A legislative proposal to protect medical cannabis patients and collectives in Washington has been filed in the state’s House of Representatives, according to the nonprofit organization Sensible Washington.
Under the proposed law - House Bill 2233 - medical cannabis patients would finally receive defined arrest protection, as would medical cannabis collectives who receive a simple business license from the state. The measure was formulated by Sensible Washington in conjunction with Americans for Safe Access.
The measure, which is sponsored by Representatives Sherry Appleton, Luis Moscoso, Roger Freeman and Jessyn Farrell, has been assigned to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.
The bill is necessary given that under current Washington State law, although medical cannabis is “legal”, the possession, cultivation and use of cannabis is only an “affirmative defense” for patients, meaning that they can technically still be charged with a crime.
A different medical cannabis proposal - House Bill 2149 - has also been assigned to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, though medical cannabis advocates are staunchly opposed to it, given that it would negatively alter numerous aspects of the state’s medical cannabis law, including reducing the cultivation limit to 3 plants, down from 15, and forcing all patients to join a mandatory registry to receive legal protection.
House Bill 2233 would provide arrest protection to any individual who receives a recommendation from a physician, with no requirement of joining a registry. The current possess limit of 24 ounces, and the cultivation limit of 15 plants, would remain unaltered.
The full text for House Bill 2233 can be viewed by clicking here.
Those in Washington State who support protecting medical cannabis should contact their district’s legislators – which they can look up by clicking here - to urge them to support House Bill 2233.