ann rivers

Washington: Youth Possession of Marijuana Now A Felony

TeenGirlArrestedHandcuffs

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Three teens in southeastern Washington state have been charged with felonies for simple marijuana possession, with the prosecutor saying a new law specifies the higher level of offense for those under 21.

The teens, aged 14, 15 and 17, were charged in Asotin County with felonies that could get them up to five years in prison apiece, reports The Lewiston Tribune.

Previous to the passage of Senate Bill 5052 in this year's session of the Washington Legislature, the same offense was just a misdemeanor with a maximum 90-day sentence.

SB 5052 contains the new language specifying youth possession of marijuana a felony offense, according to Asotin County Prosecutor Ben Nichols.

SB 5052 sponsor Ann Rivers (R-La Center), who many activists believe is personally responsible for the de facto elimination of access to medical marijuana in Washington state, claims the tougher penalty was designed to deter minors from trying "an adult drug."

But the specter of kids once again being charged with felonies for pot -- a bad flashback to the 1960s and 1970s, which is once again playing out in small Washington towns, thanks to the state's badly flawed, laughably weak "legalization" -- is so embarrassing that even the Governor's office felt it necessary to distance themselves from the destruction.

Washington: R76 NO Would Say NO To Ending Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

WashingtonMedicalCannabis[MarijuanaGrowersHeadquarters]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

According to Paul Stanford, who heads up the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) and The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF Clinics, which has authorized more patients in Washington than anybody else), which owns Hemp News, if 500 medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state contributed $1,000 apiece, a voter initiative or referendum could qualify for the ballot, potentially saving medical cannabis in the state.

According to Stanford, who has plenty of experience on the political scene, $500,000 is the minimum amount needed to gather enough signatures to qualify. Will Washington's medical marijuana community step up to the plate?

"It's a matter of survival," Stanford said. "The clock is ticking, and it's time for the leaders of Washington's medical marijuana community to step up and take action. CRRH supports the preservation of safe access for Washington state patients."

"We authorized about 35,000 patients last year in Washington State," Stanford said."History, we've helped about 100,000 patients in Washington State get their cards since 2003, when we started helping patients in Washington. We started in Oregon in 2001, and we had people coming to our clinics there saying 'We need a doctor in Washington.

"We want to uphold our responsibility to the patients of Washington," Stanford said. "We're going to have petitions in our offices for patients. We've pledged $1,000 to the campaign, and we're going to be donating more."

Washington: Gov. Inslee Signs Bill Eliminating Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

JayInsleeFrowns[GreenTechMedia]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday signed into law regulations which essentially eliminate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, along with the medicinal cannabis system as it's been known there since voters approved it back in 1998.

Purportedly an "overhaul" measure to subject medicinal cannabis to the licensing, testing, inspection, and tax requirements of the recreational side, the bill's actual intent and effect is to get rid of the pesky medical marijuana community, which has consistently outperformed the recreational I-502 cannabis outlets with better product and lower prices.

Patients who have for years enjoyed the ability to visit medical marijuana dispensaries where the employees themselves were also facing medical challenges, and had bothered to inform themselves about medicinal applications of cannabis, will now be forced into the recreational market, where the focus isn't on medicine and in fact where I-502 store employees are forbidden by law from even mentioning the medical applications of marijuana.

Plant counts for patients, in one fell swoop, are being reduced from 15 to 6. Dried marijuana limits are similarly being slashed from 24 ounces to 3 ounces per patient. Ironically, the 15 plants/24 ounces limits were themselves compromises reached a few years ago when the best scientific studies available showed more appropriate limits would be 71 ounces and 99 plants.

Washington: Lawmaker Proposes Removing Marijuana Flowers From Medical Dispensaries

AnnRivers(WAStateSenatorGOP-WAStateWire)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

One Washington state Republican lawmaker is proposing that medical marijuana dispensaries in the state stop selling marijuana. Wait, what?

Yes, state Sen. Ann Rivers -- who really should talk to some actual medical marijuana patients about their needs -- is proposing that dispensaries stop selling smokable dried cannabis flowers, reports Sarah Aitchison at the Puget Sound Business Journal. Her bill would limit medical dispensaries to cannabis-infused edibles and concentrates.

Rivers seems to be trying to find a middle ground between the complete elimination of patient collective gardens and dispensaries proposed by her Democratic counterpart, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, and continuing business as usual for the dispensaries, which are seen as competition by the recreational marijuana stores which have opened as I-502 is implemented.

"Recognizing the health concerns relating to smoking marijuana, the legislature intends to prohibit the sale of products that must be smoked at medical marijuana retail outlets," says a draft of the measure reports The Associated Press.

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