Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

AG: Cannabis same as marijuana, some doctor’s orders still in effect

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on July 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm | 7 Comments »
July 18, 2011 12:32 pm

Cannabis is the same thing as marijuana, the attorney general’s office says.

While most everybody watching the legislative debate knew that the words were used interchangeably, activist Steve Sarich was worried. When state law takes effect requiring a medical authorization for cannabis, Sarich argues patients with an authorization for marijuana might be out of luck.

According to state lawyers, some of them might be.

Authorization cards issued prior to June 10, 2010 are still legal, an attorney in Rob McKenna’s office argued in a legal brief filed last week in response to Sarich’s lawsuit that aims to stop the law from taking effect.

But more recent patients may need to get a new stamp of approval.

The terms ‘marijuana’ and ‘cannabis’ are synonymous. … Therefore, valid documentation, as defined in Wash. Rev. Code 69.51A.010, obtained prior to June 10, 2010, remains valid after July 22, 2011. It is possible that documentation obtained on June 10, 2010, and thereafter will need to comply with the requirements of E2SSB 5073, beginning July 22, 2011, to successfully assert the affirmative defense” against prosecution.

Here’s a copy of an authorization card.

The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.