Law
10:00 am
Thu May 12, 2011

Medical marijuana legislation gets another shot

Governor Chris Gregoire says she wants all the states that allow medical marijuana to ask the federal government to reclassify the drug. She scheduled a conference call among those states Thursday. Meanwhile, a state Senate committee heard testimony Wednesday on a last ditch effort to pass an overhaul of Washington’s medical marijuana law.

Medical marijuana advocates have been trying to pass a bill to allow marijuana dispensaries. Last month,  Gregoire vetoed large parts of their bill. She said it would’ve put state workers in the position of violating federal law. The new bill would instead leave regulation of dispensaries to local cities and counties. But many of the advocates who supported the vetoed marijuana bill don’t support this new one. Phillip Dawdy speaks for the Washington Cannabis Association says:

"This bill was written to please law enforcement, the federal government and the governor, and it’s just a hodgepodge of ideas that are not going to work very well without substantial modifications.”

The Governor says she’ll only consider the new medical marijuana bill if both the Republicans and the Democrats in the House and Senate agree on it. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana for certain patients. Governor Gregoire says she’ll suggest the states join together to petition the federal government to reclassify cannabis as a schedule II drug. That would allow doctors to prescribe it.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

On the web:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5955&year=2011