Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana bill’

Medical Marijuana Bill Coming To Alabama Legislature

Graphic: AMMJC

​When my sister in Alabama suffers severe nausea due to a major stroke she had last year, she’s not allowed to use the most effective medication. In fact, if she did that, she could be put in jail.

You see, Lynda can’t use medical marijuana — even though it works better than any of the harsh pharmaceuticals her doctor prescribes — because it’s very much against the law in Alabama.
That could all be changing soon, thanks to the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC), which, just two months after its founding, on Thursday announced that the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patient’s Rights Act will be introduced in the next session of the Alabama Legislature.

The AAMJC came into existence on June 3 this year. Rep. Brown agreed to sponsor the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patient’s Rights Act on August 4 — just 62 days after the organization was founded.
Thumbnail image for 188488_202659696412548_100000055588031_770520_5216948_n.jpg
Photo: Chris Butts
Chris Butts, AMMJC:
“If I were any happier, I’d have to sit on my hands to keep from clapping.”
​ ​”Ron [Crumpton] and I had two names on the House of Representatives roster picked out, and Rep. Brown was at the top of that list,” AMMJC Co-President Chris Butts told Toke of the Town Thursday evening. “He’s seen how cannabinoid medicine helps, with his own eyes, and he believes in this legislation.
“If I were any happier, I’d have to sit on my hands to keep from clapping,” Butts told me. “Getting a sponsor is one thing; getting a sponsor that is a Christian conservative, a Republican and the one you wanted all along is something else entirely.”
“Representative Brown is ready to go,” AMMJC Co-President Crumpton told Toke of the Town Friday morning. “We made no changes to the legislation that we presented him with, which is Americans for Safe Access’s state model legislation.
“We had made some changes to their original before we presented it to Rep. Brown, but that was mainly just adding some conditions for which marijuana could be recommended,” Crumpton told me. “Among those were lupus, Tourette’s syndrome, PTSD and inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s and colitis).
Photo: Ron Crumpton
Ron Crumpton, AMMJC: “Representative Brown is ready to go”
“We looked at a lot of legislation; the ASA state model is by far the most neutral bill,” Crumpton said. “It is not so liberal that it would make enforcement virtually impossible and it is not so strict that it will harm patients.
“He has some good ideas for the bill,” Crumpton said of Rep. Brown. “He wants to take it to the health department, who will be responsible for overseeing the program and its enforcement, to try to address their concerns.
“That way when the bill goes before the Legislature, it will not be a question because we know where they stand and have already addressed the issue,” Crumpton told Toke of the Town. “I think that will give them a cleaner bill, but it will also give AMMJC a voice in those changes — a voice we probably will not have if those changes are made in the Legislature.”
The AMMJC is hosting a series of informational picnic meetings across Alabama. The next one is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, August 13, at Blue Springs State Park, 2595 Highway 10, Clio, AL 36017. You can visit the Facebook event page here.
“Join us in Clio, Alabama for food, fun and discussion on Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition’s future plans and how you can help make legal medical marijuana a reality in Alabama,” Crumpton said.
There is no charge to attend the AMMJC meeting, but Blue Springs State Park has a $3 admission fee.
crumpton and brown sized 244.jpg
Photo: AMMJC
Here’s how change happens in Alabama: AMMJC Co-President Ron Crumpton, left, discusses medical marijuana policy with Rep. K.L. Brown and his wife Mandee Brown at an AMMJC picnic in June. This eventually resulted in Rep. Brown agreeing to sponsor a medical marijuana patients’ rights bill in the Alabama Legislature.

How To: Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Delaware

Dont mess with Delaware

The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act came into law on May 13, 2011; legislation detailed in Delaware Senate Bill 17 was authorized by Governor Jack Markell. Please bear in mind that, once a bill is signed into law it always takes at least a year for the administrative functions to be organized and, perhaps, another twelve months before they are put into place. In fact, Delaware state regulators have been given up to one year to draft the regulations that will govern the program. So, no rushing to get your weed card yet!

The details of the Bill are as follows:

Delaware Medical Marijuana – Eligible medical conditions

“Debilitating medical condition,” means one of the following in the context of The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act:

Diagnosis of the following conditions:

  • cancer
  • positive status for human immunodeficiency virus
  • acquired immune deficiency syndrome,
  • hepatitis C
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:

  • cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • severe, debilitating pain, that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects
  • severe nausea
  • seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

Glaucoma, when the written certification is signed by a properly licensed ophthalmologist subject to Chapter 17, Title 24 of the Delaware Code
Any other medical condition or its treatment added by the Department, as provided for in §4906A.

Delaware Medical Marijuana – How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient (Eventually)

Delaware’s application system for medical marijuana registration is expected to go live this month, July 2011 and state-issued ID card; these cards may not be issued until after July 1, 2012.
. In the meantime a limited affirmative defense is operational. This does not prevent an arrest or a prosecution. It can, though, be raised and proven in court to prevent a conviction. If all of the conditions are met, the prosecution should be dismissed.

The affirmative defense only applies if:

• The patient is in possession of no more than six ounces of marijuana and no plants.

• The patient possessed marijuana solely to treat or alleviate the his or her serious or debilitating medical condition (see above).

• The patient’s physician has stated that, “in the physician’s professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the individual’s medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from marijuana to treat or alleviate the individual’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the individual’s serious or debilitating medical condition.”

• The patient was undertaking any of the activities prohibited in §4904A of the law, such as driving under the influence of marijuana; possessing marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, in a jail, or in a state-funded health care or treatment facility; or smoking marijuana in a public place or in any form of transportation.

Delaware Medical Marijuana – Validity to Apply for a State Issued Medical Marijuana ID Card

Only the following basic guidelines are available at the moment:

  • You must have been resident in the state of Delaware for longer than 30 days
  • You should obtain a copy of your medical records indicating that you are diagnosed with a qualifying condition
  • Obtain written documentation from a physician licensed in the state of Delaware that that you are a qualifying patient
  • You must take your medical records with you to your appointment
  • Apply for and receive a medical marijuana card from the state of Delaware

Delaware Medical Marijuana – Access to Marijuana and Allowed Amounts

The Delaware Medical Marijuana Act does not allow for patients or caregivers to cultivate their own cannabis. Instead the state will license at least one not-for-profit Compassionate Care Center per county; these centers will grow and dispense medical marijuana to patients or their designated caregivers.

Currently, the legislation states that patients and their caregivers may possess up to six ounces (170 grams) of marijuana. The state of Delaware does not allow for patients or caregivers to grow or cultivate their own cannabis. Instead, their medicine must be purchased from state licensed compassionate care centers, which will also grow its supply of cannabis.

Delaware Medical Marijuana – Designated Caregivers

Designated caregiver” means a person who:

  • is at least 21 years of age;
  • has agreed to assist with a patient’s medical use of marijuana;
  • has not been convicted of an excluded felony offense; and
  • assists no more than five qualifying patients with their medical use of marijuana.

From the

How To: Help Re-Legalize Cannabis by David Brannon

Want to help re-legalize cannabis? Here’s an idea anyone and everyone can do if (1) you have access to the internet, and (2) you live in a community holding an election this coming November. If you are reading this you have satisfied #1, and if you live in America you satisfy #2. So, let’s get to work.

TO START: Create a list of your local candidates and the office they seek; identify where on the political spectrum each of your candidates fall. A quick review of the candidates’ on-line website or a local voter’s guide will reveal this information.

NEXT: Have you heard of the Just Say Now campaign? Our primary purpose will be to advertise the efforts of Just Say Now. So, if necessary, enlighten yourself before going any further. Pay attention to the political leanings of the members of the Advisory Board of Just Say Now. This Board represents every compass point on the political spectrum – just like your list of candidates.

Every one of your local candidates can be philosophically and politically “matched” with a Just Say Now board member. Someone on that Board is going to look and sound very much like your local candidates. Example: there are several law enforcement reps on the Board – pair them with your more conservative candidates.

THEN: Appear wherever your local pols are speaking, shaking hands, kissing babies, whatever it is they are doing, and, in front of as many voters and television cameras as possible, ask that candidate:

Do you agree with the goals and ideals of Just Say Now as “big shot so-and-so” [the candidates “match”] has done?”

Use your “do you agree” question to wake up both candidates and voters to Just Say Now. Our efforts will help get people talking about changing drug policy. Know how long it has been since this was even discussed during an election cycle? Jimmy Carter was President!

Nothing changes until lots of people start loudly demanding change. Every one of us can do our bit to help. The diverse board of Just Say Now allows a way to approach anyone seeking any office. Why shouldn’t every local dog killer be asked to take a position on drug law reform? Let’s get every politician on the record. Let’s bring to the attention of the candidates, the voters, and the media the growing, coming-from-the-bottom-up demand to reassess the failed war on drugs.

Coalition Working To Bring Medical Marijuana To Alabama

By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town

State Lawmaker: ‘Good Possibility’ He Will Sponsor A Medical Marijuana Bill In Alabama Legislature

Did you know that the Heart of Dixie stands an excellent chance to become the first medical marijuana state in the Deep South?

The newest Alabama group working to allow marijuana as medicine is taking its message to the people with a series of picnic-style meetings across the state. The Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition (AMMJC), the group’s second event, was held Saturday in Jacksonville at Germania Springs Park.

A crowd that grew to close to 70 people was on hand for the picnic, including a state lawmaker who said there is a “good possibility” that he will sponsor a medical marijuana bill in the Alabama Legislature next year.

Rep. K.L. Brown (R-Jacksonville) said some legislators will never get past the stigma of the word “marijuana,” reports Jason Bacaj of The Anniston Star. But Brown said he showed up at the picnic to learn more about the issue and about the people involved with the coalition.

Brown has a personal connection to the use of medicinal cannabis, as he lost a sister to breast cancer in 1987. He said he didn’t know much about marijuana then, but he saw how it worked to relieve his ailing sister’s pain and nausea.

“I do know that marijuana tablets were very helpful to her there, especially at the end,” Brown said.

According to Rep. Brown, if the AMMJC can get people to listen to stories of situations where marijuana helps people with pain and nausea, the bill stands of chance of success in Montgomery.

“They were the hardest working guys in Montgomery last year, and I think they made a lot of headway,” Brown said of the AMMJC. “If we can go at it with the same energy as the past year, maybe we can have some success this time.”

AMMJC Co-President Ron Crumpton agrees.

“We worked with Represantative Brown during the last session, and when we started looking for a sponsor in the House, he wasn’t at the top of the list; was was the top of the list,” Crumpton told Toke of the Town. “He is great at what he does because he seems so mild mannered, yet he is surprisingly tenacious. He just calmly beats you over the head with reason and facts until you have almost no choice but to agree with him,” Crumpton told me.

“People think I’m crazy when I saw we can pass our bill this year,” Crumpton said, “but I can tell you that for a medical marijuana bill to pass in a Legislature state you have to do two things: You have to build relationships with legislators and you have to conquer the stigma associated with marijuana.

“We forged the relationships during the last session,” Crumpton told me. “Our goal for the next session is to deal with perception. If we do that the bill will pass.”

Marijuana Pill Bottle

Harsh Pharmaceuticals or Organic Marijuana?
People Should Have The Choice

AMMJC Co-President Chris Butts told the crowd that a two-story fall 19 years ago left with with a spinal compression injury, slowly degenerating discs along his spine and daily pain that got him a permanent prescription for Oxycontin.

Butts said he became addicted to the prescription narcotic and it nearly ruined his life. After five years he was able to kick the habit by using medical marijuana, which Butts said he had used daily for 14 years in edible form to manage pain from the injury.

“I’m just somebody who doesn’t want to feel like a criminal for doing something my doctor advised,” Butts said.

According to Butts, besides the obvious legal challenges faced by Alabama residents who choose to use marijuana medicinally, there are quality control problems with black market weed. Butts said that many patients were so desperate for something that worked, that they used cannabis despite the laws.

“It’s ludicrous to think that tens of thousands of patients in the 16 medical marijuana states are using marijuana to help with their conditions, and the patients in Alabama aren’t,” Butts told Toke of the Town Sunday night. “The difference is, our patients here are using a product that has been smuggled across our northern and southern borders and is subject to be moldy or mildewed, or have who knows what in it.

“It seems to me the better solution is to have safe access to a clean, locally produced product that is subject to state inspection,” Butts told me.

He still has that Oxycontin prescription, but Butts said he now he only has to use it three or four times a year, and is able to take it when necessary without relapsing into addiction, thanks to medical marijuana.

A wide variety of people attended the meeting, from teenagers with facial piercings to a decorated Vietnam veteran who has used cannabis to treat combat-related ailments for 38 years. The veteran said he fought in the Marines in the 77-day Battle of Khe Sanh in 1968, earning a Silver Star and a Purple Heart during his tour.

It was when he returned home that he realized marijuana helped him handle the post-traumatic stress disorder, nightmares and other health problems — including chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder due to Agent Orange — lingering from the war.

“It helps me better than any damn pill,” the veteran said. “Got to go out to the damn ghetto (to get it). That’s the problem.”

You Can Help

“We at AMMJC would like to thank the 60-plus people who chocked back the fear and taboo associated with this issue and attended the event,” Butts said. “AMMJC will be doing these little events in every corner of the state before the end of the year and things look they they will only get bigger and better.

“We call on all Alabamians who support the therapeutic use of marijuana to join us,” Butts said. “We are easy to find on Facebook and have a web presence at Please contact us if you support our efforts and want to help.”

“To raise awareness we need a steady stream of letters to the editor to local newspapers and letters to your representatives and senators in the Alabama Legislature,” Butts said. “We need supportive Alabamians to talk to the people in their community about this touchy subject and be honest with everyone about their support.”

Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.

The Marijuana Tipping Point Is Here


By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
The writer and social critic, Malcolm Gladwell, defines the ‘Tipping Point’ as the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point; the point at which the buildup of minor changes or incidents reaches a level that triggers a more significant change or makes someone do something they had formerly resisted.
Another way of saying it would be that point in time and space when everything changes and there’s no turning back.
Every day there are more encouraging headlines appearing in newspapers and on the Web from California to Maine supporting medical marijuana legislation suggesting the tide is turning.
Even when the cynics call medical marijuana a joke and claim the real goal of this smokescreen movement is legalization of pot, there are medi-jane supporters with valid and logical arguments to counter-balance any archaic rhetoric with which the anti-pot forces continue to misinform.

New Jersey passed one of the most restrictive medical marijuana rights and benefits program on the books so far. The state with a very conservative governor will soon have medical marijuana. Why? Because the people wanted it.
 It does seem like Time is marching on, but when is it gonna get there?
We’re zeroing in on something but when is the Tipping Point going to kick in fully regarding medical marijuana?
What possible signs do we need to see before we believe that it works?!
Here are some small recent events that may prove someday to have influenced the way we think, tipping the scales our way towards a bigger picture…
Utah Atty. Gen. Mark Shurtleff opposed medical marijuana — then he got cancer.
1) Okay, this guy never ever got high and he’s for Medical Marijuana!
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff approves of medical marijuana after battling cancer.
Shurtleff said he would support the legalization of medical marijuana after experiencing months of intensive cancer treatment.
Shurtleff said never used marijuana himself, but had talked to other patients who had traveled out-of-state to receive marijuana treatment.
Photo: 99Post
Miss USA Alyssa Campanella:
“Medical marijuana is very important to help those who need it medically”

2) Not innocent enough. Okay, as they say, from the mouth of babes…
During the question-and-answer part of the competition, Miss California Alyssa Campanella was asked about her perspective on the medicinal cannabis.
“Well, I understand why that question would be asked, especially with today’s economy, but I also understand that medical marijuana is very important to help those who need it medically,” Alyssa said.
“I’m not sure if it should be legalized, if it would really affect, with the drug war,” she said. “I mean, it’s abused today, unfortunately, so that’s the only reason why I would kind of be a little bit against it, but medically it’s OK.”
She got Miss USA.
When’s the last time you had the crown on the line and you spoke the truth?
I actually can understand why someone could dismiss a beauty queen and a cancer patient as being not scientific enough. They’re just regular people.


​3) What about Big Business. They have scientists? They have economists? They understand the world…? Don’t they?
Scott’s Miracle-Gro Company has long sold weed killer. Now, it’s hoping to help people grow killer weed.
In an unlikely move for the head of a major company, Scott’s Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn said he is exploring targeting medical marijuana as well as other niches to help boost sales at his lawn and garden company.
“I want to target the pot market,” Mr. Hagedorn said in an interview.
“There’s no good reason we haven’t.”

barney paul1.jpg

​4) We’ve heard from the People, Big Business, and now from across the aisle comes…
Congressmen Ron Paul, Barney Frank and others will introduce legislature Thursday that aims to end a major part of the war on drugs — namely the battle against marijuana.
Reps. Paul (R-Texas) and Frank (D-Mass.), though technically on opposite sides of the aisle, have often spoken out against the war on drugs and will propose a bill “tomorrow ending the federal war on marijuana and letting states legalize, regulate, tax, and control marijuana without federal interference,” according to a statement from the Marijuana Policy Project via Reason.
The bill would allow the individual states to decide how they want to deal with pot.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), is the first of its kind to be proposed in Congress that would end the 73-year-old federal marijuana prohibition that began with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.
These four events that just transpired in the last month couldn’t be more current, more ‘now.’ What is it going to take in order for that cosmic plate to tilt to our side? And stay that way!
Entrepreneurs and forward thinkers are testing the waters of the medical marijuana Industry with venture capitalists abroad throwing dollars into edible research think-tanks and other esoteric ganja-related enterprises.
Politicians and law enforcement from all walks and talks of life are coming forward, decrying that the time is now to lose the campaigns that have never worked and to embrace a new way of thinking. To challenge the uncommon wisdom and to end the wars on law abiding citizens who because they ingest a specific weed, they could have their lives ruin because we, as a nation and a society refuse to change.
Sixteen states support medical marijuana. Every poll taken shows public support for medical marijuana. GW Pharma (Weed) and Novartis (Ritalin, Excedrin) have become partners in Sativex (medical marijuana spray) licensing pact overseas and now, in America.
“My professional view of cannabis as a substance is that it appears to be a remarkably safe substance in comparison to most medicines prescribed today,” said Dr. Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals. “The more I learn about this plant the more fascinated I become. It has through its various constituents multiple effects of therapeutic interest, many of which are now being validated by the enormous growth in basic cannabinoid research.”
What is it about marijuana that makes us afraid to go forward and embrace a new safer tomorrow? Pharmaceutical giants are moving forward with patents and marketing. You would think that the data from research geeks would be refutable, they’re the same people who give us our aspirin, for gosh sakes.
The data’s coming in like a Haboob through Phoenix. Unstoppable. Marijuana has applications that can help certain people. That’s it. It can’t be changed.
Marijuana does some good. It’s proven.
You can’t go backwards with that. Only thing you can do is not open your eyes to what’s in front of them.
Why aren’t we coming together as a nation over this issue when people with perspectives as different as those of Miss USA to the Mormon Attorney General of Utah support medical marijuana?
When law enforcement officials and Ex-President Jimmy Carter come forward to say the War on Drugs not only doesn’t work, it’s unwinnable. A waste of money.
Speaking of money, when Wall Street, Main Street and Home Depot all say the time is right to build the future fields of dreams of medical marijuana that only Weed-Gro can protect. What more do we need to hear?
Do we need Nancy Reagan in her Chanel housecoat to come forward to say she was wrong? Would that be the final straw? Would that be our national Tipping Point? To have someone other than ourselves say it is okay for us to have this weed? Mommy, please say its okay because in 1937, someone said it was bad.
Right now President Obama has alienated the Ganja Nation with his reversal on leaving the medical marijuana community alone. More and more his obtrusive agenda is forcing the hand of medical marijuana to take a stand, one way or another in various localities. Howard Zinn said you can’t be neutral on a moving train.
Opinion is sliding to the side where the weed grows green and high. Mendocino County is aggressively constructing a platform that is workable for growers and law enforcement alike. Not perfect, but a start.
Growers are paying taxes in exchange for their right to grow medical marijuana. They pay just like anyone else.
The Tipping Point is already here. Embrace it.

New Hope For PA Medical Marijuana Bill

Pennsylvania Marijuana

By Chris Goldstein

The medical cannabis bill in Pennsylvania has been stalled in House and Senate committees but some procedural wrangling this week could put the issue back in motion. HB 1653 was first assigned to the House Health Committee chaired by Rep. Matthew Baker. At previous public hearings Baker was a vocal opponent of the measure. Today the bill was re-referred to the House Human Services Committee. This means much better chances that public hearings and/or a committee vote will be be scheduled.

This year the PA bill was also re-named The Governor Raymond P. Shafer Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. This is to honor the former Republican governor who guided a commission for President Nixon on the topic of marijuana. In 1972 Shafer delivered a report that cannabis should not be classified with other narcotics and that personal possession should be decriminalized. There were also clear considerations about the medical use of cannabis in the report.

Previously the PA House Health and Human Services Commitee was combined and had 26 members. This year the committee was split into two separate entities.

At public hearings held in 2009 and 2010 testimony strongly favored the medical marijuana bill. Seriously ill residents, religious leaders, advocates, doctors and nurses spoke about the benefits of cannabis but the the bill never got a vote.

Patrick Nightingale, a Pittsburgh based attorney who serves on the Board of Directors at Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana (PA4MMJ), said today, ”Critically ill patients throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are begging merely that their voice be heard by their elected representatives.”

“The answer is not to ignore or bury the legislation but rather to give it a full and fair hearing,” Nightingale added.

Dr. Harry Swidler, an Emergency Medicine physician said at the 2009 hearings: “Marijuana is non-addicting. There is no physical dependence or physical withdrawal associated with its use. It is, from a practical standpoint, non-toxic. Marijuana is safer by some measures than any other drug. There is simply no known quantity of marijuana capable of killing a person.”

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana bill is active in both chambers of the General Assembly. In April state senator Daylin Leach re-introduced SB 1003, but it remains stalled in the Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee chaired by Senator Patricia Vance. Advocates are hopeful that renewed action in the House will help the effort to have Senate hearings as well.

Derek Rosenzweig of Philadelphia spearheaded the PA4MMJ effort and testified at previous public hearings. He said in an email today: “With the introduction of legislation in the US Congress today that would remove marijuana from the federal Schedule I classification, states such as Pennsylvania may soon be free of federal interference in implementing medical marijuana laws. Activists across the state have been pushing for a vote. Everyone at PA4MMJ has been making phone calls and sending emails.”

Grassroots link


Feds Throw Weight Around On Washington’s Medical Marijuana Bill

The feds are throwing their weight around again when it comes to Washington state’s medical marijuana law. A proposal to rewrite the state’s medicinal cannabis rules attracted federal attention after Governor Christine Gregoire asked for “clear guidance” about the U.S. Department of Justice’s position on state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, which would be legalized under the new rules.

Gov. Gregoire, who sent the letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, claims she “became concerned” about a “potential federal crackdown” after speaking with the U.S. attorneys for Eastern and Western Washington, Michael Ormsby and Jenny Durkan, reports Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times.
The prosecutors claim they are concerned that the proposed legislation “would legalize commercial sales of marijuana,” according to state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the bill’s prime sponsor.
Mike Ormsby.jpeg
Photo: Seattle Weekly
U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby likes to run his mouth and throw his weight around.
U.S. attorneys Ormsby, who already started threatening Spokane dispensaries last week, and Durkan noted that the U.S. attorney for Northern California was threatening to prosecute operators of a proposed commercial grow farm in Oakland, even though the farm was licensed by that city and legal under state law, Gov. Gregoire said in her letter to the Attorney General.
The bill in question, SB 5073, would create new state licenses for dispensaries, grow farms and cannabis food processors. State licensing of dispensaries is already in place or is currently being implemented in states like Colorado, Maine, New Jersey and New Mexico, as well as in the District of Columbia.
Gregoire’s letter seeks federal input before considering whether to sign the bill. Some political observers of a cynical bent believe the governor may simply be seeking political cover for a spineless veto of all or portions of the bill.
“The governor wants to make sure that if a law goes forward, it’s done in a way that won’t set up Washington state for an endless battle of court cases,” claimed her spokesman, Scott Whiteaker.
Photo: News Junkie Post
Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles: “Why should our state be treated any differently than other states?”
​ But Sen. Kohl-Welles said she was mystified why the Department of Justice would treat legalized dispensaries in Washington any differently from six other states and D.C., which all currently license and regulate dispensaries.
“Why should our state be treated any differently than other states?” Kohl-Welles rightly asked.
Ormsby, the headline-seeking hot dog of a U.S. attorney in Spokane, last week threatened in a news release to seize property where dispensaries were operating. An estimated 40 dispensaries do business in Spokane.
Ormsby warned that “marijuana stores” are illegal, and threatened property owners who rent to them with forfeiture of their buildings if they refused to evict the dispensaries.
“We are preparing for quick and direct action against the operators of the stores,” Rambo, I mean Ormsby, wrote.
At least 120 dispensaries are operating statewide in Washington, with marked differences in enforcement from county to county. The shops are using a gray area of the voter-approved 1998 medical marijuana law, which neither expressly allows nor prohibits the dispensaries.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule I substance, but the U.S. Department of Justice has taken a mostly hands-off approach to patients and providers in states where medicinal cannabis is legal since an October 2009 memo issued shortly after Attorney General Holder took over.
That memo famously said that patients and providers in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state laws were not a priority of federal law enforcement, but a trickle of federal raids has continued to take place, including multiple raids in the past month in Montana and California.
However, the DEA has to our knowledge, so far at least, never raided any state-licensed medical marijuana growers or dispensaries in states like New Mexico and Maine, which explicitly allow and license the facilities through their state health departments.

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