The Washington State Senate voted 34-13 to expand the number of medical professionals that can prescribe medical marijuana (see the link for the bill). Since the House already approved the bill in their chamber, the only thing left is for Governor Chris Gregoire to sign it, which she has indicated she will. The bill adds physician assistants, naturopaths, advanced registered nurse practitioners and others among the list of qualified people that can approve marijuana for medicinal purposes. This makes Washington the only state in the nation to allow people other than just physicians to do so.
Washington State allows 15 plants per card (any size), and possession of up to 24 dried ounces. What is amazing to me is that the state legislature brought the change, not an initiative by the voters. They claimed it was to help people in rural areas where it is harder to get approved for the program. FINALLY, COMMON SENSE FROM THE GOVERNMENT!! I can’t believe it. This will dramatically expand access to patients that want to be in the program. I sure hope other states will follow suit, as there are far more assistants, naturopaths, etc, than there are doctors out there, and I bet they are more open minded about signing forms for medical marijuana.
The Washington State legislation is Senate Bill 5798.