The legislative session is less than two weeks away, and our community is ill-prepared. While we still have yet to receive a copy of the comprehensive medical cannabis bill that Senate staff have been working on for some time now, we did receive a "bill summary" last week from bill sponsor Jeanne Kohl-Welles.
The bill -- an attempt to "fix" the damage done to our medical cannabis law last year by Olympia -- seems focused on allowing cities and counties more control over medical cannabis access points, disallowing access points from operating under the "collective garden" language in the law, adding more restrictions on these "group grows," and implementing a government database in which to register medical cannabis patients so that law enforcement may "validate" patients in the field with something they claim to trust more than doctor authorizations on tamper-resistant paper.
In sum, just like last year's medical cannabis legislation removed the affirmative defense for all access points -- effectively outlawing them -- this legislation seems poised to outlaw the "new model" under which access points have been operating since the new law went into effect. The bill sponsor indicates her desire to find a balance between providing for safe access to medicine, and providing cities and counties the authority they want to regulate, or ban, access points in their jurisdictions. Unfortunately, that balance seems heavily weighted against our community and safe access to medicine.
Please consider attending a community legislative forum tomorrow night, Wednesday, December 28, 2011 from 7-9 p.m. in Seattle's capital hill neighborhood. If you are involved in an access point or collective garden, we highly recommend paying attention this legislative session.
What: Medical cannabis community legislative forum
When: Wed, December 28, 2011 from 7-9 p.m.
Where: 109 15th Ave E in Seattle's Capital Hill neighborhood
Details: Free and open to the public
Courtesy Cannabis Defense Coalition