Pressure on Governor Inslee Last Hope for Medical Cannabis in Washington State

Pressure on Governor Inslee Last Hope for Medical Cannabis in Washington State

Senate Bill 5052 is now on Governor Jay Inslee's desk.

Senate Bill 5052 is now on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.

In Washington, lawmakers recently approved a bill that would do harm to, and greatly inconvenience thousands of people with debilitating conditions across the state. Senate Bill 5052, which now sits on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk after passing the state’s House and Senate, would shut down every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess by over 80%, and would establish a patient registry that many activists and attorneys say is in clear violation of federal HIPAA laws.

If signed into law by Governor Inslee, or allowed to become law without his signature, Senate Bill 5052 would reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess from twenty four ounces, to three, and would reduce the amount they can cultivate from fifteen plants, to six. For patients that aren’t aware of the intricacies of the law, or don’t follow current affairs in regards to law changes, this will make felonies out of them overnight. Someone who was legally possessing three to twenty four ounces before, would be committing a felony and could be imprisoned for up to five years after this law takes effect. This alteration is being made without any legitimate reason for doing so, and despite the current limits being in place for roughly fifteen years with no one in the public urging a change.

The bill would shut down every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, ending thousands of jobs and greatly diminishing safe access. Many of these outlets have been operating for years, and serve hundreds, if not thousands of patients. They should be given a pathway towards becoming a legal state-sanctioned business, not shut down to benefit a separate recreational market.

For some patients, this will mean needing to travel several cities over to purchase their medicine, as they’ll be required to purchase from a recreational cannabis outlet (or the black-market), which many cities have outright banned.

Senate Bill 5052 would establish a patient registry, requiring patients to put their name on a government-operated list admitting to committing a federal crime. If patients don’t join the registry, they’ll be punished by having their possession and cultivation limits greatly reduced (three ounces to one, and six plants to four).

For those in Washington State wanting to prevent this bill from becoming law, it’s absolutely vital that they contact Governor Jay Inslee, and urge him to veto this proposal, or, at the very least, do a line-item veto of the worst portions of the bill. His contact information can be found by clicking here (his phone number is 360-902-4111).

When contacting him, make sure you clarify that it’s Senate Bill 5052 you want him to veto, and stress the following points:

– The bill would needlessly make criminals out of thousands of patients across the state by reducing their possession limits by over 80%, and their cultivation limits by over 50%;

– the bill would lead to the closure of hundreds of dispensaries, which will harm the economy as it will put thousands of people out of work; and

– the bill would implement a patient registry that is not only discriminatory as no other medication requires a registry, it’s also against federal HIPAA laws and is setting patients up for potential federal persecution.

The full text of Senate Bill 5052 can be found by clicking here.

TheJointBlog

12 Comments

  • Sue lynch
    April 19, 2015

    Please veto this! Don’t make patients like me have to choose between food and medicine or having to go back to black market. Please reconsider because of the harm it will do to needy patients!

  • Margaret Stockton
    April 20, 2015

    Save Medical Marijuana! There are so many of us who can’t take Rx drugs.

  • David
    April 20, 2015

    I sent Governor Inslee a polite to the point email. Please consider doing the same. Put your feelings into words. They might just make the difference. Thanks.

  • Chris
    April 21, 2015

    I sent the Governor a nice polite request also.

    Make your voice heard!

  • Roger
    April 21, 2015

    I sent a polite message also I can barley grow enough now for my private use instead of narcotics for chronic pain. The fact that it is therapy for me and i only yield about a ounce a month out of that the way it is. The people have spoken leave our Medical Marijuana freedoms alone we are not criminals, I am a disabled veteran that votes.

    In the past i use medical marijuana to study on in pain and i get strait A’s. I could not do that without the Marijuana.

    Call your Congressman/woman also i did !

    Freedom

  • Michael Baker
    April 22, 2015

    Gov Insley,
    Please do not do this.

    It is a medical issue and no one should have the right to deny my loved ones of there medicine. Leave it to the Dr’s and medical professionals to decide what is needed at any level. And let them grow as much as they need without fear of imprisonment for a victimless crime.
    Lets work on something that helps people, not perpetuate the fear and lies about Marijuanna.

  • Michael Baker
    April 22, 2015

    Gov Insley,
    Please do not let this happen. It is a medical issue between the MD and the patient. Allow them to supply there own needs and grow without fear of imprisonment for a victimless crime. I know many people who would be forced to black market again to get what they need and that just perpetuates real criminal activities in my home state. We as a people have already voted for reasonable access laws, let it be.

  • Anonymous
    April 22, 2015

    While I do no agree with all the terms of SB 5052, I do believe that Washington’s medical cannabis does need reform. Medical should have to hold up to higher standards then recreational. Medicine should be guaranteed to be mold free, come in sanitary packaging with accurate dosage, and be given to the patient by someone with proper knowledge. While some collectives meet this standard, there is no system to regulate and enforce that patients are getting top quality medicine. Check out Washington’s Senate Bill 5519. It may have been shelved, but it is closer to the ideals the medical community wants. The current laws applying to the medical system are expiring July 2016 no matter what bill gets passed. So let us bring medical out of the gray market, and get quality medicine to the people that need it.

    Be the change you want to see.

    Much love

    • David
      April 24, 2015

      Existing medical marijuana dispensaries were working just fine in Washington for years until a handful of vulture-capitalist decided they could become even more wealthy building their cannabis business model upon the backs of those least able to fight back against them, i.e. sick medical patients.

      Sorry, but I’ve never read, nor heard, about any MMJ patient encountering “mold “or unsanitary products in a medical dispensary. I know for a fact that I never have. Washington’s medical marijuana business has been handed to the black market on a silver platter with a cherry on top.

  • David
    April 24, 2015

    It’s too late. I just read Governor Inslee signed this awful bill, spelling the end of medical marijuana in one of Americas’ pioneering medical marijuana States. The irony ? Oklahoma passed a MMJ law the day before Washington took it’s 17 year old medical law out with the trash.

  • anonymous
    April 25, 2015

    The ACLU was a major player in implementing SB 5052. I used to believe in this organization as an entity that fought government intrusion and oversight into a person’s healthcare. I cancelled my membership and let hem know why. This organization is disingenuous at best but in actuality hypocritical. Do not support them and please contact them to ask if they are going to establish a woman’s registry for birth control and family planning next. Governor Christie has already said if elected president he will have the Federal government enforce the laws on the current Federal books. An onerous Federal government could subpoena state registry records for medical patients causing the DEA to kick in your door and search your house since they have probable cause. I guess this would increase membership in the ACLU so they can fight unjust prison terms for non-violent crimes. It looks like a self-serving organization that prioritizes their needs over the rights of an individual for privacy in healthcare decisions. There is a reason why HIPPA was enacted but I guess the ACLU does not respect this current Federal law.

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