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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Have New LifePosted by CN Staff on May 10, 2011 at 16:50:04 PT

By Jonathan Martin

Source: Seattle Times

 

medical.gif Seattle, WA -- A Legislative hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on a new proposal to allow nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries, reviving an idea that seemed just weeks ago to be dead.

 

The new bill, SB 5955, narrows the scope of the landmark medical marijuana reform vetoed by Gov. Chris Gregoire on April 29. The new bill would create the state's first a medical marijuana patient registry and decriminalize nonprofit "patient collectives" and allow them to grow up to 99 plants.

 

It solves Gregoire's chief but hotly disputed concern that state employees could be federally prosecuted for regulating dispensaries. But to appease the Governor, this version requires a city or county to pass a local ordinance before a dispensary can open in that jurisdiction. That means a handful of pot-friendly jurisdictions like Seattle -- where the mayor, city attorney and some council members favor outright legalization -- could become dispensary magnets while much of Eastern Washington could be dry.

 

"It's not clear we're going to support this," because of that provision, said Philip Dawdy, spokesman for the Washington Cannabis Association, a medical marijuana trade group.

 

Allowing nonprofit dispensaries also would ease concerns from Seattle and other cities about the potential proliferation of new, 45-plant "collective gardens." Those gardens, which were signed by the Governor in her partial veto last month, would be the only legal way for patients to band together to grow. But Seattle officials fear that without a dispensary system, collective gardens would sprout in sleepy neighborhoods across the city.

 

The patient registry embraced by law enforcement because it would provide a quick, centralized method to verify medical marijuana status but is despised among some patient groups for its potential to violate privacy. Washington is the only one of the 15 medical marijuana states without a patient registry, although federal prosecutors have sought access to Michigan's registry.

 

By decriminalizing dispensaries, the new version potentially gives the state a stronger argument should federal prosecutors object, as they did with the last version. But Attorney General Rob McKenna's staff, when asked by Democratic legislators for advice, punted on the issue. The ACLU is pressing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to clarify the Obama Administration's stance because of a series of recent threat letters sent in medical marijuana states.

 

The new version, unlike its predecessor, exempts medical marijuana sales from state sales tax.

 

The hearing on the bill is scheduled for noon Wednesday before the Senate Ways and Means committee.

 

Source: Seattle Times (WA)

Author: Jonathan Martin

Published: May 10, 2011

Copyright: 2011 The Seattle Times Company

Contact: opinion@seatimes.com

Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/

URL: http://drugsense.org/url/0ugRGJCe

 

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Guest Happy Guy

I think they misunderstood the memo. The feds aren't worried about patients selling their legally grown overages. They are concerned about dispensaries and what they do with their huge quantities. Not for profit is widely mis understood as charity. Everyone still gets paid as much as they want at a not for profit dispensary.

Here's a hint for all state governors; Why didn't Michigan's governor get a letter? Because dispensaries are illegal here and he isn't trying to set them up.

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I think they misunderstood the memo. The feds aren't worried about patients selling their legally grown overages. They are concerned about dispensaries and what they do with their huge quantities. Not for profit is widely mis understood as charity. Everyone still gets paid as much as they want at a not for profit dispensary.

Here's a hint for all state governors; Why didn't Michigan's governor get a letter? Because dispensaries are illegal here and he isn't trying to set them up.

 

 

There is always the option of 'capping' salaries through 'legislative' action.

 

In many states the Federal agencies have said they are not against 'care takers' and MMj suppliers that DO NOT make a profit.

 

And I certainly agree with you that many nonprofit CEOs make exorbitant salaries. United Way, if I remember correctly, had a CEO that was making $600,000.00 per year.

 

Oh well... moving on.

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I think they misunderstood the memo. The feds aren't worried about patients selling their legally grown overages. They are concerned about dispensaries and what they do with their huge quantities. Not for profit is widely mis understood as charity. Everyone still gets paid as much as they want at a not for profit dispensary.

Here's a hint for all state governors; Why didn't Michigan's governor get a letter? Because dispensaries are illegal here and he isn't trying to set them up.

 

 

I think you share a valid point with your statement. There is always an assumption that one might be able to do something if there isn't direct reference to it within the public act or law. They use the term "it's in the gray area....out there on the fringes" and unfortunately if it isn't specifically written into the law it's open to a challenge by LEO, municipalities etc. It appears as if this is where we are with respect to dispensaries. Our law doesn't address several "gray areas", dispensaries and CC's and we now see those working within those "gray" areas having issues with law enforcement. As far as CC's, if there is no MM use in the clubs then they should leave us alone! We have the right to assemble....

 

 

Dizz

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Guest Happy Guy

I think you share a valid point with your statement. There is always an assumption that one might be able to do something if there isn't direct reference to it within the public act or law. They use the term "it's in the gray area....out there on the fringes" and unfortunately if it isn't specifically written into the law it's open to a challenge by LEO, municipalities etc. It appears as if this is where we are with respect to dispensaries. Our law doesn't address several "gray areas", dispensaries and CC's and we now see those working within those "gray" areas having issues with law enforcement. As far as CC's, if there is no MM use in the clubs then they should leave us alone! We have the right to assemble....

 

 

Dizz

Excellent points. Look at what some people call CC's though. The one I started in early '09 was in a library. It was wrangled away and became a private dispensary. I bet if they had stayed in public libraries we wouldn't be worried that they would be harrassed. Water under the bridge now. We all pay for the greed of some that had to have it their way.

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There is always the option of 'capping' salaries through 'legislative' action.

 

In many states the Federal agencies have said they are not against 'care takers' and MMj suppliers that DO NOT make a profit.

 

And I certainly agree with you that many nonprofit CEOs make exorbitant salaries. United Way, if I remember correctly, had a CEO that was making $600,000.00 per year.

 

Oh well... moving on.

Non-profit CEO's can make a lot more than that, some are in the 2-3 million dollar range per year.

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