In the Washington State Legislature

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells introduced SB 5073 this year. Basically, it’s a revamp of Washington’s current 69.51a; the state’s medicinal cannabis law(s). Everyone and their sibling has seen this as an opportunity to make amendments to suit their own purposes. Some of those efforts appear to be nefarious in nature.

When I learned of one such amendment I dropped a note to the members of the Ways and Means Committee.  It was sent 2/21 and follows:

I understand you folks have been barraged by special interest groups and the like in response to this bill. May I preface this correspondence by stating my only special interest is me.

I don’t care what defines a “provider.” I don’t care about collectives or cannabis store fronts. I don’t care about employment U.A.s. I don’t care about…

All I want is to peacefully grow my small plants and use the harvest to supplement the small amount of opiate pain relievers I rely on. And to do so within the confines of the law.

It is my belief that the following amendment to SB 5073 will force me to become a criminal in order to relieve the pain from my malady:

“…Health care professionals must monitor patients on a quarterly basis and file quarterly reports with the Department of Health regarding number of patients they have authorized to use medical cannabis. DOH is authorized to determine if the amount of authorizations is “inappropriate.” Such a determination would constitute a finding of unprofessional conduct against a health care professional.”

These are not real expectations. My ailment is chronic. My spine will not suddenly heal itself and I will not suddenly become tolerant of the various pharmaceuticals I have attempted to utilize for palliative relief. Further, my income will not support quarterly doctor visits.

Also, there is no sane physician (in my opinion, obviously) that will begin to discuss cannabis, let alone write a recommendation, given the veiled threat contained in the amendment.

Please, I beseech you, strike this amendment.

If you can’t see your way to that then I would ask you pool together for my bail. A little lawyer money would be nice too.

The bill passed out of Ways and Means the evening of 2/24 with amendment 411 (Written on lavender paper. I watched the hearing on CCTV). 411 amends the above mentioned requirements that I was concerned with.

2SSB 5073 (newly named) now moves on to the Senate Rules Committee.

Man, this thing scares the bejeezus out of me. 

(a later in the day update… oops)

From further investigation it appears the portion that would threaten a medical professional with sanction, if they make more recommendations than the DOH feels appropriate, was not struck from the bill. Now I’ve got a drawers full of “bejeezus!”

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