Senate Approves Rivers’ Patient-Focused Medical-Marijuana Bill
OLYMPIA, WA - The Senate
approved a measure Saturday that would set the necessary framework and oversight
surrounding medical marijuana to establish its place in the market alongside the
2012 voter-approved law allowing the recreational use of marijuana.
Rivers released this statement
following Saturday's vote:
bill is the result of a bicameral and bipartisan effort to remain
patient-focused while staying within the legal bounds of the recent federal
guidelines. The bill has evolved a lot thanks to the numerous
public hearings and helpful feedback received from patients and stakeholders.
it comes to voter-approved initiatives, it takes time to make sure it will work
for the people of the state – and this is something we will have to revisit and
adjust as time goes on. In fact, a bill
to set up a cannabis-industry committee was also approved by the Senate to bring
patients, health care professionals, stakeholders and legislators together to
continue work on this issue.
bill would set standards for possession amounts and types of useable marijuana,
as well as the number of marijuana plants allowed. It would establish a
medical-marijuana registry – something that has never existed – and patients and
designated providers would receive authorization cards to set them apart from
use of medical marijuana became legal in 1998, so I realize this bill would
create a big change for people who are used to it being unregulated. But by not
taking action to standardize quality and access, we are endangering patients who
truly need a safe, legal, and consistent source of medical
5887 passed with a 34-15 vote, meeting the two-thirds
approval requirement since the bill amends Initiative 502 within two years of
its approval by voters.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for
consideration before the Legislature adjourns Thursday.