Send this Pre-Written Email to your Washington state Representatives telling them why House Bill 2058 is better than Senate Bill 5052

Regulating medical cannabis is a top priority for the Washington State Legislature in 2015. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) would like to see any licensing and oversight occur within a dedicated framework that is specifically designed to meet the needs of qualifying patients.

SB 5052, known as the “Cannabis Patient Protection Act,” passed on the Senate Floor on February 13. ASA agrees with patient advocates who feel this proposal is fundamentally flawed. In its current form, the bill does little to protect the rights of patients and instead proposes a hybrid approach to licensing and regulation through 502 producers, processors and retailers.

If signed into law as currently written, SB 5052 would be detrimental to medical cannabis access as we know it. In addition to eliminating critical legal protections and meddling with the doctor-patient relationship, SB 5052 would create a mandatory patient registry and significantly restrict operation of nearly all patient cooperatives. While medical cannabis would be exempt from sales tax applied in retail stores, patients would still pay inflated excise taxes.

Thankfully, there is a better solution available for regulating medical cannabis appropriately!

Representatives Luis Moscoso (D–Mountlake Terrace), Maureen Walsh (R–Walla Walla), and Sherry Appleton (D–Poulsbo) alternately proposed House Bill 2058 to build a solid framework for regulating medical cannabis that puts patients’ interests first. HB 2058 revives language first passed by the 2011 Legislature, but vetoed by then-Governor Christine Gregoire. HB 2058 would fully regulate the medical cannabis industry in Washington, while ensuring continued access to safe, affordable medicine and providing patients protection from discrimination.

ASA fully supports House Bill 2058 as the most practical solution for licensing medical cannabis producers, processors and dispensers. Timing is crucial, though. Patients and care providers must speak in unison to let our legislators know which bill we need them to rally behind.

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Send to:

Please use the template below to write an EMAIL to Representatives Moscoso and Walsh TODAY! Send your email to Maureen.Walsh@leg.wa.gov and Luis.Moscoso@leg.wa.gov and be sure to copy their Legislative Assistants, Skyler.Rude@leg.wa.gov and Rory.Paine-Donovan@leg.wa.gov.

But, that’s not all…
Once you’ve sent emails to Representative Walsh and Moscoso, encouraging them to keep standing tall for patients, be sure to sign the online petition to the entire Washington State Legislature, letting them know why House Bill 2058 Is the most practical solution.

Thanks for taking action to support medical cannabis patients in Washington!

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Email Template

Dear Representatives Walsh and Moscoso:

As you are aware, the Senate recently passed SB 5052, known as the “Cannabis Patient Protection Act,” in an attempt to reconcile Washington’s medical cannabis law with the recreational market. Despite its title, I am deeply concerned that this bill does not protect the rights or needs of patients with terminal or debilitating medical conditions. Instead, it contains several provisions that are detrimental to safe, affordable access patients need to stay healthy.

Perhaps most critical to patients with long term illness or chronic pain is the proposal to roll medical cannabis dispensaries into the I-502 recreational system. Under SB 5052, many of the best providers would be shut out of the regulated marketplace, and in some cases, patients would lose access entirely.

Additionally, SB 5052 would require patients and designated providers to join a costly and unnecessary registry, without the support of affirmative defense protections that have existed in our state since Washington’s first cannabis initiative passed in 1998.

As an advocate for medical cannabis patients,I implore you to continue to stand behind House Bill 2058. This bill provides a more practical framework that protects  access to medication that allows patients to lead healthy, productive lives.

HB 2058 revives legislation from 2011 that passed with bipartisan support and would:

  • Create a dedicated framework for licensing and oversight of experienced medical cannabis dispensaries, producers and processors
  • Provide definitive arrest protection for patients and providers who obtain a verification card from the Department of Health (DOH)
  • Maintain valid documentation from health care professionals as a mechanism for asserting affirmative defense in legal proceedingsEnshrine vital discrimination protections, on par with prescription drugs
  • Preserve the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationshipPreserve the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship
  • Maintain the 60-day supply as currently defined in RCW 69.51A
  • Enshrine vital discrimination protections, similar to prescription drugsEnshrine vital discrimination protections, on par with prescription drugs
  • Exempt medical products from inflated taxes applied to marijuana sold in retail stores.
  • Maintain the 60-day supply as currently definedMaintain the 60-day supply as currently definedAllow for limited operation of patient cooperatives (now known as collective gardens)

Please support House Bill 2058 and urge your caucus to seriously consider this bill as the best framework for medical cannabis legislation this session.

Patients are counting on your support.