to amend medical marijuana law introduced in Washington State
For the third consecutive session, the Washington
State Legislature will consider a bill that authorizes the State
Department of Health to adopt implementing rules for the State's
voter-approved medical marijuana law. Specifically, Senate Bill
5176, sponsored by Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle), allows the
health department to determine by rule what constitutes a sixty-day
supply of medical marijuana.
The bill intends to remove the ambiguity surrounding how much
marijuana a patient and his or her caregiver may legally possess.
Since the law was enacted in 1998, there have been numerous disputes
between patients and law enforcement over what constitutes an
appropriate supply of marijuana.
Although patient advocates are eager to eliminate confrontations
between patients and police, many fear that the Department of
Health might establish a marijuana possession limit that is too
restrictive. As a result, the ability of patients to maintain
a consistent and reliable supply of medical marijuana would be
Therefore, if the legislature is going to delegate authority
to adopt rules for medical marijuana, it should require the Department
of Health to consult with patients and patient advocates in Washington
State before changing the medical marijuana supply limit.
Please visit www.mpp.org/WA
to send an e-mail letter to your state legislators, urging them
to ensure that the Department of Health - if it is authorized
to change the medical marijuana law - receives substantial input
from the patients whose lives will be affected.