About the downfall of SB 5073
The thing that is better about our current law, is that the doctor rights are preserved and SB 5073 won’t be hacking out the protections that doctors have. SB 5073 in Section 301 even AFTER Cody’s amendment, still struck out the lingo in 69.51a that granted doctors exemption from the law period.
At least doctors wont be harassed, and the affirmative defense will remain in tact. This is a big issue, because if doctors are afraid to give recommends, as many doctors personally expressed to me that they would in SB 5073. Then there won’t be many patients, few if any in fact.. So the doctors would have to be incredibly brave to risk their license under 5073. Under the present condition of RCW 69.51a it says:
“Persons who act as designated providers to such patients shall also not be found guilty of a crime under state law for assisting with the medical use of marijuana; and”
“Health care professionals also be excepted from liability and prosecution for the authorization of marijuana use to qualifying patients for whom, in the health care professional’s professional judgment, medical marijuana may prove beneficial.”
So we have just retained a law that has been helping people for 13 years, and with this law both doctors and providers are exemptions from marijuana prohibition laws.
I’d say 69.51a is a good defense in court, but it really shouldn’t even go to court according to the lingo in 69.51a.
In the “Original Bill” section 301 started off by crossing out provisions for doctors in current like. This lingo was crossed out of current law from the get go:
“((A health care professional shall be excepted from the state’s
25 criminal laws and shall not be penalized in any manner, or denied any
26 right or privilege, for))”
In representative Cody’s amendment the above exemption was crossed out also.
Here is the original:
And here is Cody’s Amendment. Same protections CROSSED OUT.
Plus rep Cody’s Amendment called from STRICTER restraints on dispensaries limiting Spokane to only 24 dispensaries, when we currently have over 45 in the city now. Essentially her amendment gave some (very little) protections back to doctors in comparison to other amendments previously. But it also left out the exclusive protections that doctors have now, plus it limits the free market which would drive prices up for patients.