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It's Time To Update and Improve State's MMJ Law
Posted by CN Staff on April 08, 2011 at 17:04:44 PT
By Jeanne Kohl-Welles And Jerome Delvin
Source: Seattle Times
Seattle, WA -- Washington easily adopted medical marijuana by initiative in 1998, with 59 percent of the vote. That strong public support remains today. A recent poll found that 84 percent of Washington voters favor "allowing patients with terminal or debilitating conditions to possess and consume marijuana if their doctors recommend it."Unfortunately, the law is not working as the voters intended. This is why Senate Bill 5073  currently under consideration in the Legislature  is so important and needs to be passed by the state House. If it doesn't pass by Tuesday, the bill will die.
This bill would comprehensively license and regulate the production and dispensation of marijuana for medical use, and provide clarity to both law enforcement and patients about how to comply with the law. Patients, law enforcement and communities all will benefit from its passage.Fixing Washington's medical-marijuana law is a separate issue from the legalization debate. It is important we put our opinions on legalization aside and fix the state's medical-marijuana law now. The current situation  a chaotic proliferation of dispensaries, unprotected patients and confusion for law enforcement  is simply unworkable.Under current law, authorized patients and designated providers receive no protection from arrest and prosecution and may only raise the law as a defense in court. This is a costly and inefficient system for law enforcement and puts some patients through incredible hardships. Individuals with terminal and debilitating illnesses are still being arrested and prosecuted for trying to exercise their rights under the law.SB 5073 would fix this problem by ensuring that qualifying patients won't be taken into custody and providing full protection against arrest for patients who register in the state's secure registry. These changes will also provide law enforcement with bright lines for determining who is a legitimate patient.Another problem is that there is no system for patients to obtain a safe, secure and reliable source of marijuana for medical use. As a result, patients are forced to take on the difficult and expensive task of growing marijuana for themselves or turning to gray-market dispensaries popping up around the state. This is bad policy and has led to tremendous confusion.Two recent court cases illustrate the problem. A Spokane man was found guilty on drug charges for operating a medical-marijuana dispensary. A week later, a Yakima man was found not guilty for operating a collective garden at his residence. Further, several cities have set up moratoriums prohibiting dispensaries until the Legislature passes the bill, while others continue to allow them.SB 5073 will end this confusion by setting up a system of state-licensed and -regulated producers, processors and dispensaries overseen by the departments of Agriculture and Health.Our state is not alone in addressing this issue. Thirteen other states plus the District of Columbia already have passed laws setting up regulated systems for making marijuana available to qualifying patients for medical purposes. And the federal government has let them do it  the Department of Justice directed federal law enforcement not to interfere in medical-marijuana states so long as the state's laws are being followed.Failure to pass SB 5073 would mean that Washington patients will be forced to live another year in fear that they may be arrested and prosecuted, and still have no reliable way to obtain their medicine. It also means law enforcement and local governments will be faced with unnecessarily difficult choices about allowing gray-market dispensaries.SB 5073 provides a comprehensive solution for dealing with medical marijuana in our state. Let's pass it now.Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, chairs the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection Committee. Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, is a former officer for the Richland Police Department. Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Jeanne Kohl-Welles And Jerome Delvin, Special To The TimesPublished: April 8, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: http://www.seattletimes.com/URL: http://drugsense.org/url/aaF5DuWBCannabisNews Medical Marijuana  Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml 
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Comment #25 posted by boballen131313 on April 11, 2011 at 16:41:24 PT:
Medfarmer54? WTF?
Glad that you are taking your dog and pony show elsewhere. Its obvious that you have limited experience with cannabis and I would question your moniker "Medfarmer54". Thank God I am not dependent on your ilk for my medicine. 
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Comment #24 posted by Sam Adams on April 11, 2011 at 13:53:36 PT
"medfarmer"
say what you want, at least we know how to write in separate paragraphs.maybe you just haven't evolved enough as a species to find the "Return" key?
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on April 11, 2011 at 13:11:58 PT
Storm Crow
Good one! LOL!
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Comment #22 posted by Storm Crow on April 11, 2011 at 13:01:34 PT
FoM, I think you got it slightly wrong.........
about the Republican's opinions. Should have been-"They don't think. That's all."
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Comment #21 posted by herbdoc215 on April 11, 2011 at 11:33:34 PT
FoM, I figured that was it 
As I sure ain't no computer wiz and plants are about the only thing I know or have ever professed to know. Great call runruff as I had same vibe myself...especially from somebody whom was using chat acronyms (C-Ya) like a cop or actually-had-the nerve-to-be-a-grammar-nazi-with-run-on-bs-sentences? Or point out mere letters left out for typing mistakes as not being able to spell as I don't think (tho-all) is even a real word is it? This is our enemies tactics though and these are the only plays they know so it will be funny as heck to watch Douglas Hiatt and Sensible Washington shove this prop 1149 down their throats after this election as I have been to many Sensible Washington meetings and these young volunteers are excited and getting it done with a passion that warms my old heart up for the future! Republicans=haters! Peace, Steve
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on April 11, 2011 at 11:21:51 PT
Republicans
All I want to say is I don't pay any attention to Republican's opinions. They don't think like I do. That's all.
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on April 11, 2011 at 11:19:08 PT
herbdoc215 Comment 16
If a post goes over so many characters it won't post. If that isn't the problem I have no idea what would have caused it. I'm sorry for the problem.
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Comment #18 posted by runruff on April 11, 2011 at 10:47:33 PT
This guy talks like a cop. I have "copdar".
Why all the insults? I have been smoking herbs since I was serving in the military at age 17. All of my service buddies and I smoke and became educated professional men and women.I am a published author, though I have smoked pot for over forty years. I am healthy look 20 years younger than my peersMaybe this guy should look up famous pot heads? Perfect grammar? For christ's sake, I am not in English class here. I do not intend to use perfect grammar-ever!Every now and again we get a nasty name caller on here. Some one who is angry because we do not see things his way.Very much like the profile of a cop or a paid prohibitionist [haters of freedom].Well, good-bye to you, you will not be missed and I suspect you hear that a lot!
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Comment #17 posted by museman on April 11, 2011 at 10:41:32 PT
correction..
for those who recognize it..my stand has been over 40 years, not 50, yet... maybe by then I'll not be in some farcical realm currently believed as real...
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Comment #16 posted by herbdoc215 on April 11, 2011 at 10:38:50 PT
I had written a long reasonable response
But it wouldn't let me post it for some reason explaining how prop 19 messed up by using 21 as it killed the youth vote as even 20 somethings have friends who use and don't want to see them locked up or create new crimes. I think President Obama would benefit from it making the ballot more than anybody as it will rock the vote when it happens and the energy of these young volunteers at SW has me really stoked about their chances and these kids are getting it done and making me proud as heck of them! Peace, Steve 
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Comment #15 posted by museman on April 11, 2011 at 10:33:10 PT
No Compromise, No Quarter
I did not declare this war. I did not agree to it. I did not get to vote for or against it. I was however, taught in american schools that;A. -this is a 'free' country.
B. -liberty was 'constitutionally guaranteed.'
C. -as a citizen I had certain 'rights' -including the "Inalienable" (you can't take that away) right of pursuing my happiness.and then, VietNam and real life in amerika (including the war on hippies and the counter culture called the 'WOD') exposed reality- and education really began;D. It was all a pack of lies carefully manufactured and modified easily to address every citizen challenge ever raised up against the lies (by lawyers who have exclusive access to the game)E. No change is ever going to come through false representatives who only represent themselves and the power of elitist, economic, social aristocracies.F. Only through the stalwart stand of (mostly unpublisized and unpopularized heroes that the minions of luciferian law attempt to undermine with compromises and capitulations, like age limits for using medicine,) can real change be had.G. If the entire BS scenario is based on lies, how do more lies, or compromises with the lies and the liars accomplish anything accept to validate the liars?In 1969 we said that "If we are old enough to go die -without our moral or ethical agreement, but by threat and coercion (the draft) then we are old enough to vote!" Rather than admit that war in itself was the problem, the immoral, unethical, bigoted, (I could go on) government granted the citizens the 'right' to vote at the age of 18. -now that's the convoluted logic of the rulers who are NOT GOOD PEOPLE!!!All around the world right now, real people are REALLY AWAKENING to the BS of their false leaders.But there is a counter, upsurge of narrow-minded control freaks attempting to shore up the crumbling buttresses of this failed system, nationally and globally, and they may have power -similar to bullies and street thugs- but they are merely the body of an ancient beast that is finally dying. The head is severed, and the body is thrashing around in its death throws.We can only hope that the damage is minimal.I, like others here, have stood my ground for over 50 years. I've given lots of opportunity for these power and control freaks to come down off their false throne and join reality and the human race, and in all this time, for every 'vote' I invested in hope for change, or at least some common sense, logic, and sanity, I have seen nothing, NOTHING!!!!! that makes me believe in their scheming, their lies, and not one molecule of my being will move in acceptance of compromises that merely shift their power over to another foot... And anything short of PURE, UNABRIDGED, FREE AND CLEAR REPEAL of CANNABIS PROHIBITION, ABSOLUTE LEGALIZATION of our "Plant of Renown" our "Tree of Life" our "Herb for the Healing of Nations" will be unacceptable to me.I think that people who cannot embrace the fact of the HARMLESS nature of cannabis -and the knowledge that the "harm" is CULTURAL, not literal or actual, to anyone, of any age, are suspect in their motivation and intent.One can abuse to the point of self destruction, any number of things found here and there, but it is not those things with the potential for harm, it is the ignorance of the human who decides to eat 4 cheeseburgers, instead of the one they need to survive, not the cheeseburgers.Any persons, or group of persons who conspire to DECIDE FOR ME about anything I should do in my life, are out of line, they should not have that false power and authority, and as long as I live, I will not Compromise, not give Quarter to lies.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on April 11, 2011 at 10:31:47 PT
I agree with herbdoc215 and BGreen.
If 18, 19, and 20 year old people are "children"... we need to stop sending our "children" off to fight and die in wars. Immediately!
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Comment #13 posted by BGreen on April 11, 2011 at 08:48:37 PT
Medfarmer54
If you want to debate the facts you're welcome here. If you want to be insolent and insulting there are about a million other places you can go. There is nothing ignorant about the belief that someone who is old enough to die for their country is old enough to legally consume cannabis. herbdoc215 is a disabled veteran of the US military and you, sir, are completely rude and arrogant towards someone who knows that of which he speaks.In your words, YOU are self-righteous and indignant and uptight. The punctuation was added by me because self-righteous is hyphenated, but bombastic blowhards like you know only enough to criticize others.C-YA!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #12 posted by herbdoc215 on April 11, 2011 at 08:45:34 PT
Were is my napkin, Your so cool!
Anger and a worn out keyboard doesn't equal intelligence in case you didn't notice we are not getting paid to write this...(unlike you as I firmly believe you are an agent provocateur paid by people like Steve Sarich (or the pigs) and his ilk if you want to know the truth)...so take your sophist bullshit and stick it in your bank account with all your blood money you have extorted from patients! If spelling and grammar are you only arguments for locking people up then I really feel sorry for you and your sad little world and I really can't wait until this passes and you get to see just how smart you really are. Google my name and then google yours and see whom has more hits as this isn't my first rodeo and arm-chair quarterbacks like you burn my ass as bad as the cops or worse because at least they don't know any better but you old dudes whom can't grow for crap and have been taxing all your buddies for years to buy your sub-par bullshit weed are going to have to get jobs now and quit playing rock-star and ripping off patients is you and your ilks biggest fears of legalization and YOU KNOW IT! Call me some more names, I like it but it doesn't make what I'm saying wrong! Peace, Steve Tuck
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Comment #11 posted by medfarmer54 on April 11, 2011 at 07:50:07 PT:
Time to Wake Up
You are all so self righteous and indignant and uptight.You all really need to smoke some better herb and chill. I am merely stating the obvious-look at all the Republicans running your little lives-you think THEY won't have a problem with the 18 years old age? You all may as well start crying now-cause this initiative will never pass just as long as kids under 21 are included. Dream on-scream on-learn how to spell-learn some punctuation and grammar-probably too late tho-all that dope you were smokin' in HIGH School must have had you dreaming your young lives away instead of studying and paying attention.(hear that herbdoc215?) Best of luck to you folks-I'm heading down the road-there's enough ignorance and B.S. here to sink a ship. C-YA, you know the rest(if you can still remember):(
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Comment #10 posted by BGreen on April 10, 2011 at 23:59:01 PT
Medfarmer54
You're right, there are many people who would rather put 18 to 20-year-old humans in jail or war than let them legally have a plant they already have better access to than 90% of adults over 35. Many people would just like to see all of us executed, too. Why should we care about what the weak-minded think?I'm going to fight for what is right, not what appeases the ignorant.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #9 posted by herbdoc215 on April 10, 2011 at 22:39:36 PT
Medgrower54, You wanna exchange places with one
Of those "kids" in Iraq or Afghanistan now as I personally think it is a crime against any 'God" there could be to send our kids to die for cowardly old men and women whom wrap themselves in their flags and morality while sending our best and brightest off to die for their profits while saying they can't even drink a beer or smoke a joint or before some of them have even had sex before...just what are they fighting for then if not $$$ and chicken-shit old people as we ain't been invaded in quite a while? The drinking age being 21 isn't going to last much longer and you know it as the 'kids' look pretty pissed off about this duality and hustle and I think this will be what it takes to bring them out to vote for first time in their lives and start leaning how to stop the old people from ruining the world as I have watched them do my entire life.
I personally think ONLY people over 50 years old should be allowed to fight in wars, we should start trading out the 'kids' tomorrow and army recruiters want to know directions to your house...old men and women as they have already have had great lives or wasted them but it only requires 4 lbs to pull a trigger and even less to push a button or a pencil as I haven't seen a lot of hand to hand combat in middle east so fa on CNN so Rambo isn't needed! I was one of those whom packed a weapon and was shot at for Uncle Sam before I couldn't buy a beer off post for awhile and was drafted for growing pot so it makes this bullish very close to home for me as I humped my ruck, have you medgrower54! It also looks to me like the SOP sophist here in Washington are going to have to up their game if they actually want this divisive crap to take hold like it did Prop 19 in Cali and the big growers they scared into fighting it are missing here so better luck someplace else old "got mine" growers or up your game! Peace, Steve Tuck
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Comment #8 posted by herbdoc215 on April 10, 2011 at 15:19:33 PT
Ya, like I sure wouldn't want those kids 
to be able to get some pot...imagine the horrors, and how dare they just walk around out in the open doing it to piss off all those old conservatives...I mean kids today would never know were to get cannabis already and without some scourge such as this they would never smoke cannabis??? If it was up to me I personally from my own eyes and experience living there think Halland had it right at 16 myself until the USA and UN cry-babies made them raise it to 18 as IT KEEPS KIDS OFF OF HARDER DRUGS, as where else would they come in contact with a drug dealer but at a drug dealers house!!!! Is that clear enough for you...should I say it louder! You wanna lock you kids up fine BUT leave mine alone and out of jail for being normal human beings! Peace, Steve
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Comment #7 posted by Medfarmer54 on April 10, 2011 at 14:52:39 PT:
Legalization Should Not Be For Kids
I'm all for legalization, but the problem for me with the petition is that it states the minimum age for users would be 18 years old. I think many people would be against this,and that it may cause the petition to not get enough signatures. I'm sure many simply won't vote for it because of this. Minimum age should be 21 as it is with alcohol. 
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Comment #6 posted by herbdoc215 on April 10, 2011 at 08:36:42 PT
They don't mention that if SB 5073 
Isn't passed by Tuesday it's dead this year, and it doesn't look good for it at all...the legislature here has totally dropped the ball this year and the in-fighting amongst all the reform groups is whom we all have to think for it as I watched with my own eyes many so-called "co-op" owners go in there and pretty much wreck our bill along with the cops with both sides trying to see whom could get stupider with amendments and statements! Now they get nothing as they player-hated each other into the abyss and dragged the rest of us patients with them! Not everybody here can just move to California as I can which is terrible for patients, but thank God I can get out of dodge while the getting is good. The entire deal here in Washington now hangs on the balance of whether Doug and SW can get initiative 1149 on the ballot and I think it will pass but volunteer sig gathers and a late start has placed that into jeopardy if everybody here doesn't get on the same page as the USA here is acting the fool and making bunch of threats and I also believe the Farmers markets here have let a genie out of a bottle that won't go back in!  Peace, Steve
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 10, 2011 at 08:35:17 PT
Medfarmer54 
Welcome to CNews. Go Washington State! 
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Comment #4 posted by Medfarmer54 on April 10, 2011 at 08:03:00 PT:
Whatever-The Time is Now!
Don't worry about mere semantics-call it what you will. Let's focus on the fact that Senator Kohl-Welles has introduced legislation that will protect us-medical marijuana patients and growers-from arrest and all that goes with it. Let's focus on the fact that this legislation will also legalize dispensaries for all those unable to grow their own, and that this supply will be regulated to licensed growers, guaranteeing no "fly by night" who knows what they grew it with type growers-thus guaranteeing pure medicine for all that need it.
The time is NOW!!!
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 09, 2011 at 11:11:42 PT
Tim
That "allowing" business always bothered me, too. I always think, "How dare they?"I prefer the terms "Legal" or "Illegal". They aren't my parents and I'm not ten years old. It's my opinion 
that no one is "Allowing", or not "Allowing" me to do anything!
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on April 09, 2011 at 09:22:49 PT
Montana law enforcement update
Since we're all hearing so much about Montana these days I thought some might be interested in this.It appears that the same Montana law enforcers telling us we can't have medical cannabis are driving around drunk and high on prescription drugs. Folks, the hypocrisy does not get any worse than this:http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/04/09/future_dui_court_judge_faces_drug_charges/excerpt:Future DUI court judge faces drug chargesAssociated Press / April 9, 2011HELENA, Mont.  A Montana justice of the peace set to preside over a DUI court later this year has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs after authorities said he stumbled sweating and disoriented into a police station.The misdemeanor charge filed Thursday against Robert E. Lee is the latest in a string of DUI reports involving high-profile officials as Montana lawmakers consider stricter laws aimed at changing attitudes of acceptance toward driving under the influence.Lee, 66, is charged with driving while under the influence of methadone, a synthetic narcotic used to relieve pain or prevent withdrawal symptoms from drug addiction. He denied the charges yesterday in a phone interview.
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Comment #1 posted by Tim on April 09, 2011 at 03:51:04 PT:
Allowing?
What is this "allowing" stuff anyway??? I think our country was founded so we wouldn't have to be "allowed" to do things anymore! 
I'll make a couple of quotes from our Declaration of Independenence - "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."... "all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
Declaration of Independence
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