More topics Background and latest updates on ongoing stories

Medical marijuana

Summary

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.