Legal Cannabis Week #11
Producer rules public comment period extended
Perhaps recognizing that scheduling public forums after the deadline for public comment creates confusion, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board extended the comment period for producer rules. The new deadline is March 15, 2013. Email opinions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mt. Vernon and Tacoma forums next week
The Columbian reported the Vancouver forum and the Spokesman Review covered Spokane. Both forums were attended by over 400 people. The second Olympia forum was moved to Tacoma. All events start at 6 p.m.
Stranger taps me for pot
I could scarcely contain my excitement last week when a gay man from one of the gayer newspapers in Seattle's gayest neighborhood called to proposition me. Straight away I announced that I'd never had gay sex but that I might for the right price or pretty face.
Imagine my surprise when he explained that he wanted to pay me for writing and not sex. "Oh, that pen!" I exclaimed with a wow.
And so I've a weekly scribble in The Stranger, Seattle's only newspaper. Better late than never, they finally jumped on the legal weed bandwagon and dedicated a page to pot. I'm a spoke in that wheel — a cog in that machine — and I have four weeks to prove myself.
With no official bounds but libel law, I can write anything I like, though I figure if I am relevant, keep stable verb tense, and crack just enough but not too many jokes at their expense, my editors won't scrap the wheel or replace my cog. It's like pot survivor: if people like me I will stay on indica island. Wish me luck.
Whatcom sheriff returns medical cannabis
Last week cannabis hero Adam Assenberg walked into the Whatcom County Sheriff's Department and took back his pot. In January the county prosecutor dismissed charges against him stemming from a politically-motivated 2011 raid, citing the Shupe ruling which says medical cannabis is technically legal under state statute.
A hearty cheer for Adam Assenberg — hip, hip, hooray! — and a burned bowl to boot. With his cop-cured weed in hand, Mr. Assenberg plans to file a civil suit against the Quad City Drug Task Force and other agencies for violating his civil rights. He can be heard on a recent episode Pacifica Radio's Cultural Baggage.
Legislative weed watch
You can affect positive change. Click the bill name below for links to the bill language, video of public hearings, bill reports, etc. Understand the steps from bill to law, find your legislator or just call the legislative hotline at 800-562-6000. Color coding below is my judgment of good, bad and medical cannabis be careful.
HB 1482 | Zero tolerance for commercial drivers
- FEB 14: Scheduled for executive session in House Public Safety this Thursday at 10:00 AM. See bill pages 24, 48 and 53.
HB 1808 | Walmart may dispose found pot
- FEB 12: Public hearing and executive action taken in House Government Accountability.
HB 1597 | Technical pot law fixes
- FEB 12: Passed House Government Accountability.
SB 5584 | No pot names for public works
- FEB 12: Senate Transportation heard public testimony.
HB 1789 | Medical cannabis 25% tax
- FEB 8: First reading, referred to House Finance.
SJM 8000 | Federal rescheduling request
- FEB 8: Sent to Senate Rules for second reading.
SB 5437 | Cannabis boating DUI
- FEB 8: Senate Law and Justice heard public testimony. Nobody opposed the bill.
SB 5222 | Industrial hemp study
- FEB 7: Senate Ways & Means heard public testimony. (Video at 32:30, including a Kohl-Welles wonk joke, "don't worry, hemp is a gender neutral term." At 41:45 comes senate laughter at the statement "WSU seemed the logical place to put this.")
SB 5279 | No pot for food stamps
- FEB 7: Sent to Senate Rules for second reading.
HB 1758 | Cannabis boating DUI
- FEB 7: First reading, referred to House Public Safety.
HB 1661 | Expunge misdeameanor convictions
- FEB 5: First reading, referred to House Public Safety.
HB 1662 | Medical cannabis
- FEB 5: First reading, referred to House Health Care.
SB 5528 | Medical cannabis
- FEB 4: Senate Health Care heard public testimony.
SB 5010 | No pot on probation
- JAN 31: Sent to Senate Rules for second reading.
HB 1051 | No pot names for public works
- JAN 22: House Transportation heard public testimony.
HB 1084 | Medical cannabis
- JAN 18: Referred to House Health Care.
Week in review
State Patrol toxicologist Fiona Couper reported no discernible increase in pot-positive DUI tests since I-502.
The California Supreme Court appears inclined to rule in favor of local dispensary bans.
Spokane County Extension's Master Gardener program won't provide plant science advice to pot-interested people.
But the Spokane City Council did legalize cannabis on the local.
Rep. Chris Hurst and company introduced a bill to add a 25% excise tax to medical cannabis.
Cannabis hero Alison Holcomb — smoke a bowl! — responded to Rep. Chris Hurst's attempts to thwart I-502 implementation, causing Hurst to whine about Holcomb curbing his freedom of speech.
The Michigan Supreme Court outlawed dispensaries.
Congress is warming to cannabis lobbyists.
Guardian Data Systems in Vancouver earned coverage of its credit card processing service for dispensaries.
Spokane dispensaries hope the 2014 green rush isn't as crazy bad for them as the 2010 green rush.
Rep. Chris Hurst introduced legislation to help Walmart deal with all the legal pot it keeps finding at its stores.
CBS4 Denver's Rick Sallinger headed to Seattle to file some reports about us that make me smile. "God bless Seattle, man, god bless Washington," says the easy-to-find public smoker.
Cannabis hero Alison Holcomb — smoke another bowl! — speaks at Think & Drink in Greenwood next Tuesday, February 19.