Archive for Plan to End Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis Patients Gather to Support Compassionate Use Laws

Medical Cannabis Patients Gather to Support Compassionate Use Laws
By Sarah Wood
Staff reporter – The Viper’s Club
For immediate release
Contact: thevipersclub@gmail.com

(Olympia, Washington) On July 24th, 2015 beginning at 11:am, Medical Cannabis patients from all over Washington will gather on the north steps of Legislative building at the State Capitol.

There they will hold a press conference concerning the violation of patient’s rights going into effect that day, to discuss how the changes of I-502 and the newly signed law Senate Bill 5052 will affect access to care practitioners and medication.

The media has poorly portrayed I-502 stores as victims, while thousands of patients fear losing safe, affordable, and local access to their medication.

It is now our turn to speak our voices, to be heard, and to stand up for our rights and the rights of all patients.With I-502 stores spreading across the state, many are very concerned and outraged at the decision to shut down the medical dispensaries and collective gardens which offer safe, affordable and convenient access to medicine.

Robert McKim of Olympia states, “I have had success with treating my cancer with RSO(concentrated cannabis oil), I am sure that the government and [their] cronies could care less. Limiting the number of plants and having to buy at four times the price, will effectively force me to turn the doctors and the scalpels loose on me.”

“To remove hope from the sick is a criminal act, a few tax dollars is more important than a human life? How can the government and the WSLCB nullify a voter approved law?”, he asked.

With depleting availability, prices skyrocketing, and concern of repercussions from federal law enforcement if forced to be added to a registry, many will be forced to seek alternative options.

Another patient from Puyallup writes, “When the dispensaries are gone, I will have no other option than retail. I will not comply.

“Patients will simply return to the unregulated, unreformed “black market” where they were receiving their medication before. This is a big step backwards and in the wrong direction for the process of cannabis reform and compassionate use laws.”

With the newly written law, it will become almost impossible for patients to renew and keep their medical cannabis recommendations.

It is stated that patients will now have to get their recommendation for medical cannabis from their existing primary care doctor, or from the doctor that treats them for their condition. It must be proven that all other medication has failed.

A concerned patient Colleen Henne writes, “I live outside of Seattle and have no car,I talked to the Foundation where I get my recommendation, THCF. The new law says all examinations and re-examinations take place at the provider’s permanent place of business. I got my last recommendation out of a hotel room in Bellevue. I am very concerned as many of my friends have already lost theirs due to the clinics being shut down, with more becoming unauthorized as of July 24th also.”

With doctors concerned over losing their license to practice medicine, many will chose not to prescribe cannabis, even if it is the safest alternative medicine.

Cannabis can no longer be used as an alternative against harsh and powerful prescription drugs. Instead, patients who are already suffering will either be prescribed medications with harsh side effects or they will have to take their medical care into their own hands.

In addition to the closure of dispensaries and collective gardens, and reduction of plants that can be grown, other forms of medicinal cannabis such as oil concentrates like BHO or butane hash oil, which offer patients a faster and more effective way to medicate, will also become unavailable or unaffordably priced.

The new law states that all forms of butane extraction will be prohibited unless processed by someone who is licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, and no such licensed person(s) in the medical community exist as of yet.

Patients who find this form of cannabis most effective will also be forced to either get their medication from a recreational store or find other means.

Many cannot afford the prices of the state run stores, or do not live close enough to one to have access. The state has chosen tax dollars over the safety and well being of the sick and dying,letting greed influence their decisions.Patients are no longer being treated as people looking for relief from suffering and debilitating condition. They are instead being treated like unwanted vermin getting in the way of a corporations and sold out for a quick buck at the expense of our health.

They are being forced from the comfortability of their existing care providers which they have been with for years, made to deal with recreational retailers who know little to nothing about the products they are selling.

Furthermore, medication is being treated solely as a recreational substance.

Patients, lawyers, advocates and many others from all walks of life fought long and hard for patients ability to use cannabis as their medication, and they will continue to fight.

Their voices will not be silenced, and they will not let the rights they fought so hard for be stripped from them. They are willing to stand up to fight for themselves, for each other, and for what is right.

Together as one united they will speak out for their rights until their voices are heard and they have safe, affordable and convenient access to their medication.

Medical Cannabis Excise Taxes in Other States 0 to 8.8%. At Least 30% Proposed in WA.

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, other states have medical cannabis taxes that range from 0 to 8.8%. 13 of the 19 states with licensed, regulated cultivators and dispensaries have NO excise tax. Some charge sales tax while others do not. Proposed bills 5052/2136 would cause Washington State to have the highest taxed medical cannabis in the country (30% excise + 8% avg. sales), by forcing patients into the recreational system.

In most states, the fees collected from the commercial applications & licensing more than cover the costs of regulation. Excessive taxation of medical cannabis is unnecessary, an obstacle to participation in a regulated system, & most importantly- inhumane to the most vulnerable patients.

Please read the full article by GreenXena at

http://thepeopleformedicalcannabis.com/medical-cannabis-excise-taxes-in-other-states-0-to-8-8-30-proposed-in-wa/

I-502: OPMA, MMJ, Public Records and the “Partnership”

By John Worthington (background research also by Arthur West, John Novak)

(All exhibit links to box.com are from public record files in PDF format)

One of the main goals of Initiative I-502, as originally written and passed, was allegedly to create a policy change from enforcing marijuana crimes, to properly enforcing property crimes by ‘legalizing” marijuana for persons over 21.

Once the “legalization” initiative passed, the marijuana prohibition stakeholders, AKA the “partnership” went to work to reverse the policy goals outlined in I-502. (Exhibit 1 https://app.box.com/s/rmgcsqu9eknlx5zbp7o9 )

The “partnership” immediately orchestrated numerous secret meetings for I-502 implementation, to further remarket the marijuana prohibition bureaucracy and directed the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) take steps to get rid of medical marijuana.

Despite the best efforts to hide these meetings, enough information began to leak out to the marijuana activists, that they were able piece together how the “partnership,” influenced the WSLCB. The documents they obtained show how the “partnership” set out to increase local law enforcement funding and de-incentivize medical marijuana.

These public records obtained by various individuals and advocacy groups also show the subversion began with the secret Association of Washington Cities (AWC – a non-profit made up of corporations and government agencies) and law enforcement meetings with the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The messages and goals for this new Meta organization was clear, get rid of medical marijuana, and divert I-502 revenue to the cities and counties.

According to the notes from these secret Liquor Control Board meetings with local, state and federal agencies set up by the AWC; medical marijuana was no longer needed because the State now had a “legal” marijuana system. The notes also described in detail how the “partnership” wanted medical marijuana to be repealed and also wanted local law enforcement budget increases. The LCB then took this agenda to the editorial boards of newspapers around the state.  (Exhibit 2 https://app.box.com/s/o4cips7jho2mejgho5cs  See also https://app.box.com/s/asxmcnzjp2zxj4fbksxe)

The “partnership” grew to include the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC),Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA),Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC), Washington Association of County Officials (WACO), Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR), the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (WAAG) and Washington Association For Substance Abuse And Violence Prevention (WASAVP).

The WSLCB arranged to have the legislature “give them cover”, by creating legislation that would allow them a “place at the table,” for medical marijuana discussions. This strategy is outlined in an email from WSLCB board member Chris Marr to the agency director, Rick Garza.
(Exhibit 3 https://app.box.com/s/di9dkswq8v250c5ihs8u )

The email from Marr also introduced the other players in the Meta leadership. These players, knowing or unknowing, were Senator Ann Rivers and I-502 entrepreneur Ezra Eickmeyer.
(Exhibit 4 https://app.box.com/s/y90s7ff4z4sho6s8wxb0 )

Eickmeyer, through Senator Rivers, proceeded to draft SB 5887, which proposed to create a medical marijuana work group, however, the bill did not pass. Senator Rivers and Eickmeyer then acted to get a medical marijuana work group passed “Amendment #224” in the state’s budget bill, SB 5034, to which Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles objected to because “too many conclusions would be drawn behind closed doors.

Senator Kohl-Welles put out an email on June 2, 2014 addressing concerns about the process.

“It has also has resulted in a high level of concern on the part of many patient and other advocacy groups — including even outright opposition being expressed in rallies and demonstrations.  I am concerned that we would be handing over too much of our responsibility to a regulatory agency.  I also worry that too many conclusions would be drawn behind closed doors, and that the process for creating these rules would circumvent public input.  In many ways, the LCB has a vested interest in diverting business from the medical collectives now operating and into the retail stores when they open early next year.  It is easy to argue the LCB also has a vested interest in wanting to add to its regulatory scope, and bring the medical cannabis industry into its system. This may turn out to be the end result down the road, or it may be determined that another state agency should have that responsibility.  For these and other reasons, I think it best to have the LCB focus on its task at hand, that given to them by the voters in approving I-502 — an initiative that specifically mentions it will have no effect on medical cannabis laws.

(Exhibit 5 https://app.box.com/s/mf2fg3nscjxag7asj79y )

Meanwhile, the rest of the “partnership” worked behind the scenes to create law enforcement funding legislation for the “partnership.” The Washington State Patrol’s Investigative Assistance Division (IAD), was tasked to help “shape” I-502 policy. (Exhibit 6 https://app.box.com/s/eepfhipts7ty6svlvxzp )

The IAD is staffed by officers considered to be loaned state employees to the federal government subject to the Westfall and Federal Tort Claims Act.

Essentially, the federal government also had a hand in I-502 secret rulemaking process through the cross designated members of the WSP and in direct meetings with the DEA and U.S. Attorney’s office.

Soon after the passage of initiative I-502, the broad and powerful “partnership” had managed to convert the policy goals of redirecting law enforcement funding to property crimes to adding local law enforcement funding and getting rid of medical marijuana.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board had arranged its “place at the table”, and the “partnership”, managed to set forth a mechanism to glean law enforcement funding increases and interfere with medical marijuana laws when I-502 appeared to advertise just the opposite.
(Exhibit 7 https://app.box.com/s/uhke9k9wda5tdjsx93cs )

For its part the work group, began its job of eliminating or de-incentivizing medical marijuana under the guise of merging it with recreational marijuana.  (Exhibit 8 https://app.box.com/s/rdkfowosyuwyzodgyzs4 )

The medical marijuana work group had the same open public meetings problem as the I-502 implementation process. They also did not want the public to hear who it was they were working with in private and publically show how they arrived at its decisions.

The Governor’s office, with help from the local U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan did their part by making sure the public knew that the medical marijuana situation was “untenable”.
(Exhibit 9 https://app.box.com/s/c5m8ogtl8hod59lmewbr )

The urgency for a “robust” regulatory system for marijuana was further ratcheted up with the use of a document referred to as the “Cole Memorandum”, which was actually requested by the LCB, and not a mandate generated by the U.S. Attorney’s office at the request of the Governor’s office.
(Exhibit 10 https://app.box.com/s/o4cips7jho2mejgho5cs )

The following legislative session in 2014, SB 5887 and a new bill from Senator Jeanne Kohl Welles SB 6178, offered two approaches on how to integrate and de-incentivize medical marijuana. Representative Eileen Cody also proposed HB 2149 that same legislative session.

All of the bills contained language which highlighted the recommendations of the medical marijuana working group. The battle of killing medical marijuana in the 2014 legislative session began in earnest.

The legislators had several major hurdles to clear in order to kill medical marijuana. The most formidable of which was the fiscal impacts of the “robust” regulatory system which now included more law enforcement funding not included in the I-502 earmarks.

The fiscal notes to the Ways and Means and House Finance committees, which were put forth at the last second, did not include the actual cost of implementing the ratcheted up “robust” marijuana regulatory scheme.

Furthermore, the small business impact studies were incomplete further misleading the actual financial impact of the medical marijuana killing legislation.

Some legislators refused to consider more law enforcement funding because the initiative claimed to be saving money on law enforcement funding.  (Exhibit 11 https://app.box.com/s/j9aq6xp77d3ut7fdlg1v )

“The argument for the initiative was that it’s going to lower public safety costs, and now they’re saying it’s going to increase public safety costs with absolutely no data. (It’s) troubling,” said House Finance Committee Chairman Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) in an interview.

Many marijuana activists claimed victory when all the medical marijuana bills failed to pass out of the 2014 legislative session.

The 2015 legislative session is underway and the legislature should be informed of what the I-502 rule making process has become so they can properly achieve policy goals set forth by the public.

 

Nearly 4000 Documents from the WSLCB released showing illegal meetings

We finally have the approximately 4000 pages of documents the Washington State Liquor Control board withheld from Arthur West and the public that a judge ordered them to be released.

There were at least 17 illegal WSLCB meetings that took place, maybe more. There also appears to be evidence they knew the rules ahead of time, but broke them anyway. In these meetings, especially with law enforcement, the main push was to repeal the MMJ laws to favor I-502.   Here’s some of the files. Still have thousands to go through… https://app.box.com/s/4ly6mgu8n8sy3efvmm8o

Court Update: Possible Felony Charges Against WSLCB Board Members?

By Arthur West, John Novak

(Olympia, WA) After finding 17 violations of the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) on Oct. 31st, the Thurston County Superior Court went after the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) twice this week, first on Tuesday denying their motion to dismiss the OPMA knowledge claims for civil penalties, based upon the newly disclosed records that I reviewed and filed on the 10th.

The Court also started talking about individual “Mens Rea” of the LCB Board members, a legal term used exclusively in criminal prosecutions that literally means, “guilty mind”.

It appears the court has become distressed at all of the lying and wants to fry someone now.

Having the judge seek to establish “mens rea” is never a good thing and does not happen in a normal civil case.

On Friday, there was an opinion announced in a 20 minute long statement by the court. The Court ruled that the LCB withheld records from the I-502 Rulemaking File and that they should all be disclosed.

This is bad for the rules because it undermines the legitimacy of the rules, and bad for the LCB because they altered the file to attempt to remove the disputed records rather than disclose them.

Now, not only have they violated the Puplic Records Act (PRA), they have also altered and concealed official public records in violation of RCW 10.14, which is technically a felony if anyone in law enforcement would ever charge a violation.

Even so it is very embarrassing for them and the poor Assistant Attorney General Bruce Turcott looked like someone had just sodomized his puppy.

With over 500 penalty days and a criminal offense I am just dying to brief on appeal, they simply cannot risk what the Court of Appeals would do, even without the I-502 rule repercussions.

I am anticipating a penalty of 15-40 thousand, plus a real problem for them with the altered rule making file.

How can you review an altered file and a record of a bunch of unrecorded secret meetings?

Stay tuned…

 

Related Court Documents
(If you are unable to read or download the files below through Scribd, you will also find them HERE)

11-21-14 West v. Liquor Control Board

11-21-14 Arthur West Invoice

11-18-14 Arthur West v. LCB

11-18-14 Arthur West Invoice