Inaction Leaves Medical Pot System in Legal Haze
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Inaction Leaves Medical Pot System in Legal Haze
Posted by CN Staff on March 15, 2014 at 05:24:43 PT
By Bob Young, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times
Seattle -- The future of the state’s medical-marijuana system remains in limbo after state lawmakers failed to adopt regulations for a market that Western Washington’s top federal prosecutor has called “not tenable.”When the Legislature adjourned Thursday, attention quickly turned to U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and whether she would target existing growers and businesses in Washington’s largely unregulated medical system.
Durkan said Friday that all medical-marijuana dispensaries in the state are illegal and the feds would focus on those implicated in any of eight Department of Justice (DOJ) priorities laid out last year, such as money-laundering, taking pot across state lines and supplying minors.She also noted, during an appearance on KUOW, that some Seattle high schools are reporting increased use of pot by students and suggested the availability of medical marijuana is one reason why.Her comments were not comforting to some. “That doesn’t give patients much reassurance that we won’t be targets,” said Kari Boiter, state coordinator for the largest national medical-marijuana advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access.But state lawmakers and a spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee said there is still time to fix the medical system before the feds might crack down in sweeping fashion. The Legislature is not scheduled to convene again until January. No one should take the Legislature’s inaction “to mean Washington state is not going to regulate medical marijuana,” said David Postman, spokesman for Inslee. In an eleventh-hour effort, Inslee personally urged lawmakers Thursday night to come up with regulations. But on the last night of the session, regulations were doomed by politics, other legislative priorities and lobbying by medical-marijuana interests that wanted to kill a rushed, scaled-down bill coming out of the House. “Even with the help of the governor, it was too much to get beyond at the eleventh hour,” said Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, sponsor of a bill with wide-ranging regulations that passed out of the Senate last week. Rivers’ bill ran into opposition in the House from Republicans who wanted a cut of recreational pot taxes to go to cities and counties. Because her bill would have amended Initiative 502, which legalized recreational pot, it required a two-thirds supermajority.House Democratic leaders want data on the impacts of recreational marijuana before sharing tax revenues with cities and counties. Rep. Cary Condotta, R-East Wenatchee, noted that ultimately House Democrats tried to pass medical regulations without tax-sharing, meaning they needed only a simple majority. But Democrats couldn’t muster that majority within their own ranks, he said. Some lawmakers said Inslee now needs to create a task force — or some kind of group — to recommended changes to the medical system and show federal prosecutors some progress. But Inslee isn’t planning that at this time, said Postman, who was skeptical that a task force would sway the DOJ if officials there were inclined to crack down.“I don’t think we need a task force per se,” Rivers said. “As long as we have interested parties engaged, I think we can get it done without a formal title.”Maintaining the status quo will please some in the medical industry who lobbied against regulations, said House Finance Chair Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle. “This was straight-up political hardball. Let’s not pretend there wasn’t a well-orchestrated effort (to kill the House bill) and there isn’t tens of millions of dollars, if not more, at stake,” Carlyle said. About 200 dispensaries in Seattle now need help from City Hall. In adopting zoning for marijuana businesses last year, the City Council passed a provision requiring them, including dispensaries, to have a state license by Jan. 1, 2015.The council believed that by next year state lawmakers would have reconciled the medical system with the new recreational industry, and medical operations would be licensed by the state.City Councilmember Sally Clark, a sponsor of that zoning law, said it was premature to predict the city’s next move. “My hope is the Legislature recognizes that local jurisdictions are desperate for clarity,” Clark said. “I don’t know now that we’ll say, ‘Yeah, we’ll shut you down on January first.’”Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Bob Young, Seattle Times Staff ReporterPublished: March 15, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #9 posted by Johnobonno on March 17, 2014 at 09:50:00 PT:
These are decisive times.
Now is the time for a solid plan. All eyes are focused on the outcome of this, and I believe it can still work out well for everyone. Let the recreational users pay consumer taxes, but leave the medical patients TAX EXEMPT. Show your card, NO sales TAX. Want to try and save money and be in control of your own medicine? Medical grows can be peacefully monitored for compliance with regulation, but remain TAX EXEMPT. A board of health professionals with investagatory powers to monitor medicinal grow sites should be capable of insuring the state's interest in heading off unregulated industry outside of medicine. It could be very simple. The State has to carry the burden on this since their chief aim is to maintain the uninterupted revinue flow from the new recreational Marijuana indut$try, and cannot allow the Fed to muck it up over medical cannabis illegally ending up in Oklahoma City or eleswhere. 
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on March 15, 2014 at 13:28:03 PT
Doing a great job on that pad! This is unbelievable - look at the vindictivenss - kitty litter - these are some angry corporate masters that think patients are some kind of escaped slave that's run off the plantation by providing their own medicine - absolutely outrageous:>>>The essence of the press release is that patients who had been growing their own cannabis are now legally obligated to send Health Canada a letter confirming they have destroyed all their home-grown medicine by mixing it with kitty litter, and also killed all of their plants.If Health Canada doesn't get this notice, then they will call the RCMP in an effort to have patients arrested for cultivation.
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Comment #7 posted by runruff on March 15, 2014 at 09:51:16 PT
I don't just type
I fight, wrestle and toil over/with this infernal pad of confounding tricks and puzzlements!
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on March 15, 2014 at 09:38:44 PT
Heads in proverbial dark place:
Sen. Bryan Simonaire, an Anne Arundel County Republican, was the most vocal opponent Friday, saying the bill sends teens the "wrong message."You know what sends teen the wrong message? Sch. I in the CSA. Dumb politicians.Corrupt politians.Trying to beat society into submitting to an unenforcable law.Enforcing bad laws.Subverting the constitution and our bill in order to create laws to befefit mega-industries. Jailing and stealing homes from citizens for possion of a plant!Shooting people in their beds, either accentally or on purpose because there might be an outlaw plant in the house.I don't know, but kids today with their I-Pads and laptops and such, are up on all this and more.I do not believe that legalizing freedom sends the wrong message to anyone!!! 
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Comment #5 posted by Universer on March 15, 2014 at 08:42:29 PT
Progress in the Free State
Decrim bill passes Maryland senate:
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on March 15, 2014 at 08:34:47 PT
Oh and...
He did mention Washington. He said the mmj situation in Wash. was a mess, a complete circus! He said it may take some time for them to sort things out up there, now the program was a mess. Thing is, he seemed amused at this.What is it about these killers and pro-generator's of misery and mayhem that makes them think and act like they are some superior species of human when by their actions the are sub humans with a bath and a brain fed program.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on March 15, 2014 at 08:23:41 PT
I went to a "marijuana" symposium Thursday.
I met a DEA Officer, his name is Mark Schmitt retired with 33 years service. He told us he is now consultant [receiving hugh fees] and that he had just retuned from Colorado were he basically single handily straightened out their lmj v. mmj laws. He now works as a consultant to state governments on how to conform to the changing Marijuana laws. His solutions were blatant attempts to confusticate the laws and try to make change as difficult as possible. one thing that stands out in his spiel is how he is trying to at least keep the control of this plant with government. He was there to help us. His heart or his wallet [maybe both?] are still with the DEA.  This career trough feeder was there to help us deal with a plant and the irony is, HE IS THE PLANT!
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on March 15, 2014 at 08:01:34 PT
Good news indeed
Bravo Washington legislature! They made the right decision to leave patients alone. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 15, 2014 at 06:27:57 PT
Medical Marijuana’s Manufactured ‘Crisis’ 
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