In 1998, Washington voters approved a law allowing state residents to legally purchase, possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
But the law is vague, creating problems for users and law enforcement. At issue is the legal phrase “only one patient at any one time,” regarding the sale of marijuana from a care provider.
Marijuana advocates argue the law allows dispensaries to essentially become the care provider for the limited time when they sell to each licensed marijuana card holder.
Spokane County law enforcement officials have a different interpretation. Prosecutors say the law makes no provision for commercial dispensaries or the sale of marijuana.
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Latest updates in this topic
Medical marijuana dispenser convicted
March 18, 2011 in City on Page A5 A Spokane jury rejected arguments Thursday that the state’s medical marijuana law allows for commercial dispensaries, convicting a supplier of multiple drug trafficking charges. Scott Q. Shupe, who co-owned one … 59
Medical marijuana supplier convicted
March 17, 2011 in City, News A Spokane jury rejected arguments Thursday that the state’s medical marijuana law should be interpreted broadly to allow for commercial dispensaries, convicting a supplier of multiple drug trafficking charges. 31
Medical marijuana dispensary owner on trial
March 17, 2011 in City on Page A12 A trial with statewide implications regarding the legal distribution of medical marijuana will go to a Spokane jury today after attorneys give closing arguments. Scott Q. Shupe, who co-owned one …
Washington Legislature considering two marijuana bills
March 17, 2011 in City on Page A1 OLYMPIA – Washington legislators are spending some of their time on pot this week, discussing it both as a potential revenue source through outright legalization, and as an administrative problem … 11
Owners, law agencies disagree on legality of pot dispensaries
Feisty George Diana stood up to MS, pot laws
Most in Idaho back medical pot, poll finds
Feb. 9, 2011 in Idaho on Page A6 BOISE – A statewide poll that’s been conducted in Idaho for more than 20 years yielded a surprising result: 74 percent support for allowing “terminally and seriously ill patients to …
Idaho lawmaker backs medical marijuana
Jan. 22, 2011 in City, Idaho on Page A6 BOISE – An Idaho lawmaker has introduced a medical marijuana bill, saying Idaho needs to save money in its Medicaid program and that medical marijuana is a much cheaper way … 5
Medical pot sales taxable, says state
Dec. 15, 2010 in City on Page A8 SEATTLE – The Washington Department of Revenue has launched a statewide effort to collect sales tax from medical marijuana dispensaries – even as some prosecutors and the Health Department maintain … 11
Washington trying to collect pot sales tax
Dec. 14, 2010 in Region The Washington Department of Revenue has launched a statewide effort to collect sales tax from medical marijuana dispensaries — even as some prosecutors and the Health Department maintain such dispensaries … 21
Medical pot industry has new trade group in Wash.
Vestal: Medical marijuana dispensaries don’t seem like big threat
Sept. 17, 2010 in City on Page A7 It’s time to de-stupidify medical marijuana. Earlier this month, the local gendarmes once again expended a bunch of time and effort bringing down a medical marijuana dispensary. If someone breaks … 15
Medical marijuana dispensary owner faces drug charges
Sept. 15, 2010 in City on Page A5 A Greenacres man who operated a medical marijuana dispensary about 100 feet from a Washington State Patrol office could face felony drug charges in the latest example of Spokane County’s … 20
Deputies raid pot shop near state patrol office
Sept. 14, 2010 in City A Greenacres man who operated a medical marijuana dispensary about 100 feet from a Washington State Patrol office could face felony drug charges in the latest example of Spokane County’s … 7
Idaho GOP move to define marriage to exclude transgenders
Marijuana business in Montana targeted with firebomb
May 10, 2010 in Region Someone threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of a Billings medical marijuana business early Monday and spray-painted “NOT IN OUR TOWN” on its storefront, the second such act in … 10
Western Wash. pot activist denied guns after shootout
March 30, 2010 in Region A medical marijuana activist who nearly killed an intruder in his home during a shootout this month has been barred from buying guns because he’s a pot patient, according to … 12
385 plants at Wash. pot activist’s burgled home
March 16, 2010 in Region Sheriff’s deputies said they found 385 marijuana plants at the home of an outspoken medical marijuana activist who nearly killed a robber in a shootout this week. It’s not clear … 8
Washington medical pot activist shoots robber
March 15, 2010 in Region A well-known Washington state medical marijuana activist traded gunfire with robbers who invaded his Kirkland home early Monday, suffering minor shotgun pellet wounds and sending one intruder to the intensive … 16
Spokane police say marijuana growers didn’t have permit