Legal Cannabis Week #49

State senator plans medical cannabis bill

The state workgroup that recommended effectively scrapping our 1998 medical marijuana initiative holds a hearing next Wednesday, and patients across the state are preparing to descend upon Lacey, Washington to demand the government let them alone and leave their pot plants be.

I’m hoping for good theater, at least, but beyond that, I hope for effective advocacy and a show of positive force. Previously I’ve said I don’t think this hearing will really matter, that it is a charade and a tactic to diffuse angry potheads, and that the real fight is in the legislature, where blame-shifting, opportunist lawmakers will attack our flank under the guise of cannabis consensus—hey, this isn’t just us, this is the general opinion.

I’m a bit salty, of course, so I still say most of that, but I’ve been convinced that the cannabis community’s response to this hearing can change the final legislative recommendations. I sat down with Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles this week, and pessimistically asked her if she thought this hearing could have any effect, if this was really the place where concerned citizens could affect a potential medical pot routing in 2014.

This is the only place for this,” she told me, referring to the workgroup recommendations, undeterred by my naysaying ways. Furthermore, she said, these are draft recommendations, and they can be changed. Translation: stop being so effing pessimistic and tell people to go to the meeting with positive intent and not just to shit on everything.

So that’s what I’m doing, briney as my spit  may be. You—yes, you!—can change these recommendations through your will and your word and your action. Just remember that intent is half the battle. (Which is why I do most things twice, I like to say.)

State Medical Marijuana Hearing
WED NOV 13 @6PM | Worthington Center, St. Martin’s University

Additionally, Senator Kohl-Welles has been proactively reaching out to members of the medical cannabis community for input on a bill she intends to introduce to protect the core components of our medical marijuana law. She is clear that we must defend home growing rights and the affirmative defense for prosecuted patients.

A number of people have asked me where I think they should invest their limited energy, and I usually feel fairly skimpy on my response, which basically boils down to call the legislative hotline—800-462-6000 by the way, try it sometime! But now I think medical cannabis advocates could actually realize and coalesce their inherent political power and further cement critical elements of our fifteen-year-old medical pot law—assuming they can overcome or withstand the fractious in-fighting manufactured between the various medical pot factions.

Senator Plans Bill to Save Medical Pot
NOV 6 | The Stranger

The Washington State chapter of Americans for Safe Access held medical cannabis stakeholder meetings across the state two weeks ago in response to the crazy cannabis recommendations, including one in Seattle that was attended by Liquor Control Board member Ruthann Kurose. The organization collected and summarized patient feedback, and today submitted recommendations to the state workgroup.

WA Holds Hearing on Plan to Gut Medical Pot Law, Group Submits Patient Feedback
NOV 8 | Smell the Truth

Oh! If you need a mnemonic device for the legislative hotline—800-562-6000—I just realized it spells 800-LOAN-000. “Toll free, loan nothing” is how you call your state legislator. Now you know. See you at the Wednesday show!

Zoning map updates

I’m mostly slacking on map work this week, but made the following moratorium updates to Map Legal Cannabis:

Upcoming events

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Snohomish County Cannabis Zoning Hearing
WED NOV 13 @10:30AM | Snohomish County Admin Building East

State Medical Marijuana Hearing
WED NOV 13 @6PM | Worthington Center, St. Martin’s University

CCSE Open Meeting
THU NOV 14 @NOON | Northwest Patient Resource Center

CWU Panel: The Impact of I-502
THU NOV 21 @5:30PM | McCaw Hall, Seattle Center

Legislative Hearing on I-502 Implementation
FRI NOV 22 @1:30PM | O’Brien Building, Capital Campus

King County Cannabis Zoning Hearing
MON DEC 2 @1:30PM | King County Courthouse

I-502 Anniversary Celebration
FRI DEC 6 @4:20PM | Next 50 Plaza, Seattle Center

WSLCB Hearing: Pot Ban in Bars and Clubs
WED DEC 11 @10AM | WSCLB Headquarters

Week in review

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board held a cannabis business training in Vancouver last week.

Entrepreneurs plan pot shops in Central Washington.

Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division received 338 applications for legal pot business licenses in October.

Rep. Eileen Kowall introduced a bill to legalize medical cannabis food and lotions in Michigan.

ArcView Market Research predicts a 64% increase in cannabis sales by next year.

Mike Szymczak sued Canada over its new medical cannabis rules and a raid on his grow.

Gregg Skall advises against accepting cannabis ads.

Marijuana is medicine, New York Times reminds us.

Pot taxes match liquor and cigarette tax rates in Washington State.

Russ Belville forgot his weed at a TSA checkpoint. Effing stoner.

Association of Washington Breeders and Growers held a kick-off meeting in West Seattle.

Professional Players Federation filed suit against the World Anti-Doping Agency to lighten up on recreational drugs.

Ellensburg City Council enacted an I-502 moratorium.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board extended the deadline for medical cannabis comments to November 13.

ArcView Investor Network heard cannabis business pitches in Seattle.

Medical cannabis protestors support Yakima’s recreational pot moratorium.

Portland, Maine legalized pot possession.

Colorado enacted legal pot taxes.

Michigan Senate Government Operations Committee forwarded a bill to allow pharmacies to sell cannabis.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board requested a legal opinion on municipal marijuana moratoriums, in case you missed it last week.

Czech police raided at least 50 cannabis grow shops.

Washington and Colorado Supreme Courts consider attorney cannabis advice and use.

San Francisco City Council considers cannabis zoning.

Ferndale, Michigan legalized pot possession.

Lansing, Michigan legalized pot possession.

Jackson, Michigan legalized pot possession.

Martin Kaste tested Washington drug dogs with some weed in his pocket.

David Eckert sued New Mexico police after a routine traffic stop turned into a fifteen-hour nightmare in which they repeatedly forced him to undergo anal cavity searches.

Dish Network fired Brandon Coates for using medical cannabis.

Bay State Repeal filed an initiative to legalize cannabis in Massachusettes.

Snohomish County released video showing jail staff refusing medical help to Michael Saffioti, a pot-charged inmate who died of an allergic reaction to the oatmeal he questioned them about. Horribly infuriating.

National Marijuana Business Conference opened in Auburn.

Mason County Board of Commissioners considered cannabis zoning.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board filed a revised rule to measure pot business buffers as the crow flies.

The Columbian likes I-502 still.

Andy Joseph sells hash oil extractors.

Alameda County asked President Obama to stop federal cannabis raids.

Veterans treat PTSD with pot.

FOX News Denver covered the National Marijuana Business Conference.

Dante Jones plans to close his medical pot shop.

Everett Herald opined in favor of medical cannabis dispensaries.

Worth repeating

“You’re talking about a stick of dynamite there essentially, because essentially that person doesn’t know how they’re gonna react to the marijuana they’ve smoked, because they’ve never done it before, because it was illegal before.”

Washington State Patrol Trooper Ray Seaburg on pot-stoned drivers

“How long ago did you smoke? Did you smoke? Do you have any in your possession? How often do you smoke?”

Washington State Patrol Trooper Ray Seaburg on questions he asks drivers that often lead to probable cause

“At that point, we would have to go for a blood draw.”

Washington State Patrol Trooper Ray Seaburn on why you should shut your damn mouth when questioned by cops


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