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Washington Lawmaker Proposes Removing Marijuana Flowers From Medical Dispensaries

(Hemp News)

One Washington state Republican lawmaker is proposing that medical marijuana dispensaries in the state stop selling marijuana. Wait, what?

Yes, state Sen. Ann Rivers — who really should talk to some actual medical marijuana patients about their needs — is proposing that dispensaries stop selling smokable dried cannabis flowers, reports Sarah Aitchison at the Puget Sound Business Journal. Her bill would limit medical dispensaries to cannabis-infused edibles and concentrates.

Rivers seems to be trying to find a middle ground between the complete elimination of patient collective gardens and dispensaries proposed by her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, and continuing business as usual for the dispensaries, which are seen as competition by the recreational marijuana stores which have opened as I-502 is implemented.

 

I-502 Author Urges Prosecuting, Shutting Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

(Hemp News)

Alison Holcomb is urging Seattle city officials to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries and hit them with felony charges. Yay Legalization!  [Hemp News]
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Alison Holcomb is urging Seattle city officials to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries and hit them with felony charges. Yay Legalization!
[Hemp News]

The author of Washington state’s anemic marijuana legalization law I-502 is defending and even urging prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle.

Criminal defense attorney Alison Holcomb of the ACLU of Washington, who wrote Initiative 502, wrote a December 11 email to Seattle officials about their plans to create new rules for medical marijuana in the city, reports Heidi Groover at The Stranger.

“If escalation of sanctions were deemed appropriate, the city has authority to prosecute repeat license offenses as gross misdemeanors, initiate civil asset seizure and forfeiture, or even refer cases for felony prosecution,” Holcomb wrote in the email.

Seattle is looking for ways to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries; Holcomb’s words were part of a chain of emails exchanged among city council members, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s staff, and others, including Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, who seems just as weirdly intent on eliminating dispensaries as is Holcomb.

 

Seattle City Attorney Wants To Shut Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

(Hemp News)

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes was a big supporter of Washington state’s marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502, all along. Now it seems Holmes is so gung-ho on 502, he wants to extinguish current medical marijuana dispensaries, which existed for years before recreational legalization was approved in 2012, and force medicinal cannabis patients through the state’s expensive recreational pot stores.

Holmes in a policy memo on Monday urged the Washington Legislature to fold medical marijuana into the state’s recreational system, reports Evan Bush at The Seattle Times.

He also pushed Seattle city officials to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries which he claims aren’t following state law or city regulations. “If you’re a commercial (medical marijuana) operation lacking a 502 license, it’s a felony operation. Period,” Holmes said.

 

Washington Marijuana Potency Testing Accuracy Challenged

(Hemp News)

The rules of Washington state’s recreational marijuana legalization law, I-502, require a sample tested from every lot of marijuana. But how useful is that testing?

The program is having some success detecting substances like yeast, mold and bacteria, reports Evan Bush at The Seattle Times. About one out of every 10 batches of marijuana fails and can’t be sold in recreational pot shops, according to Washington State Liquor Control Board data.

Potency testing, meanwhile — which measures levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component, shows Washington weed is widely variable. Recreational marijuana averages about 16 percent THC in the state, but about 2.5 percent of samples test above 28 percent.

 

Virginia: New Poll Shows Voters Strongly Support Marijuana Law Reform

(Hemp News)

A strong majority of state voters support reforming Virginia marijuana laws, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released on Tuesday.

Three out of five (60 percent) of respondents support removing criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and designating it a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail time. Under current Virginia law, possession of small amounts of marijuana is a criminal offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

The Virginia Senate is expected to consider a proposal this year that would replace criminal penalties for personal possession of marijuana with a civil fine of $100.

 

Texas: Decrim Bill Introduced In Legislature; Sheriffs Say No Way

(Hemp News)

Could change be coming to the Lone Star State? A new bill which would decriminalize marijuana has just been introduced in the Texas Legislature, but the Texas Sheriff’s Association has already publicly opposed the measure.

“The Sheriff’s Association position is that we are going to oppose any effort to decriminalize marijuana, or legalize medical marijuana or any of the components of marijuana,” Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk flatly stated, reports News Radio WOAI.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 507, would reduce impose civil fines rather than criminal penalties for marijuana possession. Texas law currently punishes possession with fines of up to $2,000 and jail terms of up to six months.

 

Rhode Island Highest In The Nation In Marijuana Use

(Hemp News)

Rhode Islanders use marijuana at the highest rates in the United States, according to a recently released annual survey.

The report originates from a national survey on drug use and health sponsored each year by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, reports Alison Bologna at NBC 10.

In Rhode Island, 14 percent of those 12 and older — up from 13 percent the previous year — report having used marijuana in the past month, the highest rate in the nation, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health, reports Richard Salit at the Providence Journal. Rhode Island also led the nation in those who reported having used marijuana in the past year, at 20 percent, up from 19 percent.

 

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