Ways & Means Votes on Medical Marijuana Bill This Afternoon

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles‘ proposed legislation to better regulate medical marijuana is scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means at 1:30 p.m. today. UPDATE: Progress! “Feb 24: Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means at 1:30 p.m.”

Here is the latest summary of the bill’s intent:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 101. (1) The legislature intends to amend and clarify the law on the medical use of cannabis so that:

(a) Qualifying patients and designated providers complying with the terms of this act will no longer be subject to arrest or prosecution, other criminal sanctions, or civil consequences based solely on their medical use of cannabis;

(b) Qualifying patients will have access to an adequate, safe, consistent, and secure source of medical quality cannabis; and

(c) Health care professionals may authorize the medical use of cannabis in the manner provided by this act without fear of state criminal or civil sanctions.

(2) This act is not intended to amend or supersede Washington state law prohibiting the acquisition, possession, manufacture, sale, or use of cannabis for non-medical purposes.

Following the failure of Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson’s bill, HB 1550, to make it out of committee (even with a Seattle Times endorsement), SB 5073 (and its companion bill, HB 1100) is the last major legislative hope for this session.

Sensible Washington is still gearing up to put a legalization initiative on the ballot. Named I-1135, the initiative will need some 241,000 signatures by end of June to make the ballot. Distribution of petitions should begin today.

This measure would remove state civil and criminal penalties for the cultivation, possession, transportation, sale, or use of marijuana. Marijuana would no longer be defined as a “controlled substance,” and civil and criminal penalties relating to drug paraphernalia would not apply to marijuana-related offenses. The criminal offense of possession of forty grams or less of marijuana would be amended to apply only to persons under eighteen years old. 

4 thoughts on “Ways & Means Votes on Medical Marijuana Bill This Afternoon

  1. If any of these bills or initiatives pass, users would still be liable to Federal law and enforcement. As we see a rise in impaired driving under the influence of cannabis I hope none of them pass. Please just stay in your Mom’s basement if you must smoke it for your “medicinal” purposes.

  2. hopefully the ways and means committee fixed most of the dumb amendments added in the previous committee.

  3. I don’t smoke anything, and I don’t drink very much, but this bill sounds like an excellent step forward for Washington State. In every way known, pot is dramatically less harmful than alcohol. No, I don’t want people smoking pot then driving, but I definitely don’t want them drinking and driving, texting and driving, or even talking on the phone and driving – but I very much believe in the right to do these things while not driving or operating heavy machinery.

    Let’s increase our tax revenues, and keep our police and criminal justice resources focused on more important things.

  4. The legislature has been conned by the pot-heads.
    The guys who are behind this legislation plan on cashing in by limiting the number of legal dispensories and grows. Of course these same guys are already flaunting the present law and selling marijuana openly in violation of tthe state and federal laws, and making big money doing it while law enforcement buries their head in the sand.
    This same group now opening defying present law are being given an advantage over anyone else trying to break into the business. The current law breakers are free to keep up what they are doing, while everyone else must wait a year or more to be licensed. These guys are going to get rich off of this. Whose pocket is being greased on this scandal?

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