Inside Opinion

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Tag: Jeanne Kohl-Welles


A Cheech and Chong ‘medical’ marijuana bill

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

It must have taken some doing, but advocates of “medical” marijuana have come up with a bill that would actually invite more abuse of the drug than straightforward legalization.

The “medical” belongs in quotation marks here, because the measure in Olympia would junk a key rule designed to prevent common drug seekers from getting marijuana on medical pretenses. And once recreational users or addicts got their pseudo-medical authorizations to use the drug, they’d enjoy more privileges than simple legalization would give them.

They’d be protected, for example, if ex-spouses objected to leaving children in their care; judges would not be permitted to consider marijuana use as a factor in custody arrangements except in extreme cases involving “long-term impairment” – whatever that means.

The bill would bring down the hammer of discrimination law on companies with anti-drug policies. Employers who refused to hire or employ marijuana users – the drug stays in the body long after use – could be investigated and sanctioned by the state Human Rights Commission.

That’s just scratching the surface of this amazing piece of legislation. It would also legalize large-scale commercial marijuana grow operations and wholesaling – no specified limits on quantity. Cities and counties would not be permitted to ban grow operations in their jurisdictions; the measure leaves all control over licensing to the state.

Growing, processing and selling could be conducted in secrecy. Call this one the Home-Buyer’s-Surprise Provision.
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‘Final nail’ in workers’ comp reform coffin

Looks like workers’ comp reform is dead for the year. We previously criticized Tacoma’s own Rep. Steve Conway for blocking his own speaker pro tem’s bill from getting a hearing. Now, Conway’s counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, says she’s not budging either.

Kohl-Welles is backing a task force to study the issue, pointing out that a similar group helped create the state’s vocational rehabilitation program. That process took 18 months. The question is whether the workers’ comp system can wait that long. From the Seattle Weekly story:

Judy Schurke, Director of the Department

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