5 Things To Know About Lawmakers’ Efforts On Marijuana In Washington

WASHINGTON: Medical marijuana activists feel like they have their back to the wall as the Legislature tries to rein in an unregulated system that many people believe is unfairly competing with heavily taxed recreational pot sales in Washington state. Hundreds are expected in Olympia on Thursday as lawmakers hold their first big hearing on the topic this session.

Kari Boiter, Washington state coordinator with Americans for Safe Access, says there’s been a lot of talk recently that medical dispensaries are merely fronts for black market marijuana sales, that they endanger patients with untested cannabis or that they’re taking advantage of the state by not paying taxes. But many serve people who need the medicine, voluntarily test their products and pay taxes that are applicable to them, including sales taxes.

“There are a lot of legitimate patients in this state,” Boiter said. “If lawmakers don’t believe they exist, we need to get those people in front of them. We want a regulated system for medical marijuana.”

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