The DEA as well as local agencies decided that they would take the medicine away that patients desperately need in Spokane on 4/28/11. The agents raided 4 different dispensaries and have threatened the landlords of all others.
It is against the will of the voters of Washington who passed I-691 in 1998 so that patients could get access to the medicine that they need.
Well a lot of the things that I feared about this bill passed.
I had hoped that the dispensary system would remain strong in competition in hopes that we would eventually see the effects of the free market. But before the free market was able to balance itself out, the lawmakers started making laws, the DOJ started getting worried, and the landlords of dispensary owners were notified of some possible recourse by the state if dispensary owners do not evict their tenants.
So once again these shops are abandoned, people are competing for less jobs now, and the black market just absorbed a huge amount of business.
But in the mean time in Olympia there has been a lot of new changes and proposals and discussion about how patients are going to be treated in this state.
Some groups are satisfied with just about anything different than what we currently have. But I haven’t been so convinced that we are getting what is best for us.
I honestly believe Washington Medical Marijuana laws are lacking. There is no doubt that things need to be improved. But we don’t need any kind of change, we need specific protections.
We have objected mostly to the problems with section 301 creating a heap of new worries for doctors and patients in regards to misconduct etc. But some of that was changed by Rep. Cody’s amendment.
There are some good and bad things about Rep. Cody’s amendment. It is good that doctors can now see a patient for the first time to be able to recommend cannabis. But there is still some lingo about the continuation of the relationship with that patient.
But in Rep. Cody’s amendment there is provisions to limit dispensaries, limit competition and destroy all of the benefits we can get from a free market. So there will be a limit of one dispensary for every 20,000 people in city.
The way that this will effect our current market is that Spokane is going to decrease from having 40+ dispensaries to having less than 25 dispensaries.
This is bad in relationship to sharing the cost of the very expensive registry system between dispensaries which they have set the number of around 11 million dollars to start, plus the ongoing salary of 45+ new state employees.
Certainly there are some good things and some bad things about it.
Requiring patients to pay for the salaries of over 45 new state employees, and to pay for a registry that costs 10s of millions o f dollars, totally paid for by patients not the state.
Colorado and Nevada pay one person to do the same job. Why 45+?
Some of the important good and bad are below.
5073-S2.E AMH CODY H2591.2
Specifies that, prior to January 1, 2016, the maximum number of
licensed dispensers in a county shall be based upon a ratio of 1
dispenser for every 20,000 residents. Provides that, on or after
January 1, 2016, the Secretary of Health may adopt rules to adjust the
method of determining the ratio to consider other factors.
EFFECT: Specifies that the documented relationship between a
qualifying patient and health care professional may either be newly
initiated or existing and in the capacity of either a primary care
provider or a specialist.
EFFECT: Removes the protections from searches for qualifying
patients registered with the Department of Health (DOH). Removes
the protections from being taken into custody or booked into jail
for qualifying patients with valid documentation, but who are not
registered with DOH (retains the affirmative defense).
Spokane will go from having over 40 dispensaries to have less than 25.
Less competition, less good for patients
I have heard we still have a chance to kill it as it goes back to the senate. We at least need to change it, and offer search protections for patients, and to offer patients who are not on the registry protection if the have valid documentation. I also think that Washington does not need any more supervision of our medical marijuana laws than Colorado or Nevada do. One person in this position is sufficient. As a programmer and software designer I do not agree to the enormous costs of the registry. I would be happy to bid a much lower amount!
It looks like more government fear mongering to cheat patients out of their meds, and force many back in to the black market.
“MARIJUANA STORES VIOLATE FEDERAL LAW”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 06, 2011
Spokane – Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that he has notified landlords that marijuana stores are illegal and warned them of the penalties they may face. Marijuana continues to be prohibited by federal law and specifically marijuana stores are subject to enforcement action and stringent federal penalties. Under federal law, the possession or distribution of marijuana remains illegal, despite state law.”