Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2014 NO. 2 > Jan 16 2014


  1. Initiative 502, which establishes a licensing and regulatory system for marijuana producers, processors, and retailers, does not preempt counties, cities, and towns from banning such businesses within their jurisdictions.
  2. Local ordinances that do not expressly ban state-licensed marijuana licensees from operating within the jurisdiction but make such operation impractical are valid if they properly exercise the local jurisdiction’s police power.
AGLO 1977 NO. 4 > Jan 24 1977

(1) An initiative to the legislature, if enacted by the legislature, is not subject to gubernatorial veto.

(2) An initiative to the legislature may be rejected either by formal action, by informal inaction prior to the end of the regular session to which the initiative was submitted, or by the passage of an alternative measure to be submitted to the voters along with the initiative at the next ensuing regular general election.

(3) An alternative to an initiative to the legislature need not be passed at the regular session to which the initiative itself was submitted but, to be effective, such an alternative must be passed in time to permit its submission to the voters at the same general election as the one at which the rejected initiative, alone, would be required to be voted upon if an alternative measure had not also been enacted.

AGO 1983 NO. 4 > Mar 18 1983

An initiative, under Article II, § 1 of the Washington Constitution, may be used for the purpose of applying to the federal Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution in accordance with Article V thereof.

AGO 2014 NO. 4 > Mar 28 2014


RCW 43.135.055(1), as most recently amended by Initiative 1185 and previously by Initiatives 960 and 1053, does not amend or repeal approval the legislature has granted in other statutes for the imposition or increase of fees, and makes no distinction as to when legislative approval must take place.


AGO 1976 NO. 4 > Jan 22 1976

The provisions of Initiative No. 316, defining the crime of aggravated murder in the first degree and providing for a mandatory sentence of death with respect to that degree of murder, do not apply to offenses committed prior to July 1, 1976.

AGO 1971 NO. 5 > Jan 26 1971

Consideration of various alternatives which are available to the legislature under Article II, § 1 (Amendments 7 and 30) and Article II, § 41 (Amendment 26) of the Washington Constitution upon certification and transmittal to it of an initiative to the legislature; adoption and amendment; rejection and submission of alternative proposal to voters; time for certification of initiative to legislature.

AGO 1971 NO. 6 > Feb 2 1971

The provisions of RCW 29.79.490 (6) are applicable to a corporation whose principal office is, or a majority of whose members or stockholders have their residence outside, the state of Washington, even though such corporation may possess a certificate of authority to transact business within the state of Washington under RCW 23A.32.020.

AGO 1961 NO. 7 > Jan 31 1961

Employees of the Washington state ferry system are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Washington state personnel department created by Initiative No. 207.

AGO 1973 NO. 12 > May 17 1973

RCW 29.18.140, which previously required the filing of certain reports of campaign contributions and expenditures made or incurred in connection with a campaign for nomination at a partisan election, has been repealed by § 50 of Initiative No. 276 (chapter 1, Laws of 1973); however, the provisions of RCW 29.85.270 which require all political advertising to be identified as to its sponsorship and the political party of the candidate (if any) remains in effect notwithstanding its apparent repeal by § 20 of Referendum Bill No. 25 because that referendum bill was totally repealed by § 50 of Initiative No. 276 before § 20 thereof had become effective.

AGO 2006 NO. 13 > May 31 2006

1. RCW 29A.72.110-.130, as amended by Laws of 2005, ch. 239, requires each initiative or referendum petition to contain a printed “declaration” concerning signature gathering and the penalties for forged and false signatures, but does not require that such a declaration actually be signed or provide any legal consequences for failure to sign or for signing a false declaration.  2. If an initiative or referendum petition fails to contain the printed “declaration” required by RCW 29A.72.110–.130 as amended by Laws of 2005, ch. 239, the secretary of state may refuse to file the petition or accept the signatures on such a petition, under RCW 29A.72.170.