Medical Marijuana in Washington revised (SB 5073)

There are good things about this bill, and there are bad things still.
The senate has made many adjustments to this bill many of which still hurts patients, doctors and providers.

For example Section 301 still says:

(iv) Documenting other measures attempted to treat the terminal or debilitating medical condition that do not involve the medical use of cannabis.

A health care professional shall not:

(iv) Have a business or practice which consists solely of
authorizing the medical use of cannabis;

(v) Include any statement or reference, visual or otherwise, on
the medical use of cannabis in any advertisement for his or her
business or practice; or

(3) A violation of any provision of subsection (2) of this section constitutes unprofessional conduct under chapter 18.130 RCW

The problem with this obviously, is that doctors will still not be ready to lose their license for what a police officer or prosecutor may interpret as “inappropriate” recommendations.   Both based on how the patient was recommended and how many.
This is going to keep medicine away from many sick patients who truly need cannabis.
As if it wasn’t hard enough before to get a recommend, when doctors were immune to disciplinary actions for recommending cannabis.

The lobbyist group who is fighting for this have made promises to drop support for and try to kill this bill if this provision was still a part of the bill.  Well it’s still there, yet I see that the CDC is still supporting this bill (though they aren’t posting as much support for it as before).

The one thing that I find troubling is how little support many in the medical marijuana industry (including the lobbyists) have given for I-1149.
It seems like when it suits them, they talk about how harmless and safe marijuana is.  They quote statistics on how marijuana has never killed anyone.  They talk about how it’s natural and how it is effective medicine and should not be regulated like other medicine based on it’s (lack of) LD-50 rating among other things.  But considering all of that, why is it that they insist on ‘some’ regulations only when it benefits them, regardless of how they concede that cannabis is harmless.

I wonder if it would be the same way if they specialized in a different herb that was illegal at one time, for example echinacea.  If echinacea was illegal and then it was found to cure and treat many ailments, and people started opening echinacea dispensaries.  Would the EDC  (echinacea defense coalition) work on making laws benefiting only the industry of selling this plant?  Or would they attempt to open this up to be grown and sold by everyone?

We have Sensible Washington’s  I-1149 which removes criminal penalties for adults for cannabis.    It has a huge potential for being successful, and has a lot of support in Washington and around the world.  So I just wonder why some of these other groups who profess to know about cannabis, are not rallying huge support for I-1149.  Rather than just a brief mention here and there?

I recommend that anyone who is interested in the freedom of this plant and of humans in general go to  http://sensiblewashington.org and read up on how to help.  Please volunteer and lets get this done together!

On another interesting and maybe positive note,  patient collectives can now serve up to 10 patients, and have up to 99 plants in the most recent version.  There is also arrest protection (but not protection against prosecution) in this new version for patients who are not on the registry.
Doctors can not have a practice solely for recommending cannabis, similar to THCF and CBR.

Read more at:   http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/5073-S2.E.pdf

Please contact your representatives and tell them to NOT change the current Washington law (RCW 69.51a) in regards to health care professionals protection for recommending cannabis.  The current law is very accommodating to doctors and patients in this regard.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles  – 206-819-2640  (is the main sponsor of this bill)
Sponsors:

Senators Kohl-Welles, Delvin, Keiser, Regala, Pflug, Murray, Tom, Kline, McAuliffe, Chase

There are some lobbyists that you can contact as well who are working on this:

Cannabis Defense Coalition –  1-888-208-5332
Phil Dawdy  (Washington Cannabis Association)  – 206-694-3948
Ezra Eichmeyer – 360-301-18420
Ben Livingston  – 206-335-9214


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