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STEVE ELLIOTT

Your source for uncut, uncensored, no holds barred, non-corporate controlled cannabis news

There’s been a lot of hot air — and precious little illumination — coming from some mighty prominent places when it comes to the failure of the Washington Legislature this session to force medical marijuana “into compliance” with the recreational cannabis system created by the passage of legalization measure Initiative 502.

For instance, I keep hearing nonsense (often from people who should certainly know better) about the “unwillingness of the medical marijuana community to compromise.” We have some people trying to rewrite history, here.

Our current medical marijuana law in Washington state is the result of many, many compromises the patient community already made in the Legislature, after the people passed the original initiative in 1998.

The current plant levels and possession limits were revised downward from what patients originally requested, and many other elements of the law represent compromises made by patients and among legislators on the way to the current set-up.

For instance, when plant and possession limits were finally being codified (more specifically, that is, than a “60-day supply”) in 2008, the patient community originally requested 71/99 — 71 ounces and 99 plants. That amount, recommended by Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, was revised downward to 24 ounces and 15 plants, amidst much protest, but the patient community reluctantly accepted the compromise.

It’s important not to forget that.

Former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire in 2011 vetoed almost all the meaningful parts of a bill which would have regulated medical marijuana in the state. She claimed the feds would arrest state officials if she signed it.
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Former Washington Governor Christine Gregoire
in 2011 vetoed almost all the meaningful parts of a bill which would have regulated medical marijuana in the state. She claimed the feds would arrest state officials if she signed it.

It is simply disingenuous to pretend, at this point, that medical marijuana is somehow “unworkable” and “in crisis” just because our fumbling lawmakers were unable to shoehorn it into a recreational system into which it never belonged in the first place.

When the people of Washington approved Initiative 502, they did not approve the dismantling of the medical marijuana law that they passed in 1998. They were, in fact, repeatedly told that I-502 wouldn’t affect the medical marijuana law at all.

But lawmakers took about five minutes to extend the power of the Washington State Liquor Control Board — given authority over recreational marijuana in Washington by I-502 — to include medical marijuana, as well, despite empty promises to the contrary.

Clueless, ham-fisted lawmakers — with only a dim inkling of the medical uses of cannabis, and of the patients who need it — were suddenly writing rules about medical marijuana. Some of them, perhaps remembering the resistance from the MMJ community to I-502, seemed almost gleefully vengeful in “taking away” from the patients.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the feds will raid us if we don't regulate. Maybe he should talk to Gov. Gregoire. [Karen Ducey/Puget Sound Business Journal]
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Washington Governor Jay Inslee
now says the feds will raid us if we don’t regulate.
Maybe he should talk to Gov. Gregoire.
[Karen Ducey/Puget Sound Business Journal]

Three years ago when Gov. Christine Gregoire vetoed most of a bill which would have regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, she said we couldn’t regulate them because if we did, the feds would raid us, swooping in to arrest state officials for daring to regulate medical cannabis.

Now Gov. Jay Inslee tell us the feds are gonna raid the dispensaries BECAUSE “they aren’t regulated“…. sigh.

And it makes me really sad to see people who claim to “advocate for patients” (hi Ezra!) go along with this horseshit about the “crisis.” That is, other than our supposedly “liberal” Governor practically begging both U.S. Attorneys for dispensary raids (which would be a big political risk; they might be very unpopular).

The only “crisis” medical marijuana has in Washington state is being attacked by clueless public policymakers. These clowns came within a gnat’s whisker this session of dismantling a proven system which has safely distributed medicine to patients for more than a decade, for an unproven, overtaxed system which so far has never sold a single joint. (Never mind the fact the state recreational marijuana rules allow more than 200 pesticides to be used on the stuff — not exactly great news for patients with compromised livers and immune systems.)

Hell, we’ve been violating federal law for 16 years up in here, Boss. Ain’t no sky hit me yet.

 

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