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Medical marijuana: Rolling out another one

OLYMPIA -- With prosects for medical marijuana legislation dead in the Legislature, a group unhappy with what's left of the cannabis law post-veto will try to get it on the November ballot so voters can dump it.

Steve Sarich of CannaCare filed Referendum 73 with the Secretary of State's office this week, a proposal that would ask voters to put the law back to where it was before Senate Bill 5073 was passed and partially vetoed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

CannaCare, which operates medical marijuana clinics and dispensaries, lobbied against 5073 as it bounced around the Legislature and contends Gregoire's partial veto that wiped out large sections of the bill made it worse.

Referendum supporters will have to get about 121,000 signatures by August 23 -- assuming the Legislature finsihes work sometime today. (They have 90 days from final adjournment.)

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells, D-Seattle, tried to push a new medical marijuana bill through the Legislature in the final days, but on Tuesday threw in the towel and conceded it was not going to make it; she'll try again next year, she said. For an Associated Press account on the end of that legislative effort, click here.

In other medical marijuana news, Rep. Roger Goodman, a supporter of the medical marijuana legislation, sent Attorney General Rob McKenna a letter challenging him to state his position on medical marijuana, in light of the fact the AG has a well known position on another health-care topic, the federal Affordable Care Act. (McKenna's against parts of it, and joined a lawsuit seeking to block its implementation.)

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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