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Clarifying The Rules Of Medical Marijuana


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The Washington State Legislature wants the Health Department to clarify the rules surrounding the use of medical marijuana. In 1998, voters approved an initiative allowing doctors to legally recommend marijuana for some medical conditions.

The state allows patients who have doctor's permission to possess a sixty day supply of medical marijuana but there's no definition of much a sixty day supply is. The State Department of Health is now holding public meetings across the state to determine a definition but it hasn't been easy.

In a passionate plea Steve Sarich joined dozens of others at Spokane Community College urging the State Department of Health not to define a two month supply of medical marijuana. Sarich says to calm his aches and pains he's turned to marijuana after becoming nearly addicted to prescription pain killers. He believes the barriers place by his doctor are enough.

"My doctor puts down how much marijuana I can have for a sixty day period, why should the Department of Health do that?" said Steve Sarich.

Blake Maresh with the State Department of Health says while patients may not like it, without one will make it hard for authorities to know who's following the law. After holding public hearings, Maresh says clarity will be hard to provide.

"We really got a wide range of answers, from a few ounces to several pounds," Blake Maresh said.

Maresh has also heard a variety of ways patients are ingesting marijuana and what ailments they're using it for. He believes specific uses for specific problems might have to be spelled out in the new law. This might only create more confusion for those trying to monitor it.

Sarich believes it's all a waste of time and thinks lawmakers should shift their focus to other pain killers.

"I was almost addicted to prescription narcotics, that's the biggest drug problem in our country right now," Sarich said.

The Department of Health is also looking into safe and effective ways to distribute medical marijuana. Many patients are forced to buy it off the black market right now and pay at a premium. The department plans to present its findings to the state legislature next summer.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: KXLY TV (Spokane, WA)
Author: Karina Shagren
Contact: News4@kxly.com
Copyright: 2007 kxly.com
Website: KXLY.com
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