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Gov. Chris Gregoire likes new medical marijuana bill

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on May 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
May 5, 2011 3:09 pm

Gov. Chris Gregoire today gave a thumbs-up to the new medical-marijuana proposal developing in the Senate, the offspring of the legislation she gutted last week.

Gregoire said Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles‘s latest creation is “absolutely mindful” of the reason for the governor’s partial veto: that state employees might be prosecuted.

But before the bill can be heard in special session, Gregoire said she wants the leaders of the Legislature’s four party caucuses to agree to take it up. “I’ve indicated to the senator I’m a go,” she said, “but you’ve got to get the other ‘four corners’ to say they’re a go as well.”

At least one corner is balking: House GOP Leader Richard DeBolt said in a statement, “Passing legislation dealing with marijuana laws is not the priority for House Republicans. Our priority for the special session is to  balance the state’s budget without increasing taxes and to adopt workers’ compensation reforms to help get Washington working again.”

Of course, the Legislature can take up whatever bills it wants, and Kohl-Welles today she plans to introduce a bill next week and get it moving as quickly as possible. If it makes it to the House, majority Democrats are willing to take it up, Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said.

So the question is whether Gregoire’s mandate for bipartisan agreement would lead her to pull out the veto pen again.

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