Officials seek public input on medical marijuana

August 20, 2007

M. Alexander Otto, Tacoma News-Tribune (WA)

The Washington State Department of Health is looking for public input on what constitutes a 60-day supply of medical marijuana.

Officials also want to hear the public’s ideas about how patients can gain access to adequate and safe sources of medical marijuana.

The department is looking for answers to those questions because the state Legislature earlier this year asked officials to make new rules on those two topics in an effort to smooth access for sick people to medical marijuana, which Washington voters legalized in 1998.

"We want to hear from anyone interested in the topic,” said Blake Maresh, who is directing the rules effort for the agency.

The rules, due next year, are ultimately to be based on research, expert advice, public input and the best practices of other states.

The plant helps fight nausea and pain in people sick with multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses.

The public can submit comments to medicalmarijuana@doh.wa.gov.

Public workshops will also be in Seattle, Spokane, Yakima and Vancouver in mid-September.

The Seattle workshop is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Following the workshops, the draft rules will be filed, and formal, public hearings on them will take place.

The state’s medical marijuana Web site has updates on how the rule-making is going, the schedule for the public hearings, and other issues related to the medical use of marijuana at www.doh.wa.gov/medicalmarijuana.

You can also submit comments there, and read those left by others.



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