The Next Step For Medical Marijuana

1571 words - 6 pages

Washington was once of the first states to enact medical marijuana laws, but over time has allowed it laws to become stagnant and not accomplish what its original intent was, to increase the quality of life of its patients. The House and Senate are reviewing the medical marijuana laws, but citizens need to vocalize there support for these initiatives not only at the state level but at there respective local government. Many people may be worried about the expanding coverage of medical marijuana laws but through proper regulation the end result will provide for a safer environment for patients, citizens, and law enforcement, while weeding out the criminal element with ties to drug trafficking.
Medical marijuana has been on the books in Washington state since November 3, 1998. Although it is not technically legal by state law, the current legislation allows for affirmative defense. Under the original law a patient that met the criteria was allowed to possess and grow a 60 days supply with a doctors recommendation. It took 10 years before 60 days supply was defined senate bill 6023 mandated the Department of Health to "adopt rules defining the quantity of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be a sixty-day supply for qualifying patients." Washington State Department of Health, responded with a fixed number of 15 plants any stage of growth and up to 24 ounces of useable marijuana. Currently there is a ballot in both the senate and house that will make some much needed changes to current state of medical marijuana in Washington state. It would license dispensaries, allow for grow operations, protect University of Washington in conducting research, prevent eviction based on being a medical marijuana patient and protect parents from losing there children. These much needed amendments to the law will help patients to no longer feel as though they are being treat as a criminal.
Although marijuana is still considered a schedule one,meaning a drug with no medical benefit, drug in the federal governments eyes there has been progress made even there. President Obama issued an memorandum to the DEA and FBI stating that they should not prosecute individuals who are in compliance with there respective states laws. This does not prevent them from conducting investigations but cautions them that it is waste limited resource that could be used to target criminal organization such as the Mexican cartels, who are largely responsible for the illegal drug trade in the United States.
The state of Colorado has a very through medical marijuana program. One of there most recent changes allows for the operation of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. There is set conditions upon such as a dispensary can not be within 1000 feet of a school or daycare, and that they must cultivate at least 70% of the marijuana at there dispensary. Additionally it gives local government the ability to prohibit dispensaries in the community and also make allow for...

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