I’m sure we all remember this:
Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has vetoed key parts of a bill that aimed to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.
Gregoire said Friday she could not approve the measure after the state’s two U.S. attorneys said that state regulators would not be immune from prosecution. A union that represents thousands of state employees asked Gregoire to veto the bill.
“I will not subject my state employees to federal prosecution. Period,” Gregoire told reporters before signing parts of the bill into law.
At the time, there was no shortage of people pointing out the absurdity of Gregoire’s belief. And since then, even Republican Governor Chris Christie allowed New Jersey’s medical marijuana dispensary regulations to move forward. But now you can add another name to the list of those who find it absurd that the Department of Justice would arrest state employees:
The Department of Justice.
From Raw Story:
The Department of Justice filed on legal brief on Monday that indicated the federal government would not prosecute state employees for implementing state medical marijuana programs, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
The brief asks for a lawsuit filed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) to be thrown out.
The Department of Justice said Brewer’s claims had no merit, noting that her lawsuit failed to provide credible evidence that state employees were under threat of imminent prosecution.
Unlike Arizona, though, where the voters passed a law that set up dispensaries, we’re left with a giant mess. So much so that the Municipal Research and Services Center still isn’t entirely clear on what cities can do to regulate medical marijuana production and distribution. Here’s part of their page on the new law:
Cities and counties can place zoning restrictions and impose licensing requirements on collective gardens, but it is not clear whether local governments can totally prohibit them, so long as the collective gardens comply with the restrictions on the numbers of plants and numbers of qualified patients. See Sections 403 and 1102 of E2SSB 5073. Also, Chapter 69.51A RCW still allows a “qualified patient” or a “designated provider” to possess a quantity of Cannabis not exceeding a 60-day supply for a patient, which has been interpreted in the regulations as including up to 15 Cannabis plants, so individual gardens are clearly allowed. [If you have been following this webpage recently you will notice that we have changed our interpretation twice on the issue of whether collective gardens can be prohibited. That is a measure of how we are struggling with interpretation of the provisions that go into effect on July 22nd.]