The State of Washington passed their original Medical Cannabis law in November 1998, shortly after California. In November 2012, voters approved legalization in Washington and Colorado and the world’s eyes became closely focused upon these two States.
Now, 15 months after votes on “legalization” in both States, their situations are very different. Colorado has launched it “recreational” or “adult” cannabis stores ,which can be found anywhere and everywhere, and it truly seems legal in Colorado. In addition, “MEDICAL CANNABIS” is still thriving in Colorado. Patients are encouraged to keep their medical “cards” as they can purchase cannabis for 1/3 less – a good enough reason to help keep it alive.
The situation in Washington is VERY different. Federal agencies working with the Liquor Control Board and the Washington State Police are trying to greatly water down medical cannabis with HB 2149. Passage of HB2149 by a State Congressional 2/3 majority can seriously damage Medical Cannabis in Washington. HB 2149 limits home growing, makes the practice of “medicine” more difficult, and even limits the number of CBD rich strains allowed. Will this bill pass? I don’t know, I THINK it is doomed – but it is VERY close.
I went to Seattle last week and testified before a Congressional hearing along with a number of other people. The court hearing room was packed and there were zero people speaking up FOR HB 2149, to limit medical cannabis.
California may be offering a legalization ballot initiative in 10 months or more probably in 2016. I hope we learn some lessons from the two brave States who have preceded us.
The most important lesson to learn, in my opinion, is that the powers that be want CBD for themselves and their Pharmaceutical partners. They seem to truly care little whether some of us smoke, but they care a LOT about the ability to turn Cannabis Medicine into a tightly controlled Pharma product.
I hope when it comes time for California, we will hold on even more tightly to our home growing abilities as well as our ability to make herbal dosed and controlled medicine for us, our families and everyone else.