Spokane.

Steves said he was excited about the trip that will take him throughout the state in eight days, beginning Friday in Olympia.

Talk of legalizing marijuana has been taboo for years, Steves said.

“I think our nation is ripe for one state to step out against this prohibition,” he said. “In the 1930s, Prohibition was brought down one state at a time.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Snohomish County stops

Rick Steves will make two stops in Snohomish County as part of a statewide tour supporting passage of I-502 to legalize marijuana use by adults 21 and older. The events are:

Oct. 16: noon in the Weyerhaeuser room at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett.

Oct. 21: 7 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th Street SW, Lynnwood.

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