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Recommendations by WA Officials Would Destroy Medical Marijuana Industry, Say Critics

WA state officials recommendations would destroy medical pot industry
(Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

In seemingly one sweeping recommendation,  it appears medical marijuana could be completely wiped out by the state.

The Seattle PI blog page from November 13th. details how a series of policy recommendations could completely do away with medical marijuana in Washington.

Convened by the Washington State Legislature, the Medical Marijuana Work Group is comprised of representatives from the State Liquor Control Board,  Department of Revenue, and Gov. Jay Inslee’s senior policy adviser.   According to the PI Blog:

“The work group produced a four-page document that, in essence, suggested gutting almost everything in 1998′s successful citizen’s initiative 692 that legalized medical marijuana in Washington state.

If enacted, the WSLCB work group recommendations would roll back a medical patient’s right to home grow marijuana for medicinal purposes, further restrict the amount of pot a patient could possess, eliminate the affirmative medical defense for patients found to be in excess of the currently allotted amount of medical marijuana under I-692, and effectively render any and all current doctor’s recommendations null and void, requiting current patients to be re-evaluated (which for many will mean being rejected by a new, much more stringent, selective authorization process).”

You may not be aware of it, but there is a significant community, especially on the West side, who have invested financially as businessmen and women to legally provide the medical marijuana, and now it appears that years of work and investment are about to be tossed away.  It is noteworthy that this work group conducted it’s meetings in secret, claiming exemption from the state’s public disclosure laws.

   We at Newstalk870 are not users of any form of pot, nor do we agree with it.  But we also respect other people’s rights to legally pursue their lifestyle and interests.   We voted against I-502.   But this is more than about medical marijuana.  This is once again about government over-reaching it’s boundaries and interfering with a legal business.  

   Like it or not,  if medical marijuana did not provide verifiable forms of relief for certain medical conditions – especially chronic pain and terminal cancer patients – it wouldn’t be used. 

  The PI blog notes that a significant amount of support for legalizing recreational marijuana came from the medical marijuana community.  They were promised by I-502 backers there would not be a “blow-back” or repercussions  against their industry by the state-run pot industry.  Apparently, these promises are not going to be kept.

  We noted the Department of Revenue is involved in the medical marijuana Work Group.  To us, that was a big fat red flag.   We all know the state often says it wants to work with citizens and businesses, but we also know when the state has an opportunity to grab taxpayer dollars, they will do it – regardless of the outcome.

 Why would this work group recommend gutting the medical marijuana industry?  Because it initially doesn’t fall under the same rules as the state-run stores will be, therefore “depriving” the state of even more marijuana-generated tax dollars.

  Most of the time,  it’s not hard to figure out our leaders in Olympia…

 

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