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WA Lawmaker Abandons Medical Marijuana Proposals

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OLYMPIA, Wash. –A Democratic lawmaker who had been pushing for legal recognition of medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state abandoned her efforts Tuesday and called the setback the greatest disappointment of her career in Olympia.

The Legislature does not have enough time to find and pass a compromise bill before the end of the special session on Wednesday, said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle. She had previously ushered a full package of proposals all the way to the governor, only to have Gov. Chris Gregoire veto large portions of it.

Kohl-Welles said she regrets not being able to secure the approval of even limited regulation of medical marijuana dispensaries.

"By far, this represents the greatest disappointment of my legislative career," Kohl-Welles said.

An initial proposal that lawmakers had approved included a statewide regulatory system for licensing medical marijuana producers, processers and dispensaries. But Gregoire vetoed the measure after federal prosecutors warned that state employees would not be immune from prosecution.

Kohl-Welles then pushed two other proposals to allow local jurisdictions to regulate dispensaries, but neither made it out of committee. The failed measures also means there will not be a statewide registry of marijuana patients - something designed to give them protection from arrest.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are not specifically allowed nor forbidden under current state statutes, although they are now operating in much of the state. Proponents of the legal changes contend that patients with terminal or debilitating conditions do not have the ability or resources to grow their own marijuana, so they believe retail-like access is needed to prevent a black market.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: seattletimes.nwsource.com
Author: Mike Baker
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: The Seattle Times Company
Website: WA lawmaker abandons medical marijuana proposals
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