Washington State Activists Seek To Finally Protect Patients From Arrest

During the current legislative session Washington State legislators will be considering House Bill 1084, being referred to as the Ric Smith Memorial Act. The name is in honor of the recently deceased activist, who many saw as a hero within the cannabis reform movement.

The core function of this legislation is bringing defined arrest protection for medical cannabis patients in the state.Cannabis_Plants5

With the passage of Initiative 502 in November, some may see this as unnecessary, but in reality it’s big, long-overdo step forward for patient protection. Under I-502, portions of which took effect on December 6th, 2012, patients (as well as anyone 21 or older) now have arrest protection for possession of up to an ounce of cannabis. The quandary lies in the fact that under Washington State law, an individual can possess up to 16 ounces, as well as grow up to 15 plants, with a valid authorization.

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Washington State Legislators Propose Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

In a move more typically aligned with a state like Georgia, legislators in Washington State will be considering House Bill 1190, which would require recipients of TANF (Temporary Picture-106Assistance for Needy Families) to pass drug testing in certain cases to continue receiving their benefits. The bill, unsurprisingly, is sponsored entirely by Republicans (Reps. Angel, Haler, Walsh, Fagan, Orcut, and Hargrove).

Disguised as a way to stop drug addicts from spending taxpayer money, it’s far more a ploy to grow this particular branch of prohibition, and, just like the drug war itself, disproportionately effect the poor.

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State-By-State Breakdown

Cannabis law reform has gained a tremendous amount of momentum in the past several years, specifically in 2012, when historical statement votes were made in both Colorado and Washington. The phaglp-puzzle-hiolitical atmosphere has shifted in drastic fashion, and we’re winning.

As the battle wages on, here’s a state-by-state look at efforts across the country to fight against this failed prohibition.

Alabama:

In Alabama, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition has been running televised ads in favor of HB – 2, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights Act.

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