Letter Time!

The Washington State Legislature is currently in session. I sent off the following (email) several days ago to my two district Representatives and Senator. Interestingly, I got a response from one of the Reps. crew just a couple hours later (no other response at the time of this posting). Megan suggested I keep an eye on the Commerce and Gaming Committee in the House. Says the cannabis stuff goes through there. “Commerce and Gaming?” Huh. I dunno.

Anyway, the letter follows.

Good day staff.

Can HB 2629 be resurrected? Apparently it was “killed” in committee by former Rep. Hurst last year. Are there any other bills in the works that would provide for home cultivation of cannabis by adults?

Of the seven states (plus the D.C.) with provisions for recreational cannabis markets, only Nevada and Washington don’t allow home cultivation. I simply wished to point out we and Nevada are alone amongst the other states with sensible legislation on the books, before going forward.

Actually, I’m writing of the handicap Washington’s laws present to folks utilizing cannabis and or derived cannabinoids for medicinal purposes. Yes, there is a connection here, since SSB 5052 was passed and homologated into 69.51a in 2016.

You see the law now reads, (69.51A.030(2)(b)(i) “ In order to authorize for the medical use of marijuana under (a) of this subsection, the health care professional must have a documented relationship with the patient, as a principal care provider or a specialist, relating to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment or monitoring of the patient’s terminal or debilitating medical condition” (paraphrase).

This looks good on paper, but there is an unintentional repercussion. Prior to the passage of 5052 there was a health care professional model where physicians were practicing solely (or nearly so) for the purpose of assisting individuals in obtaining a medicinal cannabis recommendation. These practices no longer meet the letter of the law.

The fallout here is United States military veterans and/or other individuals subsisting on meager means and utilizing the Veterans Administration for their health care.

Though there have been bills in Congress that would allow V.A. doctors to discuss and even suggest cannabis as an alternative or adjunct medicament nothing (as of this writing) has come to pass. Therefore (in this state) these patients no longer have an avenue to legally provide themselves with cannabis: unless, of course, they patronize the company store as a recreational customer.

Remember, I used “meager means” above. The company store’s prices don’t align with “meager means.” I know for a fact an individual using only fluorescent shop lights, a couple of timers and 16 square feet of space can provide themselves with an ~ounce of usable material nearly monthly, with a six plant count. I know the cost for that ounce amortizes out to $20.00. That’s power, soft costs, etc. I’ve ran the numbers: done it.

A provision for home cultivation would allow many vets (though not all are able) the ability to legally provide themselves with the palliative herbal remedies they couldn’t financially support otherwise.

General and veteran health care, along with cannabis (in general), are hot topics these days both in the political and citizen arenas. I write urging you to address these issues with your boss. Heck, maybe even hand her this communiqué?



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