Archive for Plan to End Medical Cannabis

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

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

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

(All exhibit links to 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 )

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  See also

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

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 )

“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…

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

Judge Finds WSLCB Broke the Law 17 Times Making I-502 Rules

By Arthur West, John Novak

(OLYMPIA, WA) The Washington State liquor Control Board violated the Open Public Meetings Act 17 times between January and March of 2014, a Thurston County Superior Court Judge ruled on Friday, October 31st.

The meetings were “private” stakeholder meetings with law enforcement, the prevention community, and city and county officials that a quorum of the LCB commissioners attended to obtain input on the proposed I-502 rules.

They were scheduled separately during the daytime in the same areas that the Commission held 7 public forums on I-502 implementation in the evenings.

The Court declined to invalidate the rules despite evidence of testimony by LCB’s Rick Garza before the Legislature that a lot of the work on the rules was done in the daytime meetings. The plaintiff, Arthur West (420leaks contributor), had maintained that the many secret meetings seriously undercut the validity of the I-502 rules.

A second hearing is set for the 18th of November on the issue of whether the violations were deliberate, and whether the Board Members will be subject to civil penalties. Fines would be $100 for each of the 17 violations.

Here is the ruling, (Liquor Control Board OPMA Ruling) The part about the violations is handwritten in on the bottom of page 2.

Liquor Control Board OPMA Ruling by 420leaks

Also attached is some background on one typical law enforcement meeting, a list of the prevention meetings, and a prevention meeting agenda.

In the last two months, Arthur West has been to court FOUR times to compel them to answer discovery under penalty of perjury. Now there are a bunch of new records that have not previously been disclosed.

The contents of some reveals more than just secret meetings.

The first shows WASAVP (Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention) and NW HIDTA (Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) members (and the Washington State Patrol) “openly” conspiring to Kill the medical cannabis laws in the state!

“”Below are other issues raised by the WASAVP;  the key one being the repeal of the Medical Marijuana Statute that would eliminate a big headache for law enforcement.””

“Repeal of the current medical marijuana statute which is rendered redundant with the passage of 1-502 and allows the continued operation of collective gardens (while personal cultivation is prohibited by 1-502), nominally-regulated “dispensaries” (outside of and in competition with state-sanctioned sales), and access for youth and adolescents who obtain parental consent to obtain a Medical Marijuana card.”

This second file is an email showing a list of who the LCB was really consulting for their implementation while public hearings were going on…

HIDTA-MMJ Repeal by 420leaks

Whos Who by 420leaks

Two of the many records of OPMA advice to the board are also attached, with redactions, as well as a brief with some background, and a second order stating that the Rules of professional conduct ensure that they won’t lie about the contents of the redacted OPMA advice.

Lcb Schalller Order by 420leaks

Lcb Oct 20 Opma Reply by 420leaks

The State is withholding the advice on the OPMA provided to the LCB while attempting to argue that the Board members lacked knowledge that the 17 meetings with law enforcement, cities and counties, and the prevention community were not public meetings.

LCB OPMA 00000459 by 420leaks

LCB OPMA 00000196 by 420leaks

On March 22, 2013, LCB Executive director Rick Garza testified before the House finance Committee

“…(in) the public forums the board spent four hours, usually in the evening, taking testimony but I think a lot of the work that was done during the morning and afternoon in meeting with the prevention community, with city officials and county officials separately and then with law enforcement and I think that it was in those meetings that we learned a lot about some of the issues and challenges that we have at the Liquor Control Board. And I think the first one we would move to is medical marijuana…”

From the complaint: List of Secret Meetings in 2013 (Court Order has the wrong year)

  1. On at least Eight dates the LCB Board met to deliberate on official LCB business outside of the context of a public meeting.
  2. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations of January 24 in Seattle, (10:15-11:15 A.M with the prevention Community, 1:30-2:30. (two other meetings were plead, with (1) Nick Licata and (2) Pete Holmes-Law Enforcement that afternoon, but were not found by the court to be violations)
  3. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations on February 7 in Vancouver, (11:00-12:00 with law enforcement, 1:00-2:00 with Prevention community 3:00-4:00 with local government officials)
  4. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations in Spokane on February 11 (2:45-3:45 with the Chase Youth Commission, and on February 12 (10:00-11:00 with law enforcement, 11:00-12:00 with Prevention community, 2:00-4:00 with Spokane City Council) and February 13 at Northwest Medical.
  5. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations on February 19 in Mount Vernon, (1:00-2:00 with law enforcement, 3:00-4:00 with the Prevention community)
  6. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations on February 21 in Tacoma, (11:00-12:00 with law enforcement, 1:00-2:00 with Prevention community)
  7. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations of February 28 in Yakima, (11:00-12:00 with law enforcement, 1:00-2:00 with Prevention community)
  8. The Board or a quorum thereof conducted deliberations on March 7 in Bremerton, (1:00-2:00 with Prevention community, 3:00-4:00 with law enforcement)
  9. These meetings were held all across the State in various locations during the morning and afternoons prior to the scheduled “public hearings” that the LCB held for the implementation of I-502. However, while the nocturnal public hearings provided cover for the LCB Board to travel all across the State, what they were in actuality doing was meeting in private with Cities, Counties, Law enforcement and entities referred to as “The prevention community”. Significantly, in testimony to the Legislature, LCB representatives revealed that the private meetings provided some of the best information that the Board used to adopt the proposed I-502 rules.


Associated Press coverage:
In State:
Seattle Times
Yakima Herald
The Columbian
Tacoma News Tribune
Kitsap Sun

Washington Times