WA Gov Inslee To Sign Bill Changing Medical Marijuana Rules

WASHINGTON: Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign into law an overhaul of Washington’s medical marijuana market that seeks to eliminate unregulated dispensary sales now that the state’s recreational market is in place.

Among the provisions of the measure Inslee was to sign Friday afternoon is the creation of a voluntary database of patients. Unregistered patients wouldn’t be allowed to possess the same amounts of marijuana or enjoy similar tax breaks that registered patients would.

The passage of Initiative 502 in 2012 allowed the sale of marijuana to adults for recreational use. Recreational businesses have complained that they’re being squeezed by medical dispensaries that have proliferated in many parts of the state.

MMJ Now Illegal In Washington State. Yes, Washington State.

WASHINGTON:  The Washington State Court of Appeals just held that medical marijuana activity (even patient cultivation in the home) is illegal under current State law.

The long road to this disappointing decision began a couple of years ago when an access point (essentially a medical outlet for medical marijuana patients) and an advocacy group sued the city of Kent in an effort to block the city from implementing a zoning ordinance that would essentially prohibit collective gardens, both commercial and home grows. The case made its way through King County Superior Court (which upheld Kent’s ban) and eventually reached the Washington State Supreme Court. The Supreme Court issued an emergency stay of the Kent ban but ultimately decided to send it back down to the Court of Appeals for a full decision on the merits.

The Court of Appeals’ 26-page decision in the case has sent shockwaves through the medical marijuana community statewide, though the media has barely covered it.

ACLU Of Washington Applauds Supreme Court Decision Upholding Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients

WASHINGTON:  The ACLU of Washington hailed a decision by the Washington Supreme Court today recognizing the right of medical marijuana patients to raise a medical necessity defense in court.  The ACLU-WA filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case (State v. Kurtz) saying that the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act did not supersede the common law medical necessity defense, and that medical marijuana patients should be able to cite both medical necessity and state law in defending themselves. A medical necessity defense is available to someone who has violated a law, but was justified in doing so because the harm being avoided is greater than the harm of violating the law. [Read more…]

Medical Marijuana Shop In Ballard Closing Because Of New Rules Under I-502

WASHINGTON:  Green Ambrosia, the medical marijuana store in Ballard, is closing down this weekend because, the owner said, it would be in violation of the state rules set up for the sale of recreational pot stores.

Green Ambrosia owner Dante Jones said his shop would be in violation of the I-502 regulatory system so, instead of fighting it, they have no choice but to shut down. [Read more…]