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By Kirk Ludden

In the 2013 Legislative session, the compassionate cannabis use community worked together with the Senate Health Care Committee for Substitute Senate Bill 5528. In the House, it a more compassionate bill in HB 2233.

So why in 2015 did they chose to pass the far more restrictive Senate Bill 5052?

Paid lobbyists from the I-502 businesses and “per diems” (campaign contributions) received from them pushed SB 5052 through the process. Suspending the rules in committees and on the floor allows Legislators to bypass how the process is supposed to work.

Also contributing factors were the many patients and businesses putting their faith in organizations and groups that said they would fight for them. While playing politics, they gave up rights to get licensing of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, still illegal under still Federal and State law.

It is being said in Olympia that there were nowhere near as many calls, emails, etc., as there were last year against SB 5052, where they needed a two-thirds vote to amend 502 (the state constitution forbids changing voter-approved initiatives for the first two years).

Why do so many state legislators and agencies continue to lie and perpetuate “reefer madness” propaganda and discrimination when the People approved medical use in 1998 and a “New Approach” in 2012?

Almost 17 years after I-692, and three years after Washington voters approved I-502, many must wonder why — with the information, studies and research available on the worldwide web — do Representatives continue to mislead the public?

The reason is, federal law forces its own agencies to lie about cannabis in order to maintain Schedule I status. They can maintain power over the state drug laws by luring local state agencies into signing grant contracts that stipulate it.

Why else would lawmakers in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington keep cannabis scheduled that way within their own states, even though all four have found medical value and provide social availability over the counter for adults?

By subverting the clear will of the People in 1998 and 2012, and without removing cannabis from the state controlled substance list, they choose a course to restrict access and perpetuate a regressive tax structure on the most vulnerable among us. They promoted the false belief that patients would do their “civic duty” and go to a retail store regulated by beer cops for their medicine.

For more than 80 percent, their medicinal requirement of THC would mean a 37 percent tax on top of state sales tax. A qualifying patient choosing to sign up for an unconstitutional registry that was written to give federal agents easy access, would save only the 37 percent tax to get an inferior product, possibly containing pesticides allowed by the WSLCB.

chocolate thai
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Chocolate Thai (sativa dominant)
Quality Patient Care, Everett, WA
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

That just can’t compare to the far superior product, choices and service from the current, self-regulating medical cannabis market currently being dismantled.

On July 24, the very medicine that has allowed me to avoid costly and poisonous pharmaceuticals will no longer be an option under new rules passed with SB 5052.

I was part of the HIV Vaccination Trial Units (part 2) and diagnosed as HIV positive “wild type” non-progressor (no gene, nor amino acid produced to protect against HIV).

Cannabis has allowed me to function and participate in daily life without interference from my qualifying condition.

With the new prevision stating that all qualifying terminal or medical conditions must be severe enough to significantly interfere with the patient’s activities of daily living and ability to function, I will fail to qualify for an authorization for the medical use of cannabis, as well as the medicine that has kept me off anti-retrovirals as of the 24th.

Washington patients protest at the State Capitol in Olympia [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]
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Washington patients protest at the State Capitol in Olympia
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

This unnecessary stipulation is Olympia legislating health care choices that are made by patients and their health care providers, which is not their job.

On July 24 at 11 A.M., a press conference begins on the north steps of the Legislative Building at the Capitol Campus in Olympia. Medical cannabis patients and supporters are encouraged to attend to show support.

Those unable to attend are encouraged to email their full name and include their Washington legislative District number in the subject sharing how the new law will effect their lives. Please remember the old saying “You get more flies with honey than you get with vinegar,” meaning a respectful email will be taken more seriously by legislators.

Besides sharing the amazing results volunteers did with I-1372 in three months, an official announcement will be made about “The Viper’s Club,” a non-profit Washington state charity, and its PAC affiliate “Viper PAC.” Created for the medical cannabis community, by the community, to protect the community.

Other speakers have been invited, and updates about the press conference will follow.

~ Kirk Ludden
Sponsor and Executive Director of I-1372

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