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Kohl-Welles Outlines Medical Marijuana Bill

By Josh Feit May 6, 2011

Responding to Governor Chris Gregoire's partial veto of her medical marijuana bill—Gregoire did not like putting state employees in the position of managing the medical marijuana dispensaries because she argued it put them at risk of breaking federal law—State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard) has queued up a revised bill.

This afternoon, the senate health care committee released a memo outlining the new version which deals with Gregoire's objection by taking the state out of managing state run pot stores. The new plan creates non-profit pot garden's at the local level—which local governments would authorize. Medical marijuana patients would pay a fee to join these collective gardens.

Then new bill also firms up legal protections for patients using medical marijuana by providing arrest protection to registered patients (basically preventing arrest-now-ask-questions-later busts by police) and restoring "affirmative defense" protections for medical marijuana users who are not registered.

 
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