Lawmakers in Olympia are expected to soon take up the question of legalizing dispensaries for medical marijuana. Even though they have sprung up in recent years, they actually aren’t recognized under state law.
A bill sponsored by Sen.Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, would do just that.
“There are many, many patients who need their medicine; they are authorized to have their medicine, they are too sick to grow, or they don’t have the wherewithal to do that,” she said Friday. “They don’t know how to form a community garden or get involved with one. They prefer to just go into what seems like a store.”
Kohl-Welles tried to get something similar passed last year, but the governor vetoed it. The senator believes the changes she has made, including giving the regulating authority to local cities and letting them opt out if they don’t want dispensaries, should give the proposal a better chance this year.
However, some marijuana activists argue that this would make it worse for patients, not better.
“This bill has the very, very, very real potential to end medical marijuana in this state as we know it -- period,” said Douglas Hiatt of the pro-legalization group Sensible Washington.
Hiatt said that creating rules and regulations for dispensaries will just invite the federal government, which regards all use of marijuana illegal, to come in and do more raids and crackdowns. Better to just let these dispensaries exist under the radar, he argued.
By: C.R. Douglas
Q13 Fox News political analyst