Cannabis activist/gadfly/truth teller Steve Sarich of the Seattle-based Cannabis Action Coalition slung some truth at an August 7 public hearing on implementation of Washington state legalization measure I-502.
What’s going on, basically, is that the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) plans to over-tax recreational marijuana in the Evergreen State — so, in order for their over-taxed, over-priced pot to compete, they want to over-tax medical cannabis as well.
During last fall’s campaign which resulted in the passage of I-502, backers of the “legalization” measure not only promised that the proposed recreational marijuana market would be “totally separate from” the medical marijuana community and would not negatively impact it in any way.
Of course, that lasted about five minutes after I-502 passed, once state officials realized they were going to, essentially, be in competition with medical marijuana dispensaries for business.
So now we get to hear all about how the medical marijuana business in Washington is “untaxed” and “unregulated” and how crucial it is that we “bring it into line” with the recreational market’s rules.
“You had an opportunity, this session of the Legislature, to get that tax reduced, to be competitive,” Sarich told the Liquor Control Board. “Did you do anything about it? Absolutely not.”
“If I appear angry in this video, please understand that myself and three other CAC board members were the first people to sign up to speak,” Sarich told Toke Signals Friday afternoon. “They made all four of us wait 3.5 hours — and put us up as the very last speakers. They violated their own hearing rules by doing so. So I’m afraid I didn’t cut them (or Ms. [Alison] Holcomb) much slack.
“They never responded to any of the issues I raised,” Sarich told me, “because they don’t have the answers.”
All too quickly, promises of “not impacting” medical marijuana patients were forgotten and tossed aside. The state sees dollar signs!