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Legislature Needs to Pass a Reworked Medical-Cannabis Bill

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The Legislature should pass a new medical-cannabis bill. Gov. Chris Gregoire's partial veto of the bill sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, and passed by the Legislature has left dozens of medical providers naked to federal raids.

The new bill should include the three provisions Gregoire says she would support: noncommercial cooperative gardens and dispensaries, local authority over where they locate, and protection from arrest for patients and providers who enroll in a confidential state registry.

It would have allowed growers, processors and dispensers to be independent and for-profit as long as they were regulated and licensed by the state. This page urged her to sign that bill, not expecting the Obama administration to start raiding dispensaries and arresting people.

For the moment, the best option is a fallback bill. While waiting for it, Gregoire should tell federal authorities to back off. She has done them a favor by vetoing Kohl-Welles' bill, and they can show their appreciation. There have been enough raids. The people being dragging off are not illicit drug dealers. They are shop owners, and they do not belong in prison.

Leaders here also have to push ahead in other venues. This week, cannabis providers filed a petition with the state Board of Pharmacy to reschedule cannabis to be a drug with legitimate uses. The board should do so. It has denied such petitions twice before, deferring to its federal classification as a drug with no medical uses. That classification is wrong.

To her credit, Gregoire has said she supports medical cannabis and she will join other governors to push for the Obama administration to change the drug's federal classification. She should do it.

The people of Washington voted for the medical use of marijuana 11 years ago. Fifteen other states and the District of Columbia have made similar decisions. Our leaders need to keep pushing.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: seattletimes.nwsource.com
Author: The Seattle Times
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: The Seattle Times Company
Website: Legislature needs to pass a reworked medical-cannabis bill
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