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 bill in limbo after letter from U.S. attorneys
April 17, 2011 in City on Page B1 OLYMPIA – The Legislature’s efforts to provide structure and regulations to Washington’s burgeoning medical marijuana operations could be snuffed out by a warning last week from the state’s federal prosecutors. … 14
Montana governor vetoes repeal of medical marijuana law
Pot dispensary owner sentenced
April 13, 2011 in City on Page A5 Spokane medical marijuana dealer Scott Q. Shupe will avoid prison on drug-trafficking charges, at least for now. “In this case it was clear you didn’t intend to break the law, … 3
Medical marijuana dispenser avoids prison
Oversight rules for medical marijuana head to Senate
April 12, 2011 in City on Page A6 OLYMPIA – Rules for growing, processing and selling medical marijuana passed the Washington state House of Representatives after heated debate Monday on whether the proposed law has enough safeguards to … 2
Spokane medical marijuana dispensaries on federal notice
April 7, 2011 in City on Page A1 Medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane face federal prosecution if they do not end their operations immediately, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Federal authorities hope for voluntary compliance but are … 41
Supplier’s conviction sparks concern among medical marijuana advocates
March 25, 2011 in City on Page A5 Marijuana advocates still reeling from last week’s conviction of a medicinal pot supplier in Spokane are stepping up the pressure. Nearly three dozen demonstrators gathered Thursday outside of the federal … 16
Amended pot bill heads to House
March 24, 2011 in City, News on Page A6 OLYMPIA – A new version of a plan to regulate the production and sale of medical marijuana in Washington is headed for a vote in the state House after narrowly … 1
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