Marijuana Dispensary laws left unclear in Washington
Proposal vetoes by Washington’s governor combined with a lack of general support during the legislative session has left Washington medical marijuana dispensary owners wondering.
Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Seattle, scrambled to push a series of proposals through the system before the end of the legislative session. One of which managed to make it all the way to Governor Chris Gregoire’s, but was struck down. This means that dispensary owners must wait for legislators to return to session before there is any clarity in the laws.
The haziness surrounding the medical marijuana laws in Washington has left dispensary owners and caregivers vulnerable to prosecution by the state. King County’s prosecutor Dan Satterberg believes the governor’s veto represents a huge step backward in medical marijuana legislation. "It put cops and prosecutors back in the position of trying to make this law work," he said. "That's not our role. If this has medical value, it should be dealt with by health care professionals."
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Arizona set to sue Federal Government over recognition of medical marijuana initiative
Tom Horne, The Arizona Attorney General, will file a federal lawsuit Friday asking for federal recognition of Arizona’s new voter-approved medical marijuana laws.
A letter sent by U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke is what initially sparked the lawsuit into action. In the letter Burke said, “Compliance with Arizona laws and regulations does not provide a safe harbor, or immunity from federal prosecution”.
Horne filled the suit in hopes to get federal ruling in his favor as well as get the Federal Government to recognize state’s medical marijuana laws. You can’t have people subject to two competing sovereignties – the state sovereignty that says it’s OK [and] the federal sovereignty that says it’s not OK, we’ll prosecute it,” said Horne.
Some states have halted their medical marijuana program all together in fear of threats by the U.S. Government. Arizona has chosen to take a neutral stance; not wanting to undo the will of the voters. The Arizona Department of Health believes that Burke’s threat of prosecution may deter people from participating in the medical marijuana program.
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