Washington Medical Marijuana Dispensary Bill Dies

There will be no medical marijuana dispensary legislation coming out of Olympia this year. State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle), the chief legislative backer of the effort, announced Tuesday that she was giving up for this  session and called it the greatest disappointment of her career at the state house.

Dispensaries remain in legal limbo in Washington state. (Image via Wikimedia.org)
Earlier this year, Kohl-Welles successfully shepherded a dispensary and patient registry bill through the legislature, only to see it gutted by Gov. Chris Gregoire's (D) veto pen. Gregoire vetoed dispensary and patient registry provisions in the bill after federal prosecutors in the state warned that state employees involved in registering or licensing dispensaries could face federal prosecution.

The legislature does not have time to pass a compromise bill before the session ends Wednesday, Kohl-Welles told the Associated Press. She said she regretted not being able to get even limited regulation of dispensaries.

"By far, this represents the greatest disappointment of my legislative career," Kohl-Welles said.

After Gov. Gregoire vetoed most of her first bill, Kohl-Welles made two efforts to allow counties and municipalities to regulate dispensaries, but neither made it out of committee. That also means there will be no state-wide patient registry, a move designed to protect patients from arrest.

And it leaves dispensaries in a legal limbo. More than 100 operate across the state, but they are not explicitly approved under state law. Federal authorities have raided at least seven of them in the Spokane area, leaving patients to fend for themselves in the black market if they are too ill to grow their own.

Olympia, WA
United States
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I am ashamed of WA's legislators and Gov.

But those legislative bills not getting anywhere make it more likely WA voters will approve I-1149, provided it gathers enough signatures to get on the Nov ballot.  If any of you know anyone in WA please encourage them to find the petition in their town and sign it; if they are able, ask them to pick up a petition and go someplace to gather as many signatures as possible; and ask them to ask their family, friends and neighbors to do the same.  

The initiative sponsors don't have the funds to pay professional signature gatherers, so they are relying on volunteers and individual voters finding the petitions in local retail outlets to sign (as I did).  WA State law requires a ridiculously high number of valid voters' signatures to make it on the ballot (kind of an odd number -- 241,153) and they must be in by 5:00 p.m. July 8, 2011, so we need lots and lots of sigs and soon!


Visit https://sensiblewashington.org/blog/ to volunteer or donate. You
don't have to live in Washington to donate. Please spread the word to
people you know. 


I'll be writing more on Sensible Washington and I-1149 when my hand heals from an injury but the copied email sig will take people to the SW website. Check both the Where To Sign tab's static list and the new Interactive Map it has a link to. Each has information the other doesn't.

People can donate and help in other ways if not Washington residents. Washington residents who will help circulate the petition are needed.

IMO, it is still possible for I-1149 to qualify for the ballot but needs either a lot more volunteers to get the petition out in front of people or a fair number of volunteers who get a lot of signatures. I've turned in 41 petition sheets already without being able to petition for the last week. A lot of publicity, informing people about the SW website and some decent weather would be tremendously helpful.

Here's the links

Here are links to the petition an how to register to vote.  It only cost about $1.50 to download, get printed and sign and mail in a petition.  Every signature counts even if you only sign and send it in.

I-1149 Petition download:  https://swhq-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/attachments/wakawaka_wikipage/204/...

Register to vote:  http://wei.secstate.wa.gov/osos/en/voterinformation/Pages/RegistertoVote...

WA state.

Washington is ripe for new leadership. We have Kathy Mcmorris Rogers who is never challenged and she is a Repub. WE have all Dems for everything else and no one ever bothers to go after this easy seat and this follow the leader Republican't. 


Gregoire is a follow the leader also. It seems none of our leaders have any ability to make decisions for themselves any more. Don't like Gregoire. She was bragging on TV about bringing industry to WA state but she brought a wicked Superfund site making industry which manufactures Fiber carbon..  Considered more deadly that asbestos and I guess the damn thing is only going to bring something like 65 jobs.  That's when I decided she was really the ghoul she appears to be. She brought industry to WA my eye. She was more than likely paid off to let this dirty killer into our state .

Anyway. WA state needs new blood real bad. Voters are more than ready. Ripe and hot for it. Somebody please run.  Even if people lose they can affect the conversation and allow activists a platform to spin off from.


Feds vs WA state

As I understand it, Gregoire's actions were not with the intention of undermining the medical marijuana industry, but to protect the government employees involved- it was the Feds that came in and threatened state employees with arrest if they were involved in the regulation.

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