Why Governor Jay Inslee Lost My Support After Signing Senate Bill 5052

Governor Inslee demonstrated a clear lack of compassionate when signing SB 5052 into law.

Governor Inslee demonstrated a clear lack of compassionate when signing SB 5052 into law.

Prior to TheJointBlog launching as a daily cannabis news site in January, 2013, I served as the Campaign Manager for then-Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove, who’s now on the King County Council; I also worked on his political action committee, which purpose is to help elect progressive candidates. During the 2012 election I spent well over 100 hours – mostly volunteer, though some paid (by the before-mentioned PAC) – helping to get Jay Inslee elected as governor. I believe he generally has strong values, and some great policy positions. But after the signing of Senate Bill 5052, he’s lost my support, and won’t be receiving my time, nor my vote, when running for reelection next year.

I, along with most politically-minded individuals, understand the dangers of single-issue voting. Typically, it’s a bad idea to support or oppose a candidate based on one particular issue. However, the impact that Senate Bill 5052 will have on some of the sickest people in our state – and the clear warning signs that were put forth by countless opponents – make it clear that Governor Inslee is not the right man to lead Washington State.

For those that aren’t aware, Senate Bill 5052 was signed by Governor Inslee on Friday, a day notoriously used for signing potentially controversial legislation, as it will hit the weekend news cycle when less people are paying attention. The proposal will require every medical cannabis dispensary in the state to close by July 1st, 2016. This will put an end to thousands of jobs, in addition to drastically decreasing safe access for patients, who will be required to purchase from recreational cannabis outlets (despite most cities in the state prohibiting them) or rely on the black-market.

Even worse, the bill will make felons overnight out of potentially thousands of patients by reducing their possession limits from twenty ounces, to three, and their cultivation limits from fifteen plants, to six. Patients caught possessing between three and twenty four ounces, or caught growing between seven and fifteen plants – which is legal today – will be committing class C felonies once the law takes effect, and could be imprisoned for up to 5 years. This change is completely disgraceful, and is being made without any legitimate reason (the limits have been in place for roughly 15 years, with no one in the public calling for a change).

Under Senate Bill 5052, patients who don’t join a patient database will only be allowed to possess an ounce, and cultivate up to four plants. Those who do will be placing their name and address on a government-operated list admitting to committing a federal crime. This is in clear violation of federal HIPAA laws, and is also entirely discriminatory as the use of no other medicine requires entry into a database.

Frankly, the entire bill is a disaster, and I’m in complete shock that Governor Inslee would support it (you can find which legislators voted yes by clicking here). The fact that he would sign it into law makes it clear that he does not have the best interest of the public – especially those with serious, debilitating conditions – in mind. He needs to be unelected to make it clear to him and other politicians that unnecessary and devastating legislation such as this will not be tolerated.

I don’t know who it is that will run against Governor Inslee in 2016, and I certainly don’t know if they’ll have my support, but I do know one thing for sure; Governor Inslee no longer does.

12 comments

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    • Anonymous on April 27, 2015 at 9:05 am
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    dont worry,, dont trip out…the movements on AND unstoppable,,, that rat bastard will go the way of other neanderthals and trogladites!!!

    • Anonymous on April 26, 2015 at 11:11 pm
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    what a scum bag i hope i dont have a seizure and die because i cant find or grow enough meds thx gov

    • sheila on April 26, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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    so what do we do next? Are there meetings? any info….thanks.

    • Maureen on April 26, 2015 at 11:36 am
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    The most important question is how do we get this repealed by a vote of the people?

    • Sarah on April 26, 2015 at 8:49 am
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    After reading the proposed law I have to agree we patients r left holding our sacks in the wind.I would have supported this if it only targeted collectives n co-ops especially the ones that demand patients to give them an actual recommendation n the patient receives no benefit except to purchase their medicine. Stricter laws for them sounds about right. I have been subjected to these types n cause I read all that I can on the laws I declined. My mother who is a mmj patient had the same thing happen but didn’t do as I did cause they told her she would receive medicine monthly for them growing on her card. Well that was a big fat lie she had to pay out the nose. Where as now she Has excellent access to her medicine. Mainly cause of the good hearted ppl who aren’t out to just make fast cash n are actually there for the patients. I know this sounds contradicting but u get the just of it

    • Tim Bowles on April 26, 2015 at 7:10 am
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    There is no possible would be could be or past govetnor who would not have signed this. Inslee was begging them to give him this bill. He was mad that they didn’t pass it last year. A no brainer for him.,they could NOT let current non system continue.

    • Dan Buecking on April 25, 2015 at 9:33 pm
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    I think it’s all about tax revenue, forcing patients to pay outrageous recreational prices… Can patients still grow, if so look out cause that’s probably next on the chopping block…

    • Beau on April 25, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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    Who could have twisted Inslee’s arm? How about Amgen, the biotech firm based in Seattle? Doing the bidding for Amgen would be giving them a considerable advantage over any competition who wants to make patented cannabis-based pills. Add to that Microsoft, who is notorious for political arm-twisting to monopolize markets. Forget about it. We live in a fascist country now. We are seeing the perfect and seamless blending of the government and private corporations. The bottom line is, and what they are trying to tell us is, buy their patented poison-weed legally or go to prison.

  1. The freedom talk is just for federal holidays and overseas military operations-

  2. I predict that this law will never go into effect because the public will be substantial.
    Because I like to offer a better option when I make critical remarks about something, I offer the following proposal: pass the buck to the next level of government down; as the Federal Government seems increasingly prepared to allow the States to decide, the State can give the responsibility to the counties. In other words, Let SB 5052 be modified so that the language describes the maximum restrictions that the State will allow counties to impose, and then let the counties decide on their own by how much they will exceed the restrictions imposed by SB 5052 or even if they will have any restrictions at all.
    That said, we definitely need to ensure that the possession and consumption of marijuana by consenting adults is never a criminal matter and at worst is a civil matter. If my father, for example, a medical patient in serious need, feels the need to exceed the legal limit and hypothetically chooses to live in a house made out of marijuana, why should anybody care? But if someone decides to bring pot brownies to the local elementary school “potluck,” exposing people who do not wish to partake, then such a person has committed a crime.
    With marijuana going for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 an ounce, over ten times the price of silver, it seems unlikely that any sane person is going to have massive quantities that the neighbor’s kids will find. If the State is concerned that people who have massive amounts of pot will sell it on the black market and avoid paying taxes on it, then the “crime” isn’t a drug crime, it’s tax evasion, and the State should find ways to facilitate growers of all sizes to sell their product legitimately.

    • meschief on April 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm
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    Recall Him, Take it to Court… do something!! I do not want to go back on prescription drugs errrr!!! I called, donated and he still didn’t care enough to LISTEN TO LEGITIMATE PATIENTS who don’t want on a registry!!! Enemy of the state of WA, get rid of him NOW!!!

    • Naomi Rhoads on April 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm
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    No idea what or who could have twisted Governor Inslee’s arm to make him sign that bill into law…..but he should have been able to resist because IT IS SO VERY WRONG IN EVERY WAY.

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