WA House passes medical marijuana measure

April 03, 2007

, Associated Press

In Olympia tonight ... the state House passed a measure clarifying the state's medical marijuana law and addressing supply issues.

But medical marijuana advocates and patients opposed to the measure argue it does nothing to help them.The measure passed on a 64 to 30 vote. It requires the state Department of Health to determine the quantity of marijuana that could reasonably be considered a 60-day supply.

The bill passed the Senate last month, but since it was amended in the House, it must go back to the Senate for concurrence.

The executive director of CannaCare ... Steve Sarich ... says that doctors, not the state, should determine the supply a patient needs. CannaCare is a medical marijuana advocacy group.

Initiative 692 passed with 59 percent voter approval in 1998. It gives doctors the right to recommend ... but not prescribe ... marijuana for people suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and other conditions that cause "intractable pain."

But state law limits the amount of marijuana an individual can possess for medical use to a 60-day supply. People found with marijuana can still be arrested, but if they prove it's for medicinal purposes they can avoid being charged with a crime in the state system. That does not protect them from federal prosecution, however.

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