In our opinion: Lawmakers need to clarify medical marijuana laws
March 4, 2011 · 3:31 PM
Washington state’s medical marijuana laws need fixing, and it is incumbent upon the Legislature to make good this session. Focus, man, focus.
It goes like this: A patient can be recommended marijuana by a doctor. That person, who is stricken with at least one ailment on a government-approved list, can possess and use marijuana.
That’s about it. Left unexplained is a gap to be filled with an assortment of interpretations when it comes to the role of police and local regulation of dispensaries. Because, after all, how does one actually obtain the stuff?
Considering cities smaller and bigger have figured out a way to move forward, Bremerton’s decision to just say no to issuing licenses for dispensaries adds to the whole confusing mess, and makes it more difficult for sick people to get a substance they have a legal right to use.
Voters approved the use of medical marijuana by people with significant medical conditions. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government wouldn’t enforce federal law — which doesn’t allow for medical marijuana — as long as dispensaries followed the law of their state.
Lawmakers need to put down the bong and give cities and counties explicit direction on how to regulate the distribution of marijuana for approved patients.