Spin Control

Special Session Day 15: New medical marijuana bill introduced

OLYMPIA -- Supporters of better laws defining medical marijuana procedures are "rolling another one".

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells, D-Seattle, introduced a bill today that she believes will overcome Gov. Chris Gregoire's concerns about the previous bill, which was mostly vetoed late last month.

The new bill, SB 5955, proposes a voluntary registry that would shield medical marijuana patients from arrest and set up a system of non-profit cooperatives where they could buy their supplies. It would also allow local governments to control where dispensaries can be located.

But it does not set up a system that has the state Department of Agriculture licensing growing and processing operations and the Department of Health licensing dispensaries. The last bill proposed that, and set off a debate over whether federal agents could arrest state workers involved in medical marijuana tasks could be arrested under federal drug laws.

The bill gets a hearing at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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