Policy Recommendations Washington

2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations

Washington has continued to see a slow decline of patients registered to its database. Although the data is not accessible to the public, regulators have made estimates of patient numbers available. These estimates have shown declining registrations year after year.

Washington State regulators are extending COVID-related allowances for marijuana curbside service, walk-up windows, hand sanitizer and mask giveaways and letting minors be present at cannabis businesses through April 30, 2022.

In 2022, ASA encourages Washington lawmakers to address the gaps in civil protections provided to patients in employment, DUI discrimination, and housing. Patients must be protected from facing discrimination in the workplace due solely to their status as a patient. This extends to barring employers from hiring/firing based on use and stopping employers from unfairly drug screening patients which the state of Washington currently does not protect. As it stands, patients can be denied housing solely based on their status as a patient. Patients must be able to take their medicine in the comfort of their own home without being able to worry about eviction. Additionally, the state must stop police officers from unfairly discriminating against patients with roadside sobriety tests. Based on their status as a patient, an individual should be exempt from any roadside test looking for impairment due to cannabis. Finally, lawmakers should identify strategies to overcome local resistance to extending legal medical access to patients because too many localities across the state have made access difficult for patients.