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Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoes medical marijuana bill

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm with 16 Comments »
October 25, 2011 9:18 am

Gov. Chris Gregoire today officially rejected the Legislature’s proposal to license medical-marijuana dispensaries, saying that having state employees perform that kind of regulation would open the workers up to federal prosecution.

Few parts of the bill survived her veto pen. One major casualty of the debate: arrest protections for patients that Gregoire and even law enforcement groups support. The governor said the parts of the bill she liked were too intertwined with the parts that worried her.

“I will not subject my state employees to federal prosecution, period,” she said.

“My action today takes away absolutely nothing from what that voter-passed initiative did,” Gregoire said. Voters in 1998 approved marijuana for medicinal purposes, but they didn’t say explicitly that dispensaries are legal or illegal. Local governments have taken different approaches.

Tacoma has ordered dispensaries to close but wasn’t enforcing that crackdown as it waited for potential new clarification from the Legislature — clarification that looks like it’s not coming this year unless lawmakers revive the issue in their ongoing special session.

SB 5073 Partial Veto Letter

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. tacomajoe says:

    Again, completely out of step with the times and her constituency. Score another one for Big Pharma. Cha-ching!

  2. Chock up another reason to “NOT” re-elect Governor Gregoire.

  3. princessnancy says:

    This is the smartest thing she has done since elected to office! Thank you Governor.

  4. Apophthegm says:

    The Gov. did not represent her constituents in this matter. I would not re-elect her. Too many are being incarcerated over MJ, and current laws are neither based in public health nor any sound rationale. Current laws do, however, act as a method of ensuring that our prisons and jails are full of non-violent individuals, maintaining the business of our criminal justice system.

  5. What If – The Governors of all the Legal MMJ states unified and used the tactics of the US Attorneys and DEA against them? Send those US Attorneys and DEA offices a letter stating “Submit to the will of our citizens and our state’s laws. Immediately stop all medical marijuana related prosecutions and raids or risk further civil action by our citizens, city, county and state employees”. This will include but not be limited to our removal of all state cooperation and resources in “any” on going cases within our state regardless of the nature of those cases.

  6. Theoldsergeant says:

    For once I can say the Governor did the right thing. This whole bill was clouded with marijuana activists trying to hijack a Medical Marijuana bill for their own selfish purposes. That is, uncontrolled use and production without fear of arrest. It did not work and it shouldn’t have.

    The bill itself was terribly flawed and ripe for fraud by these so called dope activists (I do have a better name for them which I will not share for risk of censor). There were insufficient controls, goofy ideas by some legislators and out and out lies by those advocating unrestricted use. If Medical Marijuana Supporters want legislation that supports their cause, they must agree and submit to a very restricted control and use. Not some fly by night pot shop or phony prescription operation who’s only purpose was to circumvent the law.

    The Feds are doing their job and doing it quite well. Keep it up guys.

  7. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    way to go Guv.

    Now gag me with a spoon. Can’t believe she did something I agree with. She must not have read her own party’s platform that said make it legal.

    This tells me she wants to run again and she is showing her moderate colors

  8. Suzanne Halverson says:

    I can’t believe that medical marijuana is still crimalized, it is a waste of money! I am so tired of paying taxes to our government so they can mismanage the funds, waste it on a non violent so called crime, while our poor suffer because of our state deficit!!! So STUPID!!!!! The LOPS in Olympia can vote themselves a raise, and they can’t do a good job to save thier as____!!!!!!!!

  9. smolderc says:

    I hope that every voter that voted for medical marijuana does not vote for Gregoire if she runs again.I am ashamed to admit I voted for her ,but never again.No matter who she runs against they will have my vote…

  10. I did not vote for the woman, but a “Wise Decision” to say the least !

  11. What Gregoire and all those who support her veto have done is spit in the face of individual rights; cow-tow to federal government hegemony; propagate the industrial-prison industry; disregard the clear development of social progress; and exemplify the rule of the few over the will of the many. All those who support this decision should, to remain consistent with their apparent values, support the disbanding of our republic so it can be handed over to the whims of a politically ambitious ruler (ambitious on the federal stage, that is). Shame on you all… and keep on gulping that Prozac and oxycontin.

  12. Looks like the governor has lost another voter, ( Me)

  13. Even as a staunch democrat, if this woman runs again I will not vote.
    She is indeed an “Obama democrat.”

  14. the only way to take this out of the governors hands is to sign i-1149 and remove the state level criminal penalties for the plant. if the feds still want to enforce it, they will have to find their own resources to do so. it’s what stopped prohibition in NY. it will work here.
    there were roughly 160 million dollars spent on cannabis enforcement in WA, with 90% of those cases involved being for simple possession. last time i checked, Washington still has a meth problem, an oxycontin issue, we’re a hotbed of domestic violence and all kinds of other social issues, we close down schools and libraries, yet we waste our tax dollars and law enforcement budgets going after cannabis patients.
    that’s not to say that all cases in WA are against Medical Marijuana patients, but the law passed in 1998 didn’t make patients non-criminals in the eyes of the law until the end of the process, and doesn’t always protect us even then. to keep law enforcement and the courts in a permanent or lengthened grey area with actions like those of our governor in her vetoes, supports no one in this state on either side of the issue.
    We look to our leaders to LEAD on issues such as these, Gregoire took a giant step backwards. Listen to the will of the people and fix this problem Christine. Public support for legalization is up nationally to over 75% in polls from a number of companies, even those frequented by FOX. if the mainstream media sees the sentiment turning this way, which they have, there’s a chance that the conversation about the realities of cannabis, not the govt. propaganda people have been force fed for 70 years, can start happening. People in all walks of life use this medication, it’s not just for recreational use.
    Cannabis is safer than alcohol. It’s safer than aspirin. It’s not the boogeyman we’ve been told it is by Big Brother. Zero deaths from cannabis, ever. there is no Lethal Dose. overdose is NOT possible. the US alone saw over 7500 deaths last year from ASPIRIN.
    Please consider helping out with SensibleWashington.org and sign i-1149.
    Our leaders aren’t going to lead on this issue. The people have to, again.

  15. Henry_Anslinger says:

    Theoldesergeant as usual brings his lack of knowledge to the table and posts:
    “If Medical Marijuana Supporters want legislation that supports their cause, they must agree and submit to a very restricted control and use. Not some fly by night pot shop or phony prescription operation who’s only purpose was to circumvent the law. ”
    Ummm…no they don’t. They don’t have to ‘submit’ to your ignorance at all. That is just an empty comment. All any cannabis user medical or not needs is for people like you to quit being full of baloney.

    “The Feds are doing their job and doing it quite well. Keep it up guys.”
    So infringing on rights of adults, perpetuating the black market, helping to prop up access to minors, line the pockets of criminals, spending billions of dollars to continue a vicious circle of beauracracy for 70+ years is a job ‘well done’?

    So the ‘war’ on ‘drugs’ is going “well”? Really?

  16. slugoxyz says:

    Sorry Justin. I have to throw the BS flag. 7500 deaths from aspirin? Laughable mis-information. Perhaps hundreds (according to Wikapedia) but for you to produce such a ridiculous number means you are simply lying with numbers.
    MJ is harmless? Did you know that between 6-11% of all fatal car crashes have MJ as a contributor? True (http://www.marijuana-addiction.net/marijuana-side-effects.htm). Let’s not forget the fact that most MJ users inhale the product into their lungs, with all its carcinogens and unfiltered smoke. Pot contains 50-70% more harmful carcinogens than tobacco. This is exacerbated by the fact that MJ users breathe deeper and hold the smoke longer. The ability to learn, remember and adapt are all impaired by habitual use. A number of studies show a link between chronic MJ use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and even schizophrenia. The addictive potential is becoming increasingly more pronounced as MJ gets stronger. http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html indicates that as many as 9% of users are addicted. The list goes on and on.

    So, you tell one side and your argument is vehement but it simply isn’t the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I honestly don’t care one way or the other. I don’t see MJ as more harmful than alcohol. Maybe…maybe even less. However, don’t blow smoke up our skirts by saying it isn’t harmful or hasn’t caused any deaths. Now, you’ll say I’m dumb or uneducated…blah blah. But you know that isn’t true either. It’s how you try to discredit me because the facts I write are the other side of the story and that bothers you. You want to just bulldoze everyone into letting you have your way. Good luck with 1149 but I seriously doubt it will be approved. If we can admit that alcohol is bad for you, why should we add to the list by legalizing MJ? Dope smokers can’t get off the couch or let go of the Doritos long enough to change the channel. What makes you think they’ll vote? HAHA!

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