As expected, Governor Gregoire is about to unleash a giant mess:
Gov. Chris Gregoire appears to be weighing either a partial veto or a full veto of a medical marijuana bill passed by the Legislature last week.
The governor at a news conference on Wednesday said “I’m looking at it only with what I can save. Not whether I will sign it.”
As a result of the governor’s expected veto, a slowly emerging medical marijuana industry that wants to operate legally, pay taxes, and adhere to state regulations is now preparing for armed raids of their establishments [emphasis mine]:
Alas, a bill is on Washington Governor Chris Gregoire’s desk right now—a bill that would license dispensaries and growers, which she could sign at any moment—that would do exactly that. Gregoire could eliminate this federal issue with the stroke of her pen. But as I reported last week, Gregoire says she’ll veto that part of the bill. Gregoire, as it turned out, fabricated a controversy to argue that if state employees issued the dispensary licenses, they could be held criminally liable (even though other states license dispensaries, none of those state employees have been prosecuted, and federal policy and procedure on medical pot hasn’t changed). Gregoire’s speculation is unfounded, but that’s her argument. As of today her office says she still intends to veto the bill’s dispensary provisions.
In doing so, Gregoire would guarantee that that these dispensaries remain out of compliance with state law, and thus, Gregoire is inviting federal raids on sick people and their care providers. So in order to avoid a fake specter of something unrealistic happening (feds busting state employees), she is welcome a real, consequential set of raids on some of the most vulnerable people in the state. Tonight those folks are literally preparing for armed raids by federal agents wielding guns and battering rams.
This can’t be stressed enough. Gregoire’s stated reasons for vetoing this bill are pure fiction. There’s absolutely no chance – zero, zilch, none – that a state employee will be held criminally liable for taking part in the regulation of medical marijuana. A half-dozen other states already do this, and nothing even remotely like that has ever occurred, or ever will occur under Obama. His Justice Department has made it very clear that their policy is to respect state laws. In fact, one of the main regulators in Colorado is a former law enforcement officer who’s appeared on television doing his job. Yet she’s still maintaining this nonsense as if it’s true:
“I cannot and will not subject state employees to criminal prosecution at the federal level. I think that would be highly irresponsible on my part,” she told reporters.
She was referring to state employees who would collect fees or inspect and audit dispensaries and producers under the legislation.
Curiously though, she also said this today:
Gregoire said there are some aspects of the bill she’d like to save, if possible, such as a patient registry. “I think we need a registry to prevent arrest of medical patients,” she said.
So let me get this straight. She’s worried (wrongly) that the federal government will expend resources to arrest state employees taking part in Washington’s voter approved medical marijuana law, so she won’t sign that part of the bill. However, she supports a part of the bill that would put medical marijuana patients (who are just as in violation of federal law as those state employees) on a list that the federal government could potentially get their hands on? And she thinks this will prevent the arrest of medical marijuana patients? Especially since patients will have to grow for themselves again due to this veto? Is she the dumbest fucking person in the state?