Oly Update: Regulate & Tax Marijuana Bill Gets a Hearing; Sen. Committee to Vote on Medical Cannabis Bill

Monday, February 7, 2011

HB 1550: Regulate and Tax Marijuana Bill Gets a Hearing

Tomorrow, the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee will hear testimony on HB 1550. The hearing will occur at 10:00am in Hearing Room A of the John L. O'Brien Building in Olympia, WA. Click here for directions.

HB 1550 would regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older. Marijuana production and sales would be regulated by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. It would save significant taxpayer dollars and create hundreds of millions in new revenue.

It’s time we start treating adult marijuana use a public health issue instead of a crime. Our blanket prohibition on marijuana means our increasingly scarce law enforcement resources are wasted pursuing nonviolent adult marijuana users, rather than combating violent crimes.  

If you can’t make it to Olympia for the hearing, it will be telecast on TVW. You can access TVW’s live webcasts here

SB 5073: Senate Committee to Vote on Medical Cannabis Bill:

The Senate Committee on Health and Long-Term Care will vote on Monday afternoon, whether to advance SB 5073, the Medical Use of Cannabis Act. This legislation would provide qualifying patients protection from arrest for their medical use of cannabis, and give law enforcement a bright line with comprehensive regulation of the production and dispensation of medical cannabis. If the bill is passed by the committee, it will move on to the Senate Rules Committee.

Newspapers from across the state have come out in support of this legislation, including the Tri-City Herald, Seattle Times, and the Olympian. As an opinion piece in Tacoma's The News Tribune put it, “SB 5073 would bring clarity and order to a situation badly in need of both.”