1. State Sen. Jeanne Kolh-Welles' (D-36, Ballard) medical marijuana dispensaries bill—which licenses and regulates the sale medical marijuana—passed the senate late last night, 29-20.
The bill also includes an "arrest protection" provision for legal medical pot users, which prevents law enforcement from making "ask questions later" arrests.
The bill has had bipartisan support all along, and several Republicans, including all four of the new GOP senators elected last year—Sens. Mike Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane), Joe Fain ( R-47, Auburn), Andy Hill (R-45, Redmond), and Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island)—voted for it.
The bill passed with a few amendments—though not the ones, such as stripping out the arrest protection provision or replacing the licensed dispensaries with collective gardens, that the ACLU had been wary of.
One Republican amendment prohibits a medical professional from making medical marijuana their "primary purpose." Another amendment, cosponsored by Democrat Kohl-Welles and Republican Baumgartner, prohibits advertising for medical marijuana.
2. Another supposedly controversial bill also passed with hefty bipartisan support yesterday: Rep. Reuven Carlyle's (D-36, Ballard) alternative certification bill for school principals. Carlyle's bill—which allows people (such as ex-Microsoft engineers) who don't go through the traditional certification process to become principals—passed 79-18.
The real news, though, isn't the Republican support. It's the Democratic support. Democrats tend to shy away from legislation that's tagged with the "ed reform" label.
3. Lots of news from the anti-tunnel campaigns. For starters, the Move Seattle Smarter group—this is the Sierra Club/Real Change initiative to mandate that the city isn't responsible for cost overruns—is no longer collecting signatures for that measure.
They will officially switch campaigns and start collecting signatures for Protect Seattle, a referendum to overturn the council's approval of the city/state tunnel agreements. (They've joined forces with Seattle Citizens Against the Tunnel, the anti-tunnel, pro-rebuild group.)
They need to collect 16,500 signatures in the next 25 days to put the issue on the ballot.
The other news: James Irwin, a former Sierra Club organizer who left town for Iowa in 2009, but often trekked back to work on the Mike McGinn campaign, is back for this one too.
4. In fallout from the Seattle Schools $1.8 million contracting scandal—the Seattle school board voted unanimously to dismiss superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson last night. They also appointed the school district's current chief academic officer, Susan Enfield, as the interim superintendent.
Here's the Seattle Times' report.
5. Conspiratorial Snark of the Day: After we reported yesterday that the Urban League, one of the contractors in the Seattle schools scandal, also had a hefty half-a-million dollar contract with the Washington State Department of Transportation, someone from the ranks of the anti-tunnel crowd quipped: "So, that's why [Urban League head James] Kelly was so over-the-top for the tunnel project."
Hmmmm. Not sure about that one, but Kelly certainly could be seen sporting the anti-McGinn, pro-tunnel "Enough" pin around town.
We'll report back on this conspiracy theory.
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