by Lee, 06/30/2011, 8:02 PM

Now that the dust has settled from Governor Gregoire’s epic fail on the recent medical marijuana bill, the state’s community of growers and patients are starting to pore over the new law to figure out how they can still provide safe access. After tonight’s meeting at the Cannabis Resource Center (the main Cannabis Defense Coalition office in SoDo), I feel like there’s actually a light at the end of this tunnel.

Of course, dispensaries who openly sell medical marijuana to any authorized patient are not allowed. And there will be no production facilities regulated by the Department of Agriculture. But what the law does allow, however, are collective gardens. This evening, defense attorney Aaron Pelley outlined what appear to be the parameters of any new system for distributing medical marijuana within that framework. This discussion stems from meetings that Pelley has had with King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. The relevant language can be found in Section 403 of the passed bill.

That section allows:
- 10 people to participate in a collective garden, which can have 15 plants and 24 ounces per person (up to 45 plants and 72 ounces total)
- The collective members to share in the costs of maintaining the collective

Interestingly, the section does not disallow:
- Multiple gardens to occupy the same space
- A single person to belong to multiple collectives
- Central offices where multiple collectives can establish an “access point”

My takeaway from this meeting is that what we’ll end up with (probably first in Seattle, then across the state) are these “access points” (not dispensaries!) where people can join a collective. Once part of a collective, you’d only be able to obtain medicine grown in that collective’s designated garden – and would probably have to pay for the upkeep of the garden (rather than directly paying for the medicine). From my reading of the law, that would be fully compliant with the statute, but hey, I’m not lawyer. And even Pelley wasn’t terribly sure how all of this will be interpreted once it inevitably ends up in a courtroom.

11 Responses to “Moving Forward”

1. Michael spews:

What are they going to do, DNA test the shit to make sure the stuff you have came from the “collective farm*” that you belong to?

Do the people who came up with these rules realize how silly they are? The only thing keeping these folks operating inside the system is a desire to be inside the system. How much more of this is going to go on before people say “fuck it” and leave the system?

*A fitting name for a pot farm in The Soviet of Washington.

2. Lee spews:

@1
What are they going to do, DNA test the shit to make sure the stuff you have came from the “collective farm*” that you belong to?

I have no idea, especially since our governor seems convinced that a state employee doing such a job would be at risk of arrest.

Do the people who came up with these rules realize how silly they are?

I doubt it. There are other parts of the passed law that simply make no sense and others that reference parts of the law that were vetoed. The whole thing is a monument to the inefficiency of incompetent governance.

3. Evergreen Libertarian spews:

The most important thing is to get re-elected. The rights of others, be they medical patients, average citizens, or on trial do not matter one bit. The fact the young males from low income families who are often minorities that will most likely be the ones arrested doesn’t matter. What matters is getting re-elected.

Corporation make profits. Politicians get votes. Not one damn bit of difference.

I could be wrong, the latter is a big difference. You can die from the actions of politicians a lot quicker than from a corporation.

4. Tricia spews:

Wow like I have been saying people who have zero knowlege about cannabis are making the rules, They don’t even use it!!! So why the f*ck are we the people standing for this sh^t??? We have known for many moons it is a healer. This law sucks worse then the original one!!

5. Upton spews:

Have you seen the new memo the DOJ sent out? Here let me quote some of it for you:

“Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling or distributing marijuana, and those who knowingly facilitate such activities, are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, regardless of state law,” the memo reads. “Consistent with resource constraints and the discretion you may exercise in your district, such persons are subject to federal enforcement action, including potential prosecution. State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA.”

It basically tries to override the one from 2009 which promised not to make raids on dispensaries a priority. Obama is now raiding clinics at a rate higher than Bush..

Have you had enough yet? I know I have.

6. Puddybud, identifying northwest liberals who elected an underexperienced man to the presidency weighed down by an oversized ego spews:

Lee,

This should warm your heart…

Crack offenders eligible for early release

7. Politically Incorrect spews:

The most important thing is to get re-elected. The rights of others, be they medical patients, average citizens, or on trial do not matter one bit. The fact the young males from low income families who are often minorities that will most likely be the ones arrested doesn’t matter. What matters is getting re-elected.

Man, ain’t that the truth!

I do beleive we’re making progress, however. I foresee that cannabis will be legal for adults to use as a recreational substance within 30 years.

Thanks fo the update,Lee!

8. Politically Incorrect spews:

“Obama is now raiding clinics at a rate higher than Bush..”

Maybe Obama’s method is to have these raids to call attention to the stupidity of laws against cannabis. Let’s just end this ridiculous prohibition, and allow people to exercise their personal freedom to use cannabis if they choose to do so.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

@6 Why are you bitching about releasing crack offenders from federal prisons? You’re the guys who didn’t even send torturers to prison in the first place! Here’s a Roger Rabbit quiz question for ya, puddykins, which is more morally offensive — snorting a line of white powder to get high, or torturing innocent people scooped up at random off Baghdad streets?

Oh, and before I forget, it’s Republican unwillingness to pay even one fucking cent of taxes that’s forcing states, counties, and cities across America to give early releases to prisoners — including violent felons — because they can’t afford to keep jails open.

10. nolaguy spews:

State laws or local ordinances are not a defense to civil or criminal enforcement of federal law with respect to such conduct, including enforcement of the CSA.

Doesn’t the 10th Amendment say otherwise???

11. Politically Incorrect spews:

@10,

As you might think, the 10th Amendment is routinely ignored by the federal government. I think that’s what is needed as far as the cannabis laws goes is some form of civil disobedience at the state level. I suggest that our state’s leaders simply refuse to enforce any laws against cannabis. That might include enforcing a federal drug law action against cannabis or not cooperating with the DEA in cases involving cannabis.

Maybe once the DEA realizes that each state’s law enforcement personnel and leaders are opposed to this insane campaign against a naturally-occurring plant, they’ll start lobbying for legalization.

Legalize, regulate and tax. Use the 10th Amendment as justification for resisting this national stupidity.