Saying Goodbye To Medical Cannabis In Washington State

By TwicebakedinWA

There are less than two weeks left before new medical cannabis regulations go into effect in Washington State. For those of us who get our cannabis medicine from the current system that patients have been using since the 90’s, this is a big change nobody is looking forward to.

As I was driving out to MMJ Universe in Black Diamond this past Saturday I found tears streaming down my face thinking about this being one of the last times I would be making that sweet drive in the country to spend time shopping for cannabis in an open market environment.

I’ve been feeling a touch reminiscent about my times out at that specific market where I have met hundreds of patients and growers. Through regular market visits and attending events held there I have been able to plug in with the cannabis community.

I started going there before the adult use of cannabis was legalized in Washington State and I have been able to observe an evolution that the market has taken not only with how beautiful the grounds have become but also to how the market itself has changed over the years.

When I first started attending the market almost every table had a bong or pipe set up so you could sample their products right there. When you walked in the doors it was often a little cloudy and everybody was relaxed with their with cannabis. This was a unique shopping experience, very new to me, and very refreshing to be around. Eventually the smoking was moved outside and while that mildly changed the experience, the freedom felt and education given to patients at the market continued.

When I talked to Diedre, the owner of MMJ Universe, she said she is planning a big celebration on the 30th of June with music and vending to shed some happiness despite how sad so many of us are to be losing our beloved market.

I have much to celebrate from the gains that I have received from that market and even as the tears again roll down my face thinking that it is closing all I can do is thank Diedre and everybody involved in keeping the market going for so long and for focusing on positives and solutions at the end of this medical cannabis era.

‘I’m Facing Years In Prison For Medical Marijuana — For Me, That’s A Death Sentence’

WASHINGTON: Larry Harvey, 71, thought he was doing everything right growing medical marijuana for his personal use. His home state of Washington legalized medical cannabis in 1998, and Harvey says his cultivation of plants with his wife, other family members and a close friend complied with the law.

But in 2012, state and federal law enforcers raided the Harvey home and shut down their operation. Harvey; his wife, Rhonda; their son, Rolland Gregg; Gregg’s wife, Michelle Gregg; and family friend Jason Zucker all face federal marijuana charges that could land them in prison for 10 years.

But Harvey may not live long enough to see prison, let alone serve out his sentence. In recent months Harvey has developed cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver. The average life expectancy for a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer is three months to six months.

Trial Date Set For First Dispensary Charges Since Vote To Legalize Pot In 2012

WASHINGTON:  Two Tacoma men associated with medical marijuana dispensaries in the South Sound were arraigned Friday in U.S. District Court, charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

James Canyon Lucas and Matthew Ira Eliott Roberts entered pleas of not guilty and were conditionally released, pending trial, by Judge Karen Strombom. A trial date was set for April 28 in Tacoma. Judge Ronald Leighton is scheduled to hear the case. [Read more…]

Potential Medical Marijuana Regulations Move Closer To Becoming Washington Law

WASHINGTON: Three bills that would tighten the regulation of Washington’s medical marijuana system are moving closer to becoming law.

House Bill 2149 passed out of the House Appropriations Committee Monday by a 26-4 vote. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle.

Senate Bills 5887 and 6178 each passed 6-1 in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor on Friday. Both were second substitute versions. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, is the prime sponsor for SB 6178 and Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, is the prime sponsor for SB 5887. [Read more…]

The Faces Of Activism: Kari Boiter

By Tawnee Lynee Cowan

WASHINGTON: Last year I found myself wanting to do more than sit behind my computer and gripe about the government. I wanted to become part of the voices that created the change we so desperately need in our world. So I joined protests against GMO’s. I joined rallies for patients rights to medical cannabis. I started volunteering for non profits benefiting my community.

The first time I went to Olympia was in November, to speak up against the fleecing of our medical cannabis laws. That was the first time I saw Kari Boiter. She was busy rushing to meetings and greeting patients she knew. She was speaking to committees on behalf of safe access for patients and protection for providers.

A few weeks ago I saw Kari on Lobby Days with many advocates I already knew, working on a project called, “Health Before Happy Hour”. She greeted me with a friendly smile and then rushed off to another meeting.
Last week I was able to sit with her and talk. Kari empowered me to speak again to the Legislature about my needs as a patient. She offered to help me get meetings with key lawmakers I had been trying to get meetings with. She listened when I told her my thoughts and views, and that was important because I feel like she is the first person that has really cared enough to ask and then listen. She told me that my needs are important, and that the things I feel are valid, and then she helped me collect my thoughts enough to be able to speak them effectively to the lawmakers.

Yesterday I spoke to the Legislature, and I think I did okay. When I think of activism, I think of Kari Boiter. Kari empowered me to become part of the process.

“I really feel that the state of the medical cannabis community is hanging in the balance right now. We need some diplomatic messengers,to take our message to the lawmakers and make sure they are doing this correctly. That does involve diplomacy. That involves finding the most effective way of being heard. What I am trying to do is create a space where lawmakers want to listen to us. They are hearing us. They are not just listening to us and hearing us, they are taking those considerations into account in the bills they are passing. If we continue to say to them that we disagree with them, and do not explain why we disagree and what we want changed,providing solutions for them not just criticism, I really feel it will be difficult for them to understand and craft laws that protect patients.”

The Medical Cannabis Finish Line Is In Sight

image011By Shawn DeNae

The stage is set, the contenders are in place and we either cross that finish line by legitimizing medicinal use, cultivation and dispensing of medical cannabis in law or it’s finished all together.

 

A dedicated group striving to protect medical cannabis access in Washington State gathered on Thursday as starters in a sprint.  Kari Boiter, the Americans for Safe Access National Advocate of the Year, lead the discussion with bullet strength detail.  [Read more…]

Washington Liquor Control Board Recommends New Limits On Medical Marijuana

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. [Read more…]

Washington Liquor Control Board Recommends New Limits On Medical Marijuana

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. [Read more…]