Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Get New Life

After Washington Governor Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a bill that would have allowed medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, many thought legal dispensaries in Washington would have to wait. Now a new bill has brought back hope that patients will be able to get their medicine at a fixed establishment.

SB 5955 would decriminalize non-profit “patient collectives,” which would be allowed to grow up to 99 plants. To get around the Governor’s fear that state employees could be prosecuted by the feds, this new bill leaves it to local and county officials to regulate the collectives, meaning most dispensaries could end up clustered in MMJ-friendly cities like Seattle. SB 5955 would also set up a statewide patient registry so law enforcement can “easily verify” patient credentials.

420times 000003558149XSmall 300×199 Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Get New LifeIt is also worthy to note that this new bill – unlike SB 5073 – would exempt medical marijuana sales from the state sales tax. It seems someone alerted a few of the legislators in Washington that trying to balance their budget on the backs of sick people is a slightly inhumane course of action.

The bill is set for a hearing tomorrow before The Washington Senate’s Ways and Means Committee.

Medical marijuana simply cannot survive on a “grow-your-own” system; many patients are too sick to manage that. Dispensaries, collectives, compassion centers; whatever they are called, patients need an established outlet to procure their medicine and get the best information on what they are buying.

Sick people don’t have to manufacture pills in their own home, why should they have to grow their own cannabis? Shouldn’t they be able to choose how they get their meds?

– Joe Klare

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