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Medical Marijuana Policy

Washington Advocates Support Bipartisan Bills That Protect Medical Marijuana Patients

marijuana washington stateMedical cannabis patients are applauding the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the House that would fully restore vetoed provisions of a regulatory proposal first passed in 2011, along with a proposal in the Senate that would add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions.

House Bill 2058 is co-sponsored by Representatives Luis Moscoso (D-Mountlake Terrace), Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) and Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo). The legislation is considered the most practical solution for regulating medical cannabis, while ensuring continued access to safe and affordable remedies that allow patients to live healthy, productive lives.

“Now more than ever, patients need dedicated champions in the Legislature who are not afraid to take a stand for what’s right,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA). “We commend Representatives Moscoso, Walsh and Appleton for showing the courage to lead on this crucial issue.”

HB 2058 would reinstate the language passed by the 2011 Legislature, but vetoed by then-Governor Christine Gregoire, primarily due to fears about federal intervention. The recently adopted Congressional budget measure prohibiting the Department of Justice (DOJ) from interfering in the implementation of medical cannabis laws offers substantial protection for Washington state. Advocates say with the turnaround in federal law, it’s worth taking a second look at the legislation that passed once before.

“The regulatory framework created in the 2011 bill still works today,” says Kari Boiter, ASA’s Legislative Analyst and Washington State Coordinator. “Just like its predecessor, House Bill 2058 establishes a dedicated pathway to licensing for experienced businesses that make safe products and offer quality care to patients.”

Across the rotunda, Senate Bill 5379, a proposal to officially recognize Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a qualifying condition will get a public hearing Tuesday in the Senate Health Care Committee. Patients, military veterans, abuse victims and supporters plan to pack the room.

“Every single day, twenty-two men and women who honorably served our country take their own lives,” says Marine Corps Veteran Patrick Seifert, Chair of ASA-Washington and Founder of Rainier Xpress, a medical cannabis collective in Olympia. “Senator Hobbs’ bill is a beacon of hope for patients who suffer from PTSD.”

SB 5379 is prime sponsored by Senator Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), with seven members of the Senate from both sides of the aisle signing on in support, including Senators Ann Rivers (R-La Center) and Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle). The benefits of using medical cannabis to ease symptoms of PTSD have been widely reported on after recent clinical research and comes on the heels of an $8 million grant awarded by the State of Colorado to study the issue in-depth.

Further information:
House Bill 2058
ASA Fact Sheet on House Bill 2058
Veteran Patrick Seifert’s blog re: VA policy on medical marijuana

Source: Americans for Safe Accessmake a donation

  • SteveSarich

    Johnny, I’m going to stop posting on your blog if you’re just going to post stories from the liars and ASA….and call it “News”. It appears that ASA may have bilked some people out of $27,000 to “support” and “lobby for” HB 2058. This is a DEAD bill! It was dead from the beginning. Moscoso knew it wasn’t going anywhere. It didn’t even get a reading in the House, let alone a hearing. Friday is the cutoff day and the Commerce and Gaming Committee, where the bill would have to be heard, has no more hearings scheduled this week. The chairman of that committee, Rep. Chris Hurst HATES Moscoso and will NOT be giving him a hearing. Hurst is a horses ass, ex drug cop. So the bill has no chance…..and I’m wondering how they managed to spend $27,000 on a bill that never got a hear?

    There IS a bill on PTSD in the Senate, but I also have one in the House, HB 1969, that adds both PTSD as well as Traumatic Brain Injury. No reason not to do both when so many soldiers are suffering from both. I submitted 29 studies for these two conditions. I think this has got a good chance of passing this this year.

    There ARE NO GOOD medical bills in Washington this year….just like last year. Our goal is to kill SB5052, which has already passed the Senate and is heading to the House. That’s where we hope to stop it….just like last year. If we can’t kill it there, medical will be dead in Washington State.

    • B

      Steve, you’re right. However, It’s always good to advocate better alternatives, whether they have chances or not. Even if it’s only to show contrast of what’s good legislation, vs bad. How did we or ASA know this bill would die from the beginning? And even if so, isn’t $27,000 a small price to pay to advocate truth. I commend those that stand up for the the right things. Unfortunately it is far too common where bad bills get all of the funding and become enacted. I do however like your focus on killing SB 5052 and completely agree and hope we can do so!!! http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2058&year=2015

  • There’s also Sen. Kohl-Welles’ bill 5519 that would allow home grows for all. It’s still alive in the Senate.

  • appletart

    so with the End of Medical MJ in WA, what happens to MMJ Advocates that went through education for this profession to help patients with the use of cannabis for medical ailments?