State Should Improve Protections for MMJ Patients
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State Should Improve Protections for MMJ Patients
Posted by CN Staff on March 16, 2011 at 08:07:08 PT
Seattle Times Editorial
Source: Seattle Times
Seattle, WA --  The medical-marijuana bill in Olympia should be passed, because existing law does not protect legitimate patients or their suppliers from arrest, jail and prosecution.This page supports full legalization, taxing and regulation of cannabis for sale to adults. The Legislature also has a bill to do that, but it is not likely to pass this year. The medical bill — the modified version of Senate Bill 5073 — has passed the Senate 29-20 on a bipartisan vote and is now in the House.
There is an urgent reason to pass it. On Monday, federal agents raided greenhouses and dispensaries across Montana, confiscating plants, processed cannabis, computers, firearms, cellphones, vehicle titles and cash.The Obama administration's policy has been not to enforce federal law on users who comply with state law in the 15 states that allow medical cannabis. Montana is one of those states — but its law does not protect the dispensaries.Neither does Washington's. And there are dispensaries all over the state.The two states do have a political difference: The Montana Legislature is moving to repeal its medical cannabis law and Washington's is not. Still, the raids are not comforting.The bill in Olympia, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, would license growers, processors and dispensers of medical cannabis and set up state regulation of drug strength, packaging and labeling. It would also set up a voluntary registry of users with state ID cards that would give protection from arrest.There are some problems with the bill. In specifying that a physician cannot "offer to examine a patient solely or primarily for the purpose of authorizing the medical use of cannabis," the bill interferes with the practice of medicine. In banning all advertising for state-licensed dispensaries, it runs afoul of the First Amendment.These problems should be fixed and the bill passed. The news from Montana shows how urgently it is needed.Note: The Seattle Times editorial board reiterates its support for Senate Bill 5073, to expand the protection for medical marijuana users and their suppliers.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Published: March 15, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 16, 2011 at 10:17:28 PT
Press Release from MPP
Medical Marijuana Passes in New Hampshire ***The New Hampshire House of Representatives, which has a nearly 3:1 Republican supermajority, overwhelmingly passed a bill today that would allow residents to use marijuana for medical purposes.
 H.B. 442, which would create a narrow exception in New Hampshire law for people with certain qualifying conditions to use marijuana to treat their ailments with doctors’ recommendations, will now move on to the Senate.
Medical marijuana treatment is currently permitted in 15 other states and the District of Columbia, and is being considered in more than a dozen state legislatures this year. 
 The bill passed 221-96, or by 69.7%, doing better than similar medical marijuana bills have done in previous Democrat-controlled sessions, proving conclusively that this is an issue that both parties can support. The bill was introduced by Rep. Evalyn Merrick (D-Coos), a cancer survivor, and is sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Jim Forsythe (R-Strafford).“This vote shows that compassion is not a partisan issue,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. 
“Lawmakers can come together despite their political differences when it comes to allowing sick people to use medical marijuana. They owe it to their constituents to do so.”H.B. 442 enjoys strong support among voters. A 2008 Mason-Dixon poll showed that 71% of New Hampshire voters are in favor of allowing the use of medical marijuana, with only 21% opposed. The bill now goes to the Senate. With more than 124,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. For more information, please visit . 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on March 16, 2011 at 08:29:03 PT
The Seattle Times speaks for citizens again.
I'm consistently impressed with the Seattle Times newspaper and editorial board regarding cannabis issues in Washington state.
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