WASHINGTON: Washington should severely cut the amount of marijuana that medical patients can possess, require them to register with the state and have annual medical checkups, and pay most of the same taxes as recreational users, a state agency recommended Wednesday.
In a move sure to draw fire from the medical marijuana community, the state Liquor Control Board released recommendations it will send to next year’s Legislature as the state tries to blend two sets of laws on the drug.
The board is authorized by Initiative 502 to regulate recreational marijuana use and is currently accepting applications for businesses that want to grow, process or sell the drug to adults for private use. The board has no authority over medical marijuana, which was approved by voters in 1998 and is largely unregulated.
As part of the 2013-15 general operating budget earlier this year, the Legislature directed the board to work with the state departments of Health and Revenue to study the two systems and come up with recommendations to integrate them. Legislators will still have to pass bills that would include some or all of the recommendations, and get them signed by Gov. Jay Inslee.