By Sensible Washington
On Wednesday, Representatives Luis Moscoso (D-Mountlake Terrace), Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) and Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Wall) introduced House Bill 2058, a proposal to provide defined arrest protection for medical cannabis patients and to establish a licensing and regulation system for dispensaries.
House Bill 2058 is an excellent approach to clarifying, strengthening and legitimizing Washington's medical cannabis law. We strongly supports this thoughtful, reasonable proposal.
Thankfully, House Bill 2058 stands in stark contrast to Senate Bill 5052, which has been passed by two committees in the Senate. Senate Bill 5052 would shut down all dispensaries in our state, establish a mandatory patient registry and reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate. Whereas Senate Bill 5052 is unwanted and regressive, House Bill 2058 is a positive and compassionate step forward.
House Bill 2058 would provide defined arrest protection for patients, a far overdue change that will bring ease to the minds of those suffering from serious, debilitating conditions. It can't be stressed enough how important it is for arrest protection to be established, given that patients can still be prosecuted under the state's affirmative defense law. It's also vital that we establish a system that allows currently operating dispensaries to become licensed with the state, so that patients can have uninterrupted safe access to their medicine.
We will be encouraging our thousands of supporters to lobby lawmakers to pass House Bill 2058. The full text of the measure can be found here.