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Medical Marijuana

A Guide to Washington's Medical Marijuana Law

Jul 17, 2015
Washington State voters passed the Medical Use of Marijuana Act in 1998 as a ballot initiative (I-692).  The information here provides a general explanation of the law. Read More »

Safe Access to Medical Marijuana: Federal Raids and a Governor's Veto Won't Solve the Problem

Today, two troubling news stories on medical marijuana are in the headlines in Washington. The first is the federal government's raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane. The second is Governor Gregoire's expected veto of SB 5073, the thoughtful and comprehensive medical marijuana bill passed by the state legislature with leadership from Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Rep. Eileen Cody. Read More »

Washington can't wait. Tell Gov. Gregoire to sign the medical marijuana bill.

Thanks to over 1600 emails from ACLU supporters like you, the medical marijuana bill has passed both houses of the Washington state legislature. After the final bill goes to the governor, it can become law with her signature. Tell Governor Gregoire to sign the medical marijuana bill. Read More »

Olympia, Stop the Raids on Sick People

Let’s be clear:Senate Bill 5073, the medical marijuana legislation moving through the state legislature, isn’t perfect.  Different stakeholders with different motivations have made a lot of changes to it along the way. It’s no one’s ideal bill. Read More »

We're winning! But medical marijuana patients need more help.

Thanks to over 800 emails from ACLU supporters like you, the medical marijuana bill has passed the Washington Senate, and is now in the House.

We still need your help to keep the bill moving. Currently, seriously ill patients are exposed to raids on their homes or forced into a dangerous black market to obtain medicine. Patients need safe access, and law enforcement needs clearer guidelines. Tell House legislators in Olympia to pass a medical marijuana bill that protects doctors and patients. Read More »


Liberty Links

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Under Fire: As the case of ACLU-WA client Major Margaret Witt moves toward trial on Sept. 13, two of our state’s major dailies weigh in against the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy – with Spokane’s Spokesman-Review castigating it as “asinine and counterproductive," and Tacoma’s The News Tribune declaring flatly “it needs to go.”

 Meanwhile, a new CBS poll finds the public has moved far ahead of Congress on the issue: nearly two-thirds of Americans support having lesbians and gays serve openly in the military.

 The Medical Marijuana Mess: This week’s cover story in Tacoma’s Weekly Volcano provides a very in-depth look at the daunting problems patients sometimes encounter in trying to use pot under Washington’s medical marijuana law, as currently written. Read More »


Washington's Medical Marijuana Law Expanded to Help Patients

Last Thursday, a new law that improves qualifying patients' access to medical marijuana went into effect.  Sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36), SB 5798 expands the list of health care professionals who can authorize the medical use of cannabis under state law.  The new list includes all providers who are currently authorized to prescribe medications such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners.  Only two other states, New Mexico and Rhode Island, grant this authorization power to all health care professionals who can prescribe.  As Sen. Kohl-Welles explains, "This bill will provide real relief to those who are suffering, particularly those who live in rural areas and low-income individuals who typically see advanced nurse practitioners rather than MDs. Providing this relief honors the will of the voters who overwhelmingly approved the medical-marijuana initiative in 1998."

A more detailed explanation of the law, which also includes new requirements for patients' written authorizations, can be found on Page 3 of the Summer 2010 issue of the West Coast Leaf.  Also, ACLU of Washington has updated its web page, "A Guide to Washington's Medical Marijuana Law," to reflect the changes.  The web page also includes an informational brochure that can be downloaded for printing and a revised form that health care professionals can use for authorizations. Read More »


Medical Marijuana

Bill: SB 5798
Position: support
Status: The bill passed the Senate and the House, and Gov. Gregoire has signed it into law. It takes effect on June 10, 2010.
The bill adds physician assistants, naturopaths and others to the list of medical professionals who can officially recommend marijuana for patients under the state's medical marijuana law. Under current law, only physicians are allowed to write the recommendation. Read More »