WA Aims for Less Medical Marijuana in Revised Rule

WA Aims for Less Medical Marijuana in Revised Rule
Posted by CN Staff on July 01, 2008 at 19:50:35 PT
By Curt Woodward, Associated Press Writer
Source: Seattle Times 
Olympia, WA -- After meeting with law enforcement leaders, Washington's Health Department has cut its suggested two-month supply of medical marijuana by nearly a third - a change that riled patients' advocates and sparked threats of a lawsuit.On Tuesday, the state Health Department laid out its suggestion for a 60-day supply of medical marijuana at 24 ounces of usable pot, along with six mature plants and 18 immature plants. 
That mirrors the limits used in Oregon, and is a significant drop from the 35 ounces and 100 square feet of growing area the agency was considering after gathering volumes of comment from people around the state.But after reviewing health officials' work in February, Gov. Chris Gregoire thought the amount was too large and ordered the agency to get more opinions from law enforcement officials and doctors - even though doing so pushed the work past a previous July 1 deadline for a final medical marijuana rule.The resulting smaller guideline was formally filed as a draft state rule Tuesday, which means more hearings and public comment are in order before the limits become binding.Medical marijuana patients and advocates slammed the change, saying it was a politically motivated flip-flop that could leave large numbers of sick people in danger of being thrown in jail."We'll probably have to file a lawsuit to stop the application of this rule, because they did not use scientific evidence in formulating it," said Douglas Hiatt, a leading lawyer for medical marijuana patients. "It's obvious the whole issue turned into a big political football."Gregoire, a former state attorney general who is facing a stiff re-election challenge from Republican former state Sen. Dino Rossi, has courted law enforcement support in her first term.The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs was one of the main groups at the table when the Health Department reconsidered its previous, larger marijuana guideline. An affiliated group, the Law Enforcement Administrators of Washington, recently endorsed Gregoire.The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs' policy director, Joanna Arlow, said law enforcement has always maintained that experts on health should be the ones dictating how much marijuana is proper for a patient to have.But police also worry that drug dealers could use a higher limit to conceal illicit marijuana growing operations, and they're more comfortable with the new, lower ounce amount that health officials submitted Tuesday.Changing the growing-operation rule to a number of plants, rather than a square-footage calculation, also makes it easier for police to judge who's staying within the state rules and who's exceeding them, she said."The number they've released today seems reasonable, and it probably doesn't rise to the level of concern about anybody hiding behind it," Arlow said.Health officials said there is a shortage of medical research on how much marijuana a patient should be allowed, complicating the discussion about the limit state law should lay out. They also pointed out that, if the 24-ounce rule becomes permanent, patients who need more to alleviate their symptoms can get a waiver from their doctor.But Dale Rogers, director of Seattle's Compassion in Action Patient Network, said doctors will likely be reluctant to go beyond the state rules."The system will not make it easy for the doctors to do," Rogers said. "I don't want to make a doctor fill out 10 more forms so someone can get a couple more ounces. It's asinine. It's not going to happen."Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author:  Curt Woodward, Associated Press WriterPublished:  Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Copyright: 2008 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Article:24-Ounce Limit Proposed for Medical Marijuana Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on July 02, 2008 at 18:26:49 PT
now on CNN
CNN has a video of the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Study at but their attitude to the story is very condescending. The guy doing the study said that it could be therapeutic for sick people who might need some spiritual understanding, but shouldn’t healthy people that want spiritual understanding be able to have access to it too. The newsperson concludes by saying that magic mushrooms are dangerous, but doesn’t say what the dangers are. Very illogical, but making the news. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 01, 2008 at 20:42:16 PT
John Tyler 
I thought that was a great article. They talked about the story on the news today too. I think it could help people like it helped people years ago and that included me. 
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on July 01, 2008 at 20:36:03 PT
off topic but interesting
Check this out. Psilocybin is good for your peace of mind. after their usage the majority of the subjects still have feelings of peace, love and understanding (if I may paraphrase) and feelings of unity with all (creation). 
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