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Washington Bill Would Alter Marijuana Penalties, Allow Sharing

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Legislation to alter the penalties associated with possessing and transferring certain amounts of marijuana has been filed in Washington State.

The measure, House Bill 1065, received a public hearing last week in the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming; a majority of those speaking spoke in favor of the measure.

Filed by Representative Steve Kirby with cosponsor Representative Mia Gregerson, the proposal would make several positive changes, such as reducing the penalty associated with possessing over the legal one ounce limit. It would also allow those 21 and older to share up to a half an ounce with others who are 21 and older, which is currently a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

However, it also make the regressive and pointless change of requiring those in possession of cannabis concentrates to prove that they purchased it from a licensed cannabis retail outlet; if they can’t prove it, they will be charged with a civil infraction if up to seven grams, a misdemeanor if seven to 14 grams, or a felony if over 14 grams.

According to a legislative analysis of the measure, it:

  • Reduces the penalties for possession and transfer of marijuana products outside of the I-502 system in certain circumstances.
  • Authorizes the noncommercial transfer (gift) of marijuana products in amounts equal to half of the current possession limits by a person 21 years of age or older to another person(s) 21 years of age or older.
  • Requires the marijuana concentrates that a person may lawfully possess or transfer for noncommercial purposes (gift) to have been purchased from a marijuana retailer and be accompanied by packaging showing that the marijuana concentrates were purchased from a marijuana retailer.

Click here for the full text of the measure; the link also includes the official legislative digest and analysis.

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Anthony Martinelli is the Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog.com.

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