Congress Votes to De-fund DOJ Enforcement in Medical Marijuana States

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Congress Votes to De-fund DOJ Enforcement in Medical Marijuana States

WASHINGTON, DC — In an unprecedented 219-189 floor vote late last night, the House of Representatives approved the end of funding for Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement in medical marijuana states.

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CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment 2014

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Stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interfering in the implementation of state medical cannabis programs!

Every year, Congress approves a series of appropriations bills that formally sets the budget for various governmental departments and agencies. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and other Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill determines the budget of the DOJ and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the coming fiscal year.

This year, a bipartisan amendment to the 2014 CJS bill will be introduced that will cut the DOJ’s funding for interference in the implementation of medical cannabis programs in states that have made it legal. This would mean that for the next fiscal year, the DOJ would not be able to halt the progress being made in several medical cannabis states as they begin implementing their programs and providing medicine to qualified patients.

Urge your Member of Congress to support the CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment.

 

Stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interfering in the implementation of state medical cannabis programs!

Every year, Congress approves a series of appropriations bills that formally sets the budget for various governmental departments and agencies. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and other Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill determines the budget of the DOJ and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the coming fiscal year.

This year, a bipartisan amendment to the 2014 CJS bill will be introduced that will cut the DOJ’s funding for interference in the implementation of medical cannabis programs in states that have made it legal. This would mean that for the next fiscal year, the DOJ would not be able to halt the progress being made in several medical cannabis states as they begin implementing their programs and providing medicine to qualified patients.

Urge your Member of Congress to support the CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment!

- See more at: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/182/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15759#sthash.gjg1FXL4.dpuf

Stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interfering in the implementation of state medical cannabis programs!

Every year, Congress approves a series of appropriations bills that formally sets the budget for various governmental departments and agencies. The Commerce, Justice, Science, and other Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill determines the budget of the DOJ and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for the coming fiscal year.

This year, a bipartisan amendment to the 2014 CJS bill will be introduced that will cut the DOJ’s funding for interference in the implementation of medical cannabis programs in states that have made it legal. This would mean that for the next fiscal year, the DOJ would not be able to halt the progress being made in several medical cannabis states as they begin implementing their programs and providing medicine to qualified patients.

Urge your Member of Congress to support the CJS Medical Marijuana Amendment!

- See more at: http://org.salsalabs.com/o/182/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15759#sthash.gjg1FXL4.dpuf

Medical Cannabis Law Action Update

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WA State Capital

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.

Local: Seattle

The City of Seattle’s marijuana zoning ordinance is currently a big problem for medical cannabis.  According to Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development Tip 134:

“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.

Contacts:

Sally Bagshaw – 206.684.8801 – sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov

Sally Clark – 206.8802 – sally.clark@seattle.gov

Nick Licata – 206.684.8803 – nick.licata@seattle.gov

Kshama Sawant – 206.684.8016 – kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

 

State: Washington

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.

 

National: US

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.

 

 

Dockside Co-op is the First Patient Focused Certified (PFC) Co-op in Washington State!

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Distribution

Dockside Co-op is pleased to announce that as of March 20, 2014, we are the first Patient Focused Certified (PFC) co-op in Washington State.  Dockside is the third dispensary in the nation to achieve this certification, joining SPARC and Berkeley Patients Group, Inc. (both located in California).  Patient Focused Certification (PFC) is a non-profit, third party certification for the medical cannabis industry offered by Americans for Safe Access (ASA). PFC is the only industry certification based on the new quality standards for medical cannabis products and businesses issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopeia (AHP).

“In the face of failure by state legislators to develop sensible dispensary regulations in Washington State, the Patient Focused Certification program encourages the industry to adhere to important safety and quality standards,” said Maria Moses, Co-founder and Director at Dockside Co-op, which has been located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle for more than 3 years. “This program gives the industry a baseline to affirm what we’re doing right and to improve upon the service we provide to patients.”

For the full article on Dockside’s PFC, please click here.

WA MMJ Safe for Now – HB 2149 and SB 5887 fail to pass

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wa-state-starburst-cutThe Washington State legislative session ended on March 13th, 2014, passing neither HB 2149 or SB 5887.  That means that for now Washington’s medical cannabis laws will remain unaltered.  Medical cannabis activists are declaring this a victory for Washington’s medical patients as both bills would have significantly restricted patients’ rights, reducing the amount of medicine patients could possess, the number of plants they could grow, and introducing a patient registry.

In January of 2014 Sensible Washington, in conjunction with Americans for Safe Access, formulated an alternative bill, SB 2233, which “would result in no reduction in protections for patients, and would provide them with defined arrest protection, with no requirement of joining a registry. The current possession limit of 24 ounces, and the cultivation limit of 15 plants, would remain unaltered,” according to Sensible Washington.  Unfortunately, SB 2233 stalled in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee and did not receive a hearing.  Sensible Washington plans on filing a similar measure for the next legislative session.

Stay tuned for more updates as we get them.

WA State Medical Cannabis Bills Update

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Lately there have been lots of bills concerning the regulation of medical cannabis moving through the Washington state legislature.  Here’s a brief update on the latest activities.

HB 2149 is a bill sponsored by Eileen Cody(D) that would dismantle Washington state’s collective garden system and impose more restrictions on patient’s rights such as restricting the amount of plants patients can grow, create a mandatory patient registry and reduce the amount of medicine patients can possess.  It did not receive a public hearing via the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Monday.  That means that the bill won’t advance in its current form. Unfortunately, the proposal is to be incorporated into an upcoming budget bill, which will be voted on sometime before the session ends on March 13th.

SB 5887 is a bill sponsored by Ann Rivers (R) that, like HB2149, would further restrict the amount of cannabis patients can possess, eliminate collective gardens and force patients onto a mandatory registry.  This bill has passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and now sits in the Senate Rules Committee.

Please contact members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee (http://www.leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/RULE/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx) as well as the rest of the Senate and urge them to oppose this measure.

Alternatively you can call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and voice your opinion.