WASHINGTON: A contingent of medical marijuana patients and activists gave early indication Tuesday night that the standing-room-only public hearing on I-502 rules in Seattle would be a forum for their cause.
First up at the hearing, Charles Warner, a medical marijuana patient from Federal Way, spent a considerable amount of time reading what he said was an internal email exchange from a member of the LCB. He said the email proved the board was colluding with other officials to undermine the vast medical marijuana pseudo-system in Washington.
But LCB chairwoman Sharon Foster wasn’t going to just take it, especially the accusations that the board was somehow dirty dealing. She interrupted Warner and called on security to stop his filibuster. Warner did get through the email before relenting.
“Next month, the legislature will receive recommendations on how to address its perceived medical marijuana problem, and a document obtained by The Stranger offers a glimpse into those options. The memo lists several ‘strategies’ that would equalize rules for medical and recreational marijuana,” the Stranger wrote.
Of course, it has been no secret that state and federal officials are determined to close medical cannabis dispensaries across the state or at least vastly curtail that “gray market.”
Warner’s reading and defiance of the board set the tone for the meeting early on, but time and strong interest in the new rules creating the I-502 legal marijuana system was against them.
… about those rules
Members of the board did receive their share of applause whenever they reminding the crowd that their job was to implement I-502 and the meeting wasn’t about medical marijuana policy. General consensus among these folks appeared to be that the board has earned an A-minus or B-plus for its efforts.
To hear as many people as signed up to speak, the board let the meeting run past 9:30, an extra half hour.
Speakers ranged from those with detailed questions about winning licenses to grow, produce or sell marijuana to those worried the new system will hurt their neighborhoods and kids.