A recent blog article at the Seattle PI, Medical Marijuana, What’s Going On? highlights some issued surrounding Washington’s recent medical cannabis bill, Senate Bill 5955.. At a recent public hearing on the bill, Senator Cheryl Pflug appeared to be confused on the legal process to reclassify marijuana. She seems to think the Federal government has the right to override state sovereignty!
At 1:16:25 in the video below, Senator Pflug said:
“I’m not aware that the state of Washington has the power, particularly that would survive in court, to reschedule the FDA’s decision.”
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Note the “I’m not aware.”
Don Pierce of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Association has it right. Here’s what he had to say to Senator Pflug:
“We went on for about eight years after the initiative was passed without dispensaries in large number within the state…we believe that access for patients is difficult, and that’s why we supported the community gardens, where you could join with someone else who had the expertise to grow the medical cannabis. We don’t believe that that is a total solution, we believe that the solution is for the state to reclassify or reschedule, AND to petition the federal government to recognize that rescheduling. And that’s the only ultimate solution. We don’t believe the dispensaries, in whatever form they’re called out, will survive the muster, will survive the test, of the federal law enforcement agencies, and we don’t believe we should put anyone in that position.”
That’s the ultimate solution! Reschedule marijuana at the state level, then assert state sovereignty and petition the federal government!
I served Iowa with a lawsuit Monday for failure to update the law to recognize marijuana as medicine. While rescheduling does not necessarily mean access, it’s obvious to everyone that the only way to stop federal intimidation of legal state patients is to update the CSA to reflect reality: marijuana is medicine!
To hammer home how important this is, I’m going to highlight Senator Linda Parlette’s statement at the hearing: “If marijuana is going to be rescheduled, it has to be done at the federal level, and i think we all have to recognize that in Washington state.”
When Senator Conway later asked if any state has reclassified cannabis, committee staff member Kathli Bucklee said, “I believe Oregon has, and there’s been some talk in Iowa.”
Washington’s current law allows medical cannabis use for Cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, conditions with intractable pain, glaucoma, crohns disease, hepatitis C, diseases which result in nausea, vomiting, weight loss, appetite loss, and other conditions approved by the medical quality assurance commission.
Senate Bill 5957 would move marijuana from schedule I to schedule II in Washington.
Hopefully Senator Pflug becomes better informed on the law. I AM aware that this is an issue that the states must lead on. Assert your state sovereignty, Senator Pflug! Patients are counting on you.