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Why We Oppose Newly Announced Legislation To Combine Cannabis Markets


Sensible Washington i502By Sensible Washington

On Tuesday, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) announced that she will be filing legislation this week to “align the currently unregulated medical marijuana system and that of the regulated recreational marijuana system”.

As part of this proposal, all current medical cannabis dispensaries would be shut down, patients would be able to apply for a tax-exemption waiver, and the number of licensees allowed under the recreational cannabis market would be increased. In addition, the measure would legalize the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants for everyone 21 and older, while simultaneously decreasing the amount of plants a patient can cultivate from fifteen, to six.

A similar proposal (though one that features quite a few differences), Senate Bill 5052, has already been filed in the Senate by Senator Ann Rivers (R-La Center), and has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Health Care.

Although we strongly support legalizing the personal cultivation of cannabis for adults, we are adamantly opposed to combining the medical cannabis market with the recreational market. We believe that this will increase prices, decrease access and ultimately put a heavy, unnecessary burden on patients.

Even with a change in the licensing structure, it would likely take years before the recreational cannabis market would be in a position to provide proper access for the entirety of patients in our state. Medical cannabis dispensaries operating throughout Washington should be reasonably regulated, and given the opportunity to be licensed under the state. It would be a regressive move to shut these locations down, giving them no opportunity to continue providing for their patients, simply to bolster the recreational cannabis industry.

We appreciate the approach of providing a tax-exemption for patients, but requiring them to receive a waiver is yet another unnecessary burden. Medical cannabis should be tax-free to qualifying patients under all circumstances. We also feel that there’s no legitimate reason to reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can cultivate.

Overall we remain opposed to any legislation that would make life more difficult for those with serious, debilitating conditions, as we believe this proposal would do.

We encourage those who agree with us to contact Senate Kohl-Welles (contact information can be found by clicking here) and urge her to support amending the proposal to no longer reduce the cultivation limit for patients, to no longer mandate the closure of all medical cannabis dispensaries and to no longer combine the medical cannabis system with the recreational cannabis system.

If you’re a resident of Washington it would also be prudent to contact your district’s senator (you can look up who that is here) to ask them to oppose these changes.


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  1. Sick of everything on

    Hey maybe he was wrong, can’t sue anyone for being wrong, stupid statement.

  2. Sick of everything on

    Totally disagree. Prices will have to be reasonable or the black market will fill in the space and what burden on patients? The only real difference is the CBD levels for different problems, that would be easy to deal with so yah just make it all legal to over 21 regardless of need or reason for obtaining the ganja. To many angles make more problems.

  3. You typed that entire screed with tears in your eyes and didn’t notice the word “apparently” ? Get a life.

  4. True dat…

    Would someone please explain to me why the med patients have to give up nine of their plants in order for rec users to have six?

    Why is it the government’s damn business what I grow on my own property, anyway?

  5. I missed his reference to apartheid at the beginning of the post, too. After that, the references to “colored” made sense.

    Acidsex: “It was an analogy, moron.”

    And then you wonder why nobody wants to play with you?

  6. Regardless of how David or anyone else characterizes you, the TRUTH of your nature should be evidenced in your writing. In other words, are you what he says you are? No? Okay, then just ignore him. I think it’s a waste of your time and ours to post long court decision cases, and sit back and say, “See how smart I am? I could sue if I wanted to.”

    Okay, then, sue him. In the meantime, don’t impugn the characters of those in the “stoner community.” How’s about a “class-action” libel suit, y’all?

    Besides, maybe David is right about you. You’re obviously unaware of the diversity of, among other things, the education level of the “stoner community,” which tells me you aren’t a part of it.

  7. The U.S. Supreme Court case in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 U.S. 1 (1990), established a benchmark for determining whether a statement is actionable in defamation.

    For a statement to be actionable in defamation, it must expressly or impliedly assert facts that are objectively verifiable. Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 19. This test supplants a former analysis that emphasized a distinction between statements of fact and statements of opinion.

    In Milkovich, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the First Amendment does not mandate an inquiry into whether a statement is opinion or fact, because the existing constitutional doctrine adequately secures freedom of expression without the need to create an artificial dichotomy between the two. Milkovich,497 U.S. at 19.

    Under the test set out in Milkovich, an opinion, like any other statement, can be actionable in defamation if it expressly or impliedly asserts facts that can be objectively verified. See Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 18-19

    For example, when a speaker says, “In my opinion, Jones is a liar,” she implies knowledge of facts that lead to the conclusion that Jones lied. Milkovich, 497 U.S. at 18. When the speaker states the facts on which she bases her opinion, and those facts are either incorrect or incomplete, or her assessment of them is erroneous, the statement may still imply a false assertion of fact. Id. at 18-19.

    Simply couching a statement in terms of opinion does not dispel this implication. Id. at 19.

    Thus, whether a statement is actionable in defamation does not depend on whether the statement can be categorized as opinion or fact, but on whether the statement can be categorized as fact or nonfact. Smolla, Law of Defamation §6:2 (2d ed. 1999 & Supp.2006).

  8. It’s easy to see why the stoner community is never taken seriously. Many of you do not have the simple understanding of law much less an adequate education. There are a number of cases for reference. Google is your friend.


    Just because you are on the internet doesn’t give someone the right to levy an accusation that is untrue or fits the narrative you have about them in your mind.

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