The political climate surrounding cannabis and cannabis law is heating up. Here’s quick guide to what’s going on in the local, state and national scenes. If you want to get involved, now’s the time.
“Starting January 1, 2015, all businesses conducting major marijuana will be required to have a license from the Washington State Liquor Control Board in order to operate in the city of Seattle.”
Unfortunately, since the WA state legislature failed to pass a bill regulating medical cannabis this session, co-ops are finding themselves in a tight spot. If no action is taken to resolve the issue, medical cannabis dispensaries will be forced to close on January 1, 2015 since no medical licenses will be available and the new legislative session begins on January 1, 2015, leaving no time to enact new rules.
We are asking citizens to urge City Council to amend the ordinance to allow for safe access for medical patients until licenses are available to dispensaries.
Sally Bagshaw – 206.684.8801 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sally Clark – 206.8802 – email@example.com
Nick Licata – 206.684.8803 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kshama Sawant – 206.684.8016 – email@example.com
As noted in our blog post from March 18th, all bills concerning the regulation of medical cannabis that were submitted to the WA state legislature this session failed to pass. Washington will convene a task force to figure out the issues of combining the medical marijuana system with the upcoming recreational marketplace.
The state is not the only entity interested in resolving the issue. Advocacy groups Sensible Washington and Americans for Safe Access are working on a bill for the next legislative session that will be better for patients’ rights. Additionally Governor Jay Inslee is looking into forming his own committee to deal with the situation. Regarding the failed legislation Gov. Inslee is quoted as saying,
“I do believe we need a regulated system to assure medical marijuana patients that they in fact do have a legal ability to get access to medical marijuana and that will also satisfy the federal government that we have a disciplined, regulated system.”
More on Gov. Inslee’s reaction here.
To read more about efforts to create a cohesive cannabis system, check out this article from OregonLive.
Congresspeople Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA) have begun efforts to de-fund the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) anti-medical cannabis efforts. The two have drafted a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Chair Frank Wolf (R-VA) requesting that the CJS budget exclude DOJ efforts to prosecute medical cannabis patients. If this request is accepted, the DOJ would no longer be able to raid, arrest, prosecute, convict or incarcerate any state-authorized medical cannabis patients or providers that act in compliance with state law.
For information on who to call and what to say, please see this Action Alert from Americans for Safe Access.
If you prefer to send an email, you can do that from here.