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Veto likely for medical marijuana bill, says Gov. Chris Gregoire

Post by Katie Schmidt on April 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm with 13 Comments »
April 28, 2011 7:03 am

Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday she wouldn’t sign a medical marijuana bill to license dispensaries in Washington because doing so would be “irresponsible.”

Gregoire said she thought the bill, which the state Legislature already passed, had some good elements, including a proposal to set up a patient registry to provide some arrest protection, but she couldn’t approve a bill that could put state employees at risk of arrest by the federal government.

“I’m looking at it only with what I can save, not whether I will sign it,” said Gregoire of Senate Bill 5073.

The conflict between the governor and the Legislature over medical marijuana began two weeks ago when Gregoire received a letter she had requested from U.S. attorneys about the proposal, which clashes with federal law.

Under federal rules, marijuana is illegal, although the Justice Department has said it won’t prosecute patients who use medical marijuana in compliance with state laws.

In the letter the U.S. attorneys Jenny Durkan and Michael Ormsby sent to Gregoire, they said they “maintain the authority” to prosecute people who “participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

Supporters of the bill, including Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, have pointed out that seven other states and Washington D.C. already have laws allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in some form, and nobody has been prosecuted for carrying out the state laws there.

Gregoire said despite that argument she was convinced that signing the bill wouldn’t be a responsible choice for a governor to make after hearing the attorneys’ position.

“I don’t live in those other states,” she said.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. Calvin Hobbs says:

    Governor, Washingtonians did not elect you so that you could act as an arm of the Fed, we elected you to care for and represent us. You disappoint.

  2. SteveSarich says:

    YEEAAAHH! We’re cracking open the champagne! This started out as a bad bill and ended up being a nightmare for patients. Gregoire was only concerned that she couldn’t make it worse.

    Poor Ezra and Phil won’t be getting their signing pens after all :-)))
    They may have to look for actual work….in a new profession, hopefully.

    Steve Sarich

  3. Theoldsergeant says:

    Let’s hope not. It is truly a bad bill that needs much work before those who supposedly need the stuff can go to their local pharmacy, with prescription in hand, to get it. That’s a prescription from a practicing state registered medical doctor. Not some medical charlatan (or quack) who is as screwed up as the potheads who try to get the stuff anyway they can. By the way, who’s idea was it that State Liquor stores would be a great place to legally buy it. It had to be one of those Evergreen Collage graduates who came up with that.

  4. Stillwaiting says:

    Don’t you people who have anything better to do, than giving blind support to yet another law, which puts people just like yourselves in jail? I mean isn’t this the exact definition of insanity, and not only that, we are the only losers no matter how you look at it. Wake up people! They are systematically arresting us over being human. It is in our nature to smoke pot, drink alcohol, take prescription meds, and eat like pigs, so why is it the pot smoker has to go to jail for years, while the bartender doesn’t even get a warning for getting your kids dead drunk and behind the wheel? We may be technologically advanced, far more than anyone could have imagined, but our technology has outpaced common sense. Our problem solving skills are still the same used thousands of years ago. Prisons are getting bigger, and bigger. We are now profiting off of imprisoning Americans for smoking pot, and since over 80% of all drug related arrests are pot related, with over 700,000 pot related arrests last year nationwide, we are feeding a system, which feeds off of the destruction of lives, families, and futures. We have created a black market, that stops at nothing for a dollar, and does not give a damn about your children. Imprisoning our youth, and people from all walks of life, while creating the #1 reason for crime. You cannot fight human impulses. They are natural and we all have them. Some people choose to smoke a joint, while others choose to take a nap, or drink a beer, at the end it’s just ridiculous to try and control someone. There has never been a need for the Constitution as there is now, and pot is really just the tip of the iceberg. We still punish people as if we live in the dark ages. 500 years from now they will look back and call you people who are the strong arms of this corrupt system, cowards for not standing up for your inalienable rights. Just plain barbaric!

  5. securitygirl says:

    thats right take that too from people who could benefit by it… the terminally ill, chronic pain sufferers….oh you are brilliant

  6. oldmanfmdac says:

    Typical Gregwire! Still not my Governor – I hope all those of you that elected her are getting you money worth. Rossi would not have been any better it’s the politician thing! Just like forcing Seattle to destroy the Alaska Way Viaduct and dif a hole through the neightborhood, would how much she got paid for that one. Why does she continue to try to save the Washington Ferry System? oh because it is the largest in the world? Holy Cow the Roman Empire was the largest in the world once but you know they are gone now or maybe that is why she wants to axe their pay too. I only have one question of all of you are you getting your money worth out of the person you elected? If not firing season is coming up.

  7. uptodate says:

    Gregoire will cave in to the feds with out doubt. Like Locke she is looking out for her future.

  8. Why don’t our governor want the criminal element taken out of this “weed” ?Why isn’t it our right to have it, we have all the other bad stuff without blinking an eye. How foolish not to back so many people, isn’t it time for a huge revolt? I feel like a sheep more every day as more rights are taken from us. When we really do find out the reason for all this, it’s going to make us mad as hell, I’m already mad. I’m 75 years old and am tired of the government in my pocket and telling me what to do when theri minds arenot as good as mine.

  9. guycasey says:

    What can i say that already hasnt been said. Gov Gregoire please do your job help your people . Talk about a flip flop, good thing your not going for reelection. You trying to got a job with the feds? I see said the blind man. Another waste of time money and freedom.well may be next year . lol

  10. stillwaiting is right on the money with those words – The EGO prevails in the human species – we humbly accept the nature that God gave while holding onto compassion, hope, and patience for ourselves and each other. But what we don’t have to accept is having an elite-gang managing our lives. The 10th Amendment could probably be signed by Gregoire – sovereignty in the state of WA is our right against the FED’s – the fed’s are not my parents, but Gregoire needs the false security of parents looming over her life to feel secure or she’s being paid to go along with the Fed. She’s a coward. My time served in the US Navy seems like it was a waste of time now – My purpose was to defend freedom – I didn’t know the true block to that was right on WA state land. I was born on this land – WA state – and to know that a leader of my land is a coward to protect the people – makes the Fed law over us the people – makes me sick to my stomach. I’m sure Gregoire will again – toast an expensive drink in her expensive plane – with her expensive everything while stripping human services — Cheers Everyone -

  11. PuyallupGuy says:

    Methinks that she partakes, with the way she runs our state…….

  12. Why would anyone with the need to use medical cannabis not understand what she is doing? “I will not put state employees at risk of arrest by the federal government”, please just say thank you and move on. That was code for if the state has documnents for which the federal government can protect its citizen, said are herby required to immediatley surrunder such information_ hence the state would be in possesion of a registry that contained names of individuals listed as violating federal law, the are state employees names that would be that list.

  13. MsRattlehead says:

    7 (3) This act is not intended to compromise community safety.

    All of our communities are at risk of increased crime, increased mental disturbances from users, and on our roadways/highways from people “under the influence ” of this drug.

    (a) There is medical evidence that some patients with terminal or
    15 debilitating ((illnesses)) medical conditions may, under their health
    16 care professional’s care, ((may)) benefit from the medical use of
    17 ((marijuana)) cannabis. Some of the ((illnesses)) conditions for which
    18 ((marijuana)) cannabis appears to be beneficial include ((chemotherapy-
    19 related)), but are not limited to:
    20 (i) Nausea ((and)), vomiting ((in cancer patients; AIDS wasting
    21 syndrome)), and cachexia associated with cancer, HIV-positive status,
    22 AIDS, hepatitis C, anorexia, and their treatments;

    do tweekers qualify to smoke marijuana due to uncontrolled weight loss from the use of meth and cocaine…..

    31 medical conditions is a personal, individual decision, based upon their
    32 health care professional’s professional medical judgment and
    33 discretion.

    it is also a “personal, individual decision ” to abuse illegal and controlled substances/narcotics in the first place.

    Persons who act as designated providers to such patients shall
    8 also not be ((found guilty of a crime under state law for)) arrested,
    9 prosecuted, or subject to other criminal sanctions or civil
    10 consequences under state law, notwithstanding any other provision of
    11 law, based solely on their assisting with the medical use of
    12 ((marijuana)) cannabis; and

    this little clause permits the pot users brother, sister, friend etc….to grow the pot for them…..(unregulated of course)…..and not be prosecutable under this clause ….(RCW 69.51A.010)— (g) Any other medical condition duly approved by the Washington state medical quality assurance commission in consultation with the board of osteopathic medicine and surgery as directed in this chapter.

    this also would include the ever so evasive treatments of fibromyalgia….which is a cop out diagnosis to begin with.

    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede Washington
    33 state law prohibiting the acquisition, possession, manufacture, sale,
    34 or use of ((marijuana)) cannabis for nonmedical purposes. Criminal
    35 penalties created under this act do not preclude the prosecution or
    36 punishment for other crimes, including other crimes involving the
    37 manufacture or delivery of cannabis for nonmedical purposes.

    you dont think law enforcement has a tough enough time prosecuting dope users to begin with……

    Glad the Govenor vetoed this bill……at least her head is not in a “fog”…..

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