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Medical marijuana bill moves forward

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm with No Comments »
April 12, 2011 12:27 pm

The House on Monday advanced the medical marijuana bill that would legalize and license dispensaries and give patients protection from arrest. Jonathan Martin of The Seattle Times has an excellent rundown here.

A couple of the changes the House made before sending SB 5073 back to the Senate where it originated came from Rep. Chris Hurst of Enumclaw. Notably, Hurst secured an amendment giving arrest protection only to people who sign up for a state registry, not all patients with a medical authorization for marijuana.

The House also added a maximum of one pot dispensary per 20,000 residents that would stay in effect through 2015, creating a ceiling of about 40 dispensaries in Pierce County.

The bill had bipartisan support in the Senate but earned the opposition of most of the House GOP. Reps. Cary Condotta, Mike Hope, Maureen Walsh and Glenn Anderson were among the Republicans supporting it, while a few Democrats including Reps. Troy Kelley, Mark Miloscia, Larry Seaquist and Zack Hudgins voted with Republicans.

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