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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Jeanne Kohl-Wells

Spec Sess Day 29: Medical marijuana tries done for year

OLYMPIA — There will be no more attempts this year to rewrite medical marijuana laws.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells, D-Seattle, announced this morning that she's done for now and won't try to move her latest proposal through the Legislature in what's left of the special session. For the entire statement, click to go inside the blog.

Spec Sess Day 25: Medical marijuana bill in doubt

OLYMPIA – The latest plan to allow Washington’s most populous counties to set up pilot programs for medical marijuana cooperatives may have limited prospects of passing this year.

The proposal would allow counties with more than 200,000 people, or the cities in them, to adopt ordinances for co-ops to grow and dispense medical marijuana. Those cities or counties could set rules for security, inspections and allowable amounts of the drug, and would report results to a special task force that would give findings to the Legislature in December 2012. Unlike some previous proposals, the state would not keep a patient registry.

It's the latest iteration of a bill that Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells, D-Seattle, has been trying to craft since Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most parts of the medical marijuana bill that passed during the regular session of the Legislature.

She said she's being urged by local officials in Seattle, Tacoma and King County to give them something to address the growth in medical marijuana dispensaries.

“They're left in a very difficult position, they can't regulate collective gardens,” she said. “I thought it was worth it to give it one more try.”

The latest version of SB 5955 received a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Friday but may not have enough support to be reported out of committee. If it does, it may not have the required “four-corners agreement” from both parties' leaders in both chambers, necessary to get a vote in the special session dedicated primarily to budgets, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said.

Gregoire hasn't seen it yet, so she hasn't taken a stand, either, Kohl-Wells said.

Some of the interesting wrinkles in this latest version:
  * Patient co-operatives would have to be non-profits.
  * Patients can only be a member of one co-operative or collective garden at a time.
  * Cooperatives couldn't advertise “in any manner that promotes or tends to promote the use or abuse of cannabis. This includes displaying pictures of cannabis.”
  * No franchises.
  * It sets up a Joint Legislative Task Force on Medical Use of Cannabis. (Go ahead. Insert the joke of your choice between “Joint” and “Legislative”.)

Ezra Eickmeyer, of the Washington Cannabis Association, said getting rid of the registry is a good step, limiting access to co-oops and dispensaries to only the most populous counties, not so good.

“Someone with four months to live with cancer isn't going to start planting their own cannabis,” Eickmeyer said.

Biggest problem for the bill may be that it's a work in progress with only five days left in the special session

Spec Sess Day 16: Where to take medical marijuana revisions?

OLYMPIA – With a Senate panel considering a new rewrite of the state’s medical marijuana laws, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday she’ll push to get the federal government to rewrite its laws and make the drug legal to treat some conditions.
The newest attempt to regulate some aspects of medical marijuana had few supporters for its debut in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Wednesday morning. Its sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Wells, D-Seattle, conceded SB 5955 was drafted in a hurry and needed revision.
Steve Sarich of CannaCare, which operates medical marijuana clinics and dispensaries, said if the goal was to provide clarity, allowing each city and county to set limits on the drug won’t do that: “You guys are creating chaos if you pass this measure.”..
To read the rest of this story, or to comment, click here to go inside the blog.

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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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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