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Bill Would Let More Professionals OK Use Of Medical Pot


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WA: The bill allowing patients to get medical-marijuana authorizations from a wider range of health-care professionals came a step closer to becoming law as it passed in the Legislature Thursday.

Senate Bill 5798 extends the ability to authorize medical pot to a variety of other licensed health professionals in addition to MDs and osteopaths - including naturopaths, advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

After some fine-tuning, the bill passed with an amendment requiring the recommendations be written on tamper-proof paper. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, the bill's primary sponsor, said it will go into effect around July 1, roughly 90 days after Gov. Chris Gregoire signs it.

Gregoire couldn't be reached for a comment Thursday. Kohl-Welles said, "I haven't talked to her about it at this point, but I don't see why she wouldn't [sign it]. She's been supportive of medical-marijuana issues."

Kohl-Welles said, "I think this is a real victory in moving forward to providing access more readily to people who are qualified for medical marijuana, especial in more rural areas."

The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, said, "I'm not a supporter" of medical marijuana. "I have concerns about the drug. But if it's prescribed and the prescriptions are controlled, I do not have as much heartburn with it."

Ericksen said the amendment is "an effort to bring a little more control to the system and make sure the drug's not being abused and is getting to the people who are authorized for it."

The legislation makes copies of the pot authorizations illegal. But Kohl-Welles said that it doesn't rule out providers from simply writing multiple authorizations - for instance, for his or her own records, to the patient, the grower and the like. Also, patients who now have authorizations on paper won't need to get new ones after the law goes into effect, she noted.

But Steve Sarich, executive director of the Kirkland-based patient-advocacy group, CannaCare, called the new law "almost unworkably cumbersome. Are you going to go into your doctor and say, 'Can you sign 10 originals for me?' Believe me, no one sticks with just one designated provider."

News Hawk: Warbux https://www.420magazine.com
Source: Media Awareness Project
Author: Mark Rahner
Contact: opinion@seattletimes.com
Copyright: 2010 The Seattle Times Company
Website: US WA: Bill Would Let More Professionals OK Use of Medical Pot


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They're talking like they may remove the secure paper part of the bill. The rest of the bill is very good for the MMJ movement.
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