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Quit Blaming I-502 For F**ked-Up Washington Medical Marijuana


washington state marijuana regulationsOnce again, my latest writing on the state of Washington medical marijuana has brought out the chorus of howler monkeys, flinging their poo and screeching about how awful I am.  After paragraph upon paragraph littered with ad hominem gems like “Rectal Russ” and “Radiated Russ”, a couple of look-at-this-asshole childishly-captioned photos of me, and, of course, a Godwin’s-Law-confirming allusion to Hitler, their eventual point comes down to how Washington State medical marijuana was an utopia of caring and sharing until the shady legalizers and their greedy state accomplices came along with I-502 and ruined everything for medical marijuana.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have had it with being bullied by the medical marijuana crowd.  I still support everyone’s right to use marijuana and I have genuine sympathy and empathy for sick and disabled people facing marijuana prohibition.  But I am tired of patients and their advocates using their disability as a cudgel to beat back the rest of us who also suffer under prohibition because we’re “just getting high” – as if we deserve police attention and loss of liberty because our choice of cannabis use isn’t as desperate a measure as theirs.  They remind me of people who’d sympathize with the modestly-dressed rape victim more than the rape victim who was drinking and wearing a sexy outfit.  ”Well, if you didn’t want to be raped / arrested, you shouldn’t have worn a miniskirt / should have gotten a medical card.”  Sorry, I’m not going to be bullied by patients any more.  My right to use cannabis is just as legitimate as theirs and police abrogation of those rights is just as heinous for me as thee.

Fellas (and it’s almost exclusively fellas; ladies like Kari Boiter and others seem to recognize political realities), quit trying to blame the massive clusterfuck of bullshit interpretations, loophole surfing, and wink-wink-nudge-nudge state of Washington medical marijuana on the people who succeeded in legalizing for those of us without a tear-jerking sob story we can use as an affirmative defense AFTER getting arrested. Regulated recreational marijuana is not to blame for sixteen years of unregulated medical marijuana.  Political naivete, utopian navel gazing, inflated sense of importance, and failure to craft reasonable regulations for medical marijuana for SIXTEEN YEARS are to blame.

SIXTEEN YEARS of “Sensible” Washington fucking around in off-year and off-off-year election cycles, blowing hot air about just repealing all marijuana laws and trusting the legislature to write regulations (the same legislature all the medmj patients hate now, yeah), pretending they can get enough signatures with hippie-dippie-yippie volunteer efforts, no significant funding, and zero political support. Maybe if they weren’t all a bunch of TILTers (Treat It Like Tomatoes believers), Washington could have gotten a better legalization on the ballot in prior years and passed it, instead of leaving a leadership vacuum to be filled by a drinker from the ACLU and a California consultant who has never believed state legalization can work.

SIXTEEN YEARS of opposing even the most modest of regulations, like a voluntary patient registry, not mandatory like most of the states, but voluntary. A registry that would have actually finally provided patients protection from arrest if they chose to register – something the Washington medmj leaders decried as akin to “a sex offender registry” – a registry, if it existed now, would have kept the ten patient collective gardens legal.

SIXTEEN YEARS of playing the wink-wink-nudge-nudge game has its effects on the politics of the matter, too. Washington clearly never legalized dispensaries, so folks started gaming the system, cheating the “one patient at one time” laws that were clearly intended to be “caregiver-like” – a personal relationship where one adult legitimately cares for the health of another too sick to do so alone. When that bullshit tactic is called out, Sen. Kohl-Welles tries to get 5073 passed to actually regulate dispensaries and create a registry. Who was out there castigating Sen. Kohl-Welles, calling for her resignation, saying she wants patients “registered like sex offenders” and these dispensaries would “destroy medical marijuana”? The same greedy idiot medical-marijuana-profiteering bastards who opposed I-502!

Now, if your argument is that we never should have passed I-502 because it would destroy Washington’s medmj, you have to assume that Washington’s medmj wasn’t already in the process of falling apart of its own accord. How long do you think US Attorneys Durkin and Ormsby wait before raiding “Bob’s Collective Garden Storefront Emporium” if I-502 loses? Do you think any of Washington’s medical marijuana “leaders” would have fallen in line to help create a sensibly regulated medmj system to be in place to seamlessly integrate with a future, say 2016 legalization? Horsefeathers! In that SIXTEEN YEARS of medical marijuana, about 80,000 healthy marijuana consumers did at least one day in jail and earned a criminal record in Washington State because they had no sob story. In 2012, there were 5,531 prosecutions for 40g or less in Washington, in 2013, that number fell to 120.

It’s telling to me that Oregon had a somewhat similar path but far better results. We had no dispensaries and soon emerged a wink-wink-nudge-nudge dispensary system. But instead of fighting every effort to rein it in, we twice fought to put initiatives on the ballot to regulate it. Even though defeated, we showed the public and lawmakers we were interested in legitimacy, not loopholes. Thus we get our legislature crafting a decent dispensary law and we’re well poised to integrate that with legalization we’ll pass in 2016 (a decent legalization put together by tokers, not drinkers, in marijuana reform, not the ACLU, who have proven year after year that they listen to political realities and understand that unlike tomatoes, weed can get you high.)

It’s also telling to me that Colorado consistently crafted the most expansive regulations in medical marijuana and now their recreational marijuana is rolling out just fine and their medical marijuana patients aren’t complaining about it, as their system still hums along, too.

As for I-502 “destroying” Washington medical marijuana, let’s keep in mind that:

  • Washington patients caught in public possessing an ounce or less are now guaranteed to be free from arrest, thanks to I-502 (medmj provides no arrest protection in Washington);
  • Washington patients driving around with more than an ounce are no longer threatened by the alert of a drug dog, thanks to I-502;
  • Washington patients are still allowed to possess more than an ounce of marijuana (up to a pound and a half, I believe, the greatest limit in the country), something that’s a felony for healthy people;
  • Washington patients are still allowed to grow their own marijuana at home (which I believe is still 15 mature plants, the greatest limit in the country), something healthy people under I-502 aren’t allowed to do;
  • Washington patients will finally have a legitimate, legal place to shop for marijuana, thanks to I-502 (yeah, it will be taxed and more expensive than a wink-wink-nudge-nudge “designated provider” or “collective garden”… just like a TV costs more at Best Buy than from a guy in the alley who got it when it “fell off a truck”… gosh, if only there were a voluntary registry that would have kept those collective gardens legal!)

I feel for actual, legitimate medical marijuana patients as much as anyone. That’s why I’m so shocked they would continue to follow leaders that continually get them fucked over in every way possible.  Leaders who made such hyperbolic predictions as “10,000 marijuana DUIDs” and “shooting hippie fish in a barrel as they leave Hempfest” with the new I-502 5ng per se DUID law, and ”Unless you bought that ounce at a state-licensed store, you’d still get busted,” when in fact, DUIDs are down in Washington State post-I-502, there were fewer DUI arrests outside of Hempfest post-I-502, hundreds who were tested were “below the limit” and could argue that in court, and nobody possessing an ounce or less, store-bought or not, has been arrested.  But then again, who really wants to argue with their dealer and possibly mess up the supply?

Source: National Cannabis Coalitionmake a donation


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. OHDisqusNSA666100 on

    Opponents of I-502 (not patients) are saying that recreational marijuana smokers should go to jail – they just are not directly saying it.
    I respect the intellectual courage of prohibitionists who at least admit they are prohibitionists.

  2. OHDisqusNSA666100 on

    You raise the false choice of all vs. nothing, knowing that nothing would be the result, yet you would have us believe you are for the “all”.

  3. OHDisqusNSA666100 on

    Shame on you for posting a comment without reading the article, as you admit.

  4. OHDisqusNSA666100 on

    I-502 brings far greater liberty than arresting marijuana smokers did.
    Before I-502, medical marijuana patients could be arrested, and merely had a medical defense they could assert in court, with no guarantee.

  5. OHDisqusNSA666100 on

    The bitter pseudo-prohibitionist profiteers off the current loophole-based system, by dominating the opposition to the 502 initiative, probably helped it pass.

  6. OHDisqusNSA666100 on

    That is not true, by smoking weed you are helping to create the market for weed.
    Smoking weed absolutely is not opposed to the idea of legalizing weed.

  7. So you’d prefer to devolve this into a semantic discussion over what the word “comment” is NOT defined as… That’s called a negative argument, which cannot prove anything. Like a stone you claim prevents dinosaur attacks.

    And no, I’m not whining, I’m still laughing at you.

    First of all, you tell me how little you care in your fifth paragraph. Five paragraphs. Apparantly, you care a lot.

    Second, this sentence just makes me cry for you:
    “No, I don’t have a factual contradiction to your argument/opinion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with your perspective and am not entitled to my own.”
    Let’s just ignore all the painful double-negatives, for the moment. This is all you had to say — you don’t have anything except your OPINION, which you feel you cannot, should not, and will not defend with anything concrete. Clearly, you think you’re entitled to discuss ANY subject and voice your “opinion,” but you got butt-hurt because I required you to actually back it up, rationally. Well, tough.

    Finally, to answer the most important question: No, you don’t have the same right to drive the discussion as I do. Why not? Because you weren’t the person who made the original comment I replied to. You replied to me. That means you want to discuss the topic that I was discussing. If you’re not being fallacious by running from the topic you’re not capable of discussing with anything other than guess-work and uninformed, non-fact opinions, then clearly you’re just being arrogant and rude by trying to change the subject in a REPLY. Like I said before, you should make a stand-alone comment when you have ZERO intention (whether you’re rude or just stupid) of discussing the subject of the comment to which you replied.

    You don’t jump into conversations in real life with the intent of changing the subject, do you? Because that’s incredibly rude.

    Don’t reply to a comment if (a) you don’t want to discuss what’s in it, (b) what you have to say is lofty and shamefully unsupported, and or (c) you’re an arrogant, childish ass. Lots of (c)’s make comments all the time. They, at least, have the sense to not dump their two-cents (which is a gracious appraisal of your “opinion”) into a reply — they are capable of putting their nonsense into a comment that DOES NOT get sent to me by email. Replies to my comments DO get sent to me, however. So next time you feel like dropping a warm load of opinion and flinging it on the Weed Blog like a chimp at the zoo, don’t put it into a reply. Make your own comment that I can happily ignore. You have every right to be an idiot, Ken — just don’t force others to smell the stupid wafting from you.

  8. Washington dispensaries was the topic of the original article, which I read along with the entirety of the comment you replied to, as well as your comment and subsequent replies. You are mistaken if you think I was somehow unaware of the topic here. It’s pretty blatantly obvious, and the perspective from which I addressed it should be just as readily apparent.

    You know as much about my education as I know about yours. If you are indeed educated, you should know how far assumptions and generalizations will get you. You can say no one does this and no one does that all you want, but reality speaks for itself.

    I never said I didn’t want to discuss what was in your comment. You control the direction of these conversations just as much as I do, so the fact that I “veered off,” as you put it, is about as relevant as my mentioning that you’re currently veering the conversation in yet another direction by beating the relevance of my comments to death.

    Again, your mistake was taking my comment as an argument against your comment rather than my opinion about what you said. No, I don’t have a factual contradiction to your argument/opinion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with your perspective and am not entitled to my own. You see, changing the subject is only fallacious if it’s used in an argument, not casual opinions.

    As far as your personal preferences on which cliches to use and not use, I really couldn’t care less. I’m going to go ahead and assume (hopefully not in error) that, as the erudite individual you claim to be, you realize the fallacious nature of generalizing everyone who uses a particular cliche.

    Also, I’d like to inform you that the word comment is not defined as “a rational disagreement,” thus comments do not require disagreement on a rational basis as you seem to erroneously believe. I did discuss what you said in your comment and simply offered my opinion of it.

    You clearly didn’t like my opinion and are now essentially whining because I don’t agree with you. Well, tough. Get over yourself. Or don’t, as I’m sure you’re probably already pulling another one of those pro tips out of your ass. I’m guessing you’re going to say there’s something wrong with the cliche “Get over yourself.” this time.

  9. God bless I-502. Now lets clean up the walking trash downtown and we’ll finally be a progressive city.

  10. ConcernedMD on

    A patient sent me this misdirected rant directed at “medical cannabis” users and I was compelled to respond. As a MD who evaluates patients for medical cannabis recommendations in WA, I can assure you that the patients I have seen over the past two years do not simply come to me to access “recreational” cannabis. Uniformly, these are people are in real need – your family members and neighbors – who have turned to this miracle plant because conventional mainstream medicine has failed them. I have seen amazing results in people with cancer, AIDS, seizure disorders, PTSD, ulcerative colitis and IBS, pain relief, and psych problems of all kinds – just to name a few items. For these people – indeed, for anyone reading these words – cannabis is medicine and should not be trivialized by attacking its use as such. In spite of the claims by Mr. Belville, 502 was a BAD decision for dealing with this issue. Period.

    The dust has not settled on this and we are now facing significant restrictions on the medical cannabis side of the issue here in WA state by next year. The Corporatist State will not rest until it reinstates draconian restrictions and taxation on this natural medicinal plant. Many of my patients will be priced out of cannabis use altogether under present plans and we will see good medical dispensaries disappear from the scene unless there is some last minute change.

    Cannabis should be legal and cheap. Period.

  11. Wow… I didn’t *just* bring up Washington dispensaries — they were the subject of the initial comment YOU replied to, which tells me you didn’t bother to read it. BTW, no one says “argumentum ad hominem” unless they just finished reading the wiki on it, which tells me loads about your, ehem, “education.”

    So tell me, if you didn’t want to discuss what was in my comment, why would you reply to it? Why else would you veer off into another direction, altogether? Simple — like I said, you couldn’t disagree with what I said, so you wanted to change the subject.

    This is obviously your first week on the internet, so I’ll give you a few pro tips:

    1. Don’t start anything with “NEWSFLASH” — ever.
    2. People who say “it’s a free country” are idiots who can’t defend their own actions and statements, retrospectively.
    3. If you’re not going to disagree on a rational basis, no need to comment at all.
    4. If you don’t want to discuss what was in a comment, don’t reply to one, make some nonsense comment of your own.

  12. uhm, not sure what all the hoopla is about, the legislators in Washington State couldn’t figure one thing out to do with mmj. they did nothing, so what is all this craziness. 502 doesn’t ban collective gardens and the state assembly has done nothing to change the current mmj laws. even if they do in the next session it won’t take effect till sept-nov of 2016. i have spent more than a couple hours with attorneys and advisors concerning this issue and nothing has changed other than recreational use has been confirmed, licenses “sold”, companies registered etc. not one medical grow has been busted or shut down, not one medical dispensary has been shut.

  13. Nice assumptions and lacing of argumentum ad hominem throughout your reply. It really gives me a lot of confidence in your education. Unfortunately, you didn’t quite get the definition of “de facto” right when you tried to correct me, though. There’s in fact no stipulation requiring something to be unaddressed by law, statutory or otherwise, in order to be legally described as de facto. Take the de facto legalization of cannabis in The Netherlands, for example.

    I really wasn’t discussing dispensaries in Washington or arguing that they should or should’ve ever opened, so bringing them up in detail wouldn’t have really lent anything of value to my comment. The situation here is easy to understand and I agree with how things turned out, other than maybe wishing there had been clearer language in each law. I just don’t agree that there has to be a law making something legal in order for it to be legal. Free people aren’t required to have their every action approved by their government.

    Also, I’m sorry if I didn’t only bring up things you wanted brought up, but you don’t control this discussion and get to decide what we talk about. I’m not required to only talk about what you or other people previously brought up. Maybe /you/ weren’t discussing the government’s hypocrisy, but I still decided to bring it up. It’s a free country, so whine about it some more.

    Newsflash: I wasn’t really arguing with you either. I simply offered my opinion about what you said. If I disagreed with you on a rational basis, I would’ve explicitly addressed the specific point you made that I took difference on and offered evidence to support my views.

    As I just said, I don’t necessarily disagree with the way things have played out in Washington or that their navigation of dispensary legislation was right and DEFINITELY wasn’t trying to suggest people in Georgia would support anything, at all. I also definitely never said or implied that what happened in Washington could, or would, work, or should be done, anywhere else.

    Your assumptions and ad hominem really aren’t compelling. You can insult me and assume all you want about what or how I think, or do for a living, but it really isn’t going to help get your opinions across any better or make me any more inclined to agree with them. I get that there’s no accountability being a random anonymous commenter online, but you’d think you might at least want people to respect your opinions and give them equal consideration to their own. You’re not going to get that by lacing your replies with silly insults.

  14. LOLOLOL. “It’s called liberty” made me choke on my soda. Sorry, but you’re only going to convince the low-hanging fruit falling from the Tea Party tree with that vague tripe. Spoken like a graduate from the Donald Rumsfeld school of “How to Get Away With It.” I’m impressed you almost know what “de facto” means. It usually pertains to a subject that hasn’t had a law put specially on the books, that often isn’t addressed at all, like the legality of flying UAV craft by remote. No laws were specifically made for those. No one sat down to figure out what the regulations should be — that’s what “de facto” means, legally speaking.

    Which is where your example crumbles. You see, they DID sit down to talk about the regulations that should exist for the legal medical cannabis industry. After an agreement was made in which dispensaries were CUT from the law in a compromise, other graduates from the Rumsfeld school said “Hey, I think I know how we can get away with this.” I’ve read all about the tenuously legal dispensaries, that you’re so determined to NOT discuss in detail.

    BTW, getting “batshit technical” would imply you’re gong to be specific and less general, perhaps more concrete with your point, and yet, you decide to veer off into another avenue we weren’t discussing. No one brought up the government hypocrisy of the classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, buddy. We’re talking about the tenuous legality of dispensaries in Washington State law.

    So here’s another latin term for you: ignoratio elenchi — changing the subject to win the argument. Problem is, you didn’t make an argument. You screamed LIBERTY and almost immediately wanted to talk about the injustice of cannabis being a Schedule I substance, simply because you can’t justify the childish way in which Washington State set a BAD example for the rest of the nation with their pseudo legal dispensary scheme. Yes, scheme. A scheme I said would never work in my part of the country. You didn’t even *attempt* to describe a situation in which the people in the state of Georgia would go for such a con job, which was the crux of my argument — Washington’s wink-wink model won’t work anywhere else, and it never should have been done in Washington, either. Balancing the needs of patients on the head of a pin was stupid and wrong.

    With geniuses like yourself on point for those ILLEGAL dispensaries, it’s no wonder they’re getting shut down. Stick to your day job, which is obviously not related to legal matters.

  15. cannabischronicles on

    Im just a pot smoking kid and i dont know alot about the 502 act but if your gonna complain about cannabis just grow to yourself. Then you’ll look like cheech and chong with big bags of weed. And then i wont go on the internet see a huge complaint on how our government sucks Tonka trucks. Be your own individual cuz most likely our shithole oh a government isnt going to do anything about it.

  16. It’s called liberty, not legal gymnastics. This is just a great example of how perverted the ideal of freedom becomes the further east you go. You seem to think there needs to be a law saying you can do something before you have the liberty to do it, which is completely ass-backwards. If there’s not a law explicitly stating something is illegal, then it’s not illegal. It’s really not a new concept either, as there’s even a Latin term, de facto, to describe situations where legal precedent exists contrary to regulation or statute. Commerce is regulated, not established, by law. Commerce is a natural right.

    I mean, if you want to get that batshit technical, if anything’s tricking you and pulling the wool over your eyes, it’s the federal government claiming marijuana has no medicinal value despite a majority of doctors affirming that it does indeed have medicinal properties warranting further consideration. It’s the fact that even with your law explicitly defining and allowing “dispensaries,” you’re still, in fact, a bunch of criminals under the law. Even if your state explicitly legislates that you have the liberty to have these special stores where only marijuana and marijuana related merchandise is sold, you’re just tricking yourself into believing you actually have some liberty.

  17. AaronKightlinger on

    Something that needs to be pointed out: If you’re in Washington, and you’re smoking cannabis, you’re not supporting I-502. That big “legalization day” party under the Space Needle earlier this year? Not a single gram of “legalized” I-502 cannabis was consumed. Seems like a severe lack of integrity and respect.

  18. This is why I’m band from most political meetings. They work for YOU. If they do not do as YOU would like them to. THEN FIRE THEM!!!!!!!
    The people elected them so what’s the problem?

  19. Over 90% of people that read Kevins book or goes to a SAM conference becomes anti marijuana.

  20. Forget about I-502. At least I-502 allows you to possess and buy it. Its Patrick Kennedy who wants to REPEAL I-502 AND Medical Marijuana that you should be worried about.

  21. Honestly, I’m not Russ’s biggest fan. We’ve had words…

    But in this case, the more I consider it, he’s right — opening dispensaries that depended upon blatant legal loophole exploitation (the “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” model) was not a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, because I firmly support what medical cannabis dispensaries do for the disabled who cannot grow their own. I simply don’t support the legal gymnastics, if only because it balanced the safe access patients need on the head of a pin.

    If/when my state legalizes for medical use, if we don’t get dispensaries explcitly in the law, I surely do hope no one tries what Washington tried — exploiting loopholes like that is something only disingenuous people do, around here. All the efforts by local activists would be undermined if the legislature thought the wool was being pulled over their eyes.

    Some people still think medical cannabis is simply a ruse for recreational users. The way dispensaries were tenuously justified in Washington would be viewed here, in Georgia, as an underhanded scheme. We call that “pulling a fast one.” It may have worked in the Pacific Northwest, but in the Southeast, it would never fly. That sort of arrangement wouldn’t propel any full legalization efforts in the future — it would undermine legalization efforts, severely. No one likes being tricked, around here.

  22. Mj will remain illegal to pay the cops, to pay the courts, to pay the prison industry, to pay for the instant cash-cow communities which spring from the new prisons, their schools, infrastructure, and false sense of well being. We imprison more people per capita than China….victimless crime is an economic winner.

  23. You are so divisive Russ. You have become such an I-502 fanboy with your fat ego in defending all the garbage and chaos that it has caused in Washington State, trying to use semantics and defense mechanisms to try to make the bill look nearly flawless. You have dove so far deep into it you forgot what most of the people in the movement have been fighting for.

  24. Do you spell like that when posting on NW Leaf? Print is dying and so is reading, which accounts for the bad spelling. This site has millions of viewers, worldwide.

  25. I envy your state sarijuana
    , I always thought, take care of the sick people first, why should sick people be put in jail. In time, short time the disbielievers would realize it’s no big deal, and so forth, all would get the medical benefits. Florida is still waiting and the bickering is not pretty for Washington. I think it hurts all of us

  26. Why not just let everyone grow their own, and pharmaceutical companies can start to research real medicine, and cops go after real criminals.
    Oh yeah and all politics to be conducted on air and be taped. Why not? What happened to the healing of all nations, why is it us and them, not we

  27. Russ yes med marajuana help get marajuana legal. But med marajuana people need to realize is that with out completely legal marajuana the state could very easily vote it out. How about this med people stop being selfish. Your just mad because you had to pay for a license. By the way I’m from mi. And I suffer back pain every day I don’t take pain pills and I don’t use cannabis because our Med. laws suck there is not e ough protection from cops who want to make a name for themselves they even lie to get med cards. Russ this isn’t being directed at you. But cured cooperative your just selfish.

  28. Cured Cooperative on

    Russ it’s a fact that without medical cannabis i-502 would not have passed. Medical Cannabis showed people that having cannabis stores would not effect their communities nearly as much as the prohibitionists lead everyone to believe.

    The people who wrote and pushed i-502 capitalized off softened attitudes towards having legalized cannabis which was directly related to having a majority of responsible dispensary owners.

    Now these same people and their minions want to destroy thousands of jobs, hundreds of stores, and many people’s income so their crony’s can run the new show. This is the reason many loyal patients and MMJ workers are pissed Russ. The LCB tried to shut down patient’s medical supply without having a new supply ready. They bungled this, not the MMJ community.

    Who pays you Russ?

  29. Uncle Arthur on

    I’m a fan, Jay. I love the Weed Blog and appreciate WB giving me the chance to opine.

  30. I’m the northwest leaf has a distribution of 20,000 the weed blog has millions of monthly views

  31. Dale Meltzer on

    Also no one reads this crappy website. Never even heard of it until just now…they say print is dieing but NW Leaf has more readers than this site…

  32. Dale Meltzer on

    You might as well have said “co authored by Senator Rivers”. Yeah let’s stereotype all patients. You know their were hundreds of patients on their death bed angry about the LCB recommendations? We can have two coexisting systems. It was the LCB, and their shitty recommendation that started this fight. Tell senator rivers I say “hey, I’ll be waiting for you in Olympia. We (as in my friends, my collective down the street from the Capitol, and all our patients) will be ready for your bill. Also, we already are getting commitments from your own party to vote against anything like sb 5887.”

  33. Why are you so obsessed with attacking people in Washington State? Must pay well or something. I have not heard a single patient declare that recreational users should go to jail. You keep attacking us, then you write articles about us attacking you. Don’t you have something better to do with your time? Either move here or shut the hell up. It’s getting old.

  34. “you medical marijuana people…” ? Really? All of us? Take a breath buddy. I bet I’m not the only person that takes offense at blanket statements like that. It’s like saying “All you white people are…” or “All you women are…”

    Not everything is black and white like that, Russ.

    I understand you are fed up with some shit, but really…take an effing breath and step back a bit. It sure looks like you are very satisfied with “dividing” when making statements like that. I never liked the “we’re patients, not criminals” campaigns either. It’s a bunch of crap. But so is that opening statement of yours.

  35. Let’s keep it civil, please. I encourage open discussion, not personal attacks. Take your anger out on Kevin Sabet, he really deserves it!


  36. Thanks, Russell, and I have on numerous occassions detailed the problems with I-502. They all pale in comparison to a free ride in a cop car, trust me. That’s part of my thesis, that Washington ended up with shitty legalization because for SIXTEEN YEARS most of the marijuana advocates there were either trying to game the medical system or proposing pie-in-the-sky legalization that never got anywhere.

  37. at least there not like Montana.us Medmj are legalized to ‘get’the medicine,but no money transferred.U can grow up to 3 plants,or a ounce.but u still pay for the seed and care.makes no sence.alot of us went rogue,because of the ‘new’ law.it may of been ‘out of control’before the new law’s in 2011.we could at least get what medicine we required to treat our illnesses.now you get what the despencery’s have on hand.made a lot of us a grower.at least we can get the kind of strain we need,not just garbage.p.s. there isn’t a patient I’ve ever known make a profit.we are there to help people.(unlike the government)

  38. Yeah, ad hominem attacks are usually the last refuge of the factless.

    Care to refute my analysis with reason or logic, or is parroting some insult from your blogmaster the best you can muster?

    Talk about clueless:
    1) Fight against a voluntary patient registry that would finally protect patients from arrest, because it’s “like a sex offender registry”;
    2) Continue operating a dispensary by loopholing it as a “collective garden” for ten people at a time;
    3) Sue the city of Kent when they ban “collective gardens”, despite not having standing to sue since you’re not a resident;
    4) Get two levels of courts to declare all “collective gardens” illegal because they must consist of patients listed on a registry that you fought so hard against in Step 1)

    Yeah, I’m the enemy here. Keep following the clueless idiots claiming to have patients best interests at heart.. they’ve done wonders for you so far!

  39. 2012 = 5,531 healthy pot smokers getting at least one day in jail and a criminal record for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

    2013 = 120.

    You medical marijuana people act as if you’re the only ones who suffer under prohibition. You sit on your high horse of sympathy for disability to cast aspersions on those of us who “choose to get high”. We recreational users (aka 90% of the pot users) voted en masse for every medical marijuana law ever, only to get shivved by the “I Gots Mine” crowd in California in 2010 and Washington in 2012.

    “Dividing the people” was started by the medical marijuana advocates in 1996 when they decided to only fight for the politically expedient and socially acceptable pot smokers and compromised to only fight for exceptions to criminal prosecution. They further established the theme that there’s something criminal about pot smoking, exemplified by the protest chant, “We’re Patients, Not Criminals.”

  40. Russell Orsborn on

    If we can just let MMJ patients grow their own, I am not really into the profit off of patients model, but it appears that many are not happy to compete with people who know what they are doing and provide it for themselves. most patients simply don’t want to “buy”, “recreational marijuana” for medical purposes, are you going to force me to buy arnica from your Herb store next, Why can’t i just grow my own and not have to give 502 companies money, go ahead and sell all you want to recreational or whomever. I can get Aspirin, Tylenol, Alleve at a grocery store, and people die from that crap all the time, I am not forced to but it at a dispensary/pharmacy, let’s sell recreational marijuana at the grocery store, right beside the booze, and we won’t have to worry about all those companies opening to jump on the greedy bandwagon, how’s that fucking sound. no more 502 recreational stores, bet there would be some pissed off people there. So, Mr Belville, maybe try covering the truth about this whole thing, instead of just the vision of what’s happening from your chair.

  41. Russ, you nailed it. Keep up the good work. The philosophy of “mj is ok for medical but recreational users still go to jail” is bogus, which is why 502 passed in WA. The recent Kent court decision, (stating all medical mj collective gardens are illegal) is extremely unsettling. This is something the legislature could fix, if there were political will to do so. I have faith in the calmer voices, the cooler heads that occupy the halls of the WA State Capital buildings. l want WA to have both a recreational system and a medical system, and home grows for all. Will it be another 16 years before that is realized? Time will tell.

  42. Russ did not compare patients to rape victims. He said “remind me of people who’d sympathize with the modestly-dressed rape victim more than the rape victim who was drinking and wearing a sexy outfit.” You know, as if there’s a difference. There is no difference – rape is rape. He’s arguing against the philosophy of mj is ok for medical, but recreational users still go to jail.

  43. Ranting Russ may be appropriate, and that’s ok! Good rant. I totally agree. Coming from a state that put huge regulations in place at the start that are being adjusted over time, (upping the quantities individuals can grow, upping the quantities that growers/dispensaries can grow and process, adding qualifying conditions), we see a program that is working, for the most part, and without incidents that will impair the ability to finally legalize weed in the future. We have a “free” mandatory patient registry controlled by the Health Dept. and the sky hasn’t fallen here. It promised to be confidential, and so far I don’t know of one incident where it hasn’t been. It isn’t really that hard to create laws that will work and benefit full legalization in the future. Yes – it’s harder to deal with if you live in rural areas and can’t travel, but people have learned to work around it with the permission for “care givers”. Yes – there have been shortages but the numbers are changing. Yes – there are patients still in need that don’t have a “qualifying condition, but that’s moving forward too, and most any debilitating condition can fall into the chronic pain category. Yes – the price is sometimes the same as the black market, but that will change over time as well.

    This legislative session, our legislators decided NOT to put legalization to the voters in 2014. Disappointing, but understandable. They are waiting and watching Washington and Colorado, and fine tuning working the MMJ program. And I’m sure some of our lawmakers are watching Washington right now are saying, “whew, I’m glad we didn’t screw it up like they’re doing up there”. I predict NM will legalize in 2016.

    Go ahead and bash me now. I’ll just go spark a bowl and say, “whatever”. I understand your grief and dismay at regulation, but it isn’t the end all.

  44. more lies and misinformation from rectal russ. the poor guy is literally clueless. He clearly uses more than weed. he probably uses it to come down off of whatever he smokes when he writes these terrible articles. 95% of these guys like Russ that claim to be part of the “marijuana community” or “marijuana personalities” are nothing more than clueless broke peons.

    “writing political analysis for HIGH TIMES Magazine” I laughed so hard lol.

  45. I stopped reading after you compared medical patients to rape victims. And now you think that the fellas are the ones most after you? you’ve got a whole nother group coming now

  46. Chris Bornstedt on

    You want no resistance from MMJ people? Your seriously trying to blame medical patients? Makes you look like an ass, but that’s ok we live in America where every dumbass can say what they want and the writer if I had to guess must be writing this article on behalf of Senator Rivers. Ya let’s blame the sick people who are fighting for their rights because you want to open up a greedy I-502 store? Fuck off! You really want this to end? Then start pushing to Let ANYONE over the age of 21 to grow like in Colorado and problems will be solved for the most part! Legalize it like the people asked! When we voted for I-502 we were not voting to dismantle or add more regulations to the medical end of this that was done by greedy lawmakers who want to hijack and industry they did not build! They want to steal this from the people who created it and people who write story’s like this to divide the people should be ignored!

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