Archive for Integrity Check

The Hemp Files

420leaks Detective

Recently, we at 420leaks filed requests to the Washington State Department of Agriculture over their Industrial Hemp Research Program rule making files, and just last week they gave us a bunch of redacted documents from the Attorney General as part of it.

John Worthington’s copies:
https://app.box.com/s/oj2dlcjfjm0die4vz6lyn6614f0lwy3f

My copies:
https://app.box.com/s/q3vx429e9r83ix6ur3ajrk30eznp55lz

Worthington complained back, saying you can’t redact public rule making files. Their public records officer hemmed and hawed over attorney/client privilege.

So March 28, 2017, Worthington filed a lawsuit against WSDA and had their office served at 2:00 pm.

Thirty-seven minutes later, they emailed us the files with no redactions.

Sent to Worthington:
https://app.box.com/s/phx9u89ocfxq9jcavlp4ktnpcculxrh8

Sent to me:
https://app.box.com/s/1hum7xwek4ggsdz3urjn8fm7dihfbcb7

I guess they figured the corruption was not worth risking their careers over this time.

Why is any of this significant?

Well, for one, it shows us the Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General Staff is not as corrupt as what happened during the I502 rule making and the WSLCB. We have also seen no hidden hand of the Governor’s office this time, unlike what we saw around I502.

However, the process revealed that our group of researchers had it right when we believed the Attorney General’s Office was at least in part responsible for running the rule making in our state. Not so much the state agency heads.

They do this under the guise of the attorney/client privilege, so they can redact it all from public view. We say the AG’s office is partly responsible because we now have two different people from their office with two very different results: one still intent on burning up taxpayer funds to keep their secrets with I502, and one that did the right thing when confronted with the evidence.

What appears to be certain is eliminating the files from the public rule making file is not legal. It completely violates what the spirit of the Public Records Acts stands for; that the people are sovereign and government does not get to decide what is good for us.

RCW 42.56.030
Construction.
“The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created. This chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy and to assure that the public interest will be fully protected. In the event of conflict between the provisions of this chapter and any other act, the provisions of this chapter shall govern.”

This was why the state settled over a case to make one public records requester go away, back at the end of 2014, that made headlines for the amount of the payout: $192,000 by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. They stand to lose even more with the case filed against them by John Worthington over these same files, with the next hearing coming in early June.

But not this time. Bravo to the WSDA and AG’s office. We at 420leaks give them a gold star…on this one. For now.

Having said that, the agency gets a major reduction in gold stars for lack of privacy protections. Their Industrial Hemp program director, Emily Febles, apparently allowed a breach on at least three of their own employees, potentially exposing their social security numbers, including her own information. This story was learned about in one of our recent requests that came back around the same time as the rule making files. We asked them this question: Did you follow proper protocols and notify all the employees affected within the time required by law? It appears not.  See the email at
https://app.box.com/s/kft0eplpkz0m4v9d20mr4vm9qe8b5l21

Which leads us to the next question. Why are two well known activists in Washington State bitterly fighting to the point of threatening lawsuits against each other, all around a bill that would take industrial hemp out of the state Controlled Substances Act?
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2064&Year=2017

The infighting has led to great confusion in the cannabis community and is a question that led us to asking for communications to the WSDA, one of which revealed the privacy breach. We hope to find answers and more as we go through these files, with more coming, from the WSDA.
https://app.box.com/s/pyao3j0y88ikfw445mgv

But it looks like a battle between those who fear federal interference by removing it from the State’s Controlled Substances Act, and those who feel the plant needs to be descheduled with few regulations. View the public hearing in the Senate Law & Justice Committee back on March 9th.

The bill passed with a unanimous YES vote in both houses of the legislature in spite of efforts to kill or amend the bill by the Washington State Dept of Agriculture and a few from the cannabis community.

Department of Health Confirms it, No Privacy for Patients In State Registry

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From: Weeks, Kristi (DOH) <Kristi.Weeks@DOH.WA.GOV>
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 2:43 PM
To: John Novak
Subject: RE: Questions

The traceability system (under the authority of the LCB) lists the purchases and patient identification number. The database (under the authority of the Department of Health) lists the patient information including the patient identification number. The LCB cannot access the database. DOH could receive information from the LCB’s traceability system, and DOH employees with access to the database could connect the two dots. However, we have no reason to do so because an individual patient’s purchasing habits are of no interest to us.

From: John Novak [mailto:changingplanet@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:22 PM
To: Weeks, Kristi (DOH)
Subject: RE: Questions

Thanks for the quick reply.

One follow up revised question: Can the State determine which products an individual patient has purchased?

“Can you determine which products a patient has purchased? Can I personally? No, I cannot tell what an individual patient has purchased.”

-John

——– Original message ——–
From: “Weeks, Kristi (DOH)” <Kristi.Weeks@DOH.WA.GOV>
Date: 8/10/2016 8:58 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: John Novak <changingplanet@hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: Questions

See below.

From: John Novak [mailto:changingplanet@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2016 11:49 AM
To: Weeks, Kristi (DOH)
Subject: Questions

Ms. Weeks,

If you have a few moments, I have some questions and hope you can provide some clarity. Still a lot of confusion out there.

Do you have a way to track each patient’s purchases? When a patient with a recognition card makes a purchase, the identification number on the card (but no other patient information) is entered into the traceability system in order to audit purchases that are made without sales tax. In other words, for the store to later prove (if requested by the Department of Revenue) that the sale was appropriately sales tax free.

Which information about the transaction does the system provide about the patients’s purchases? The items purchased and the patient’s recognition card number.

Can you determine which products a patient has purchased? Can I personally? No, I cannot tell what an individual patient has purchased.

Are patients in the registry able to get a sales tax discount on all products in any i502 shop, or just the endorsed shops? Just endorsed shops although some stores without an operational endorsement are offering patients a 10% discount in lieu of the sales tax relief.

If just the endorsed shops, then is that only on “medical” products, or any product in the shop? Any product in the shop.

Thank you again for your time. It is most appreciated.

-John Novak

206-915-3450

Court witnesses requested for Worthington VS WSLCB August 17th

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In late 2014, a Thurston County Superior court judge ruled that the WSLCB violated the Washingtin State Open Public Meetings Act at least 17 different times by holding secret meetings with law enforcement and the substance abuse community.

 Shortly after, John Worthington and others with the 420leaks project filed public records requests asking for the complete i502 rule making files.  These files must be mainatined by law.  See RCW 34.05.370
By their own words, they no longer have the original file, have deleted and altered files in what Worthington believes is a clear case of the agency once again running roughshod over the Sunshine laws in our state.
He tried to get a resolution by filing an administrative appeal directly to the WSLCB, but they dismissed his claims out of hand.
Thurston County Superior Court ruled that decision was “arbitrary and caprecious” and ordered the WSLCB to hear the case again.
With no legal rule making file to work with, Worthington is asking the court to make a desicion instead.
If there is no valid rule making file for I-502, then it follows that the rules are also invalid.
The court has an overhead projector that will be used. The court of public opinion must be there to witness the fact that Worthington did challenge the rules for I-502, so the Court of Appeals cannot bury the rules validity challenge.
The oral arguments in this case will be heard
at the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II on August 17th.
Washington State Court of Appeals
Division II at 9:00 AM950 Broadway, Suite 300, Tacoma, WA 98402

More information is available here:
Read John Worthington’s motions here:
*****

RCW 34.05.370

Rule-making file.

(1) Each agency shall maintain an official rule-making file for each rule that it (a) proposes by publication in the state register, or (b) adopts. The file and materials incorporated by reference shall be available for public inspection.
(2) The agency rule-making file shall contain all of the following:
(a) A list of citations to all notices in the state register with respect to the rule or the proceeding upon which the rule is based;
(b) Copies of any portions of the agency’s public rule-making docket containing entries relating to the rule or the proceeding on which the rule is based;
(c) All written petitions, requests, submissions, and comments received by the agency and all other written material regarded by the agency as important to adoption of the rule or the proceeding on which the rule is based;
(d) Any official transcript of oral presentations made in the proceeding on which the rule is based or, if not transcribed, any tape recording or stenographic record of them, and any memorandum prepared by a presiding official summarizing the contents of those presentations;
(e) All petitions for exceptions to, amendment of, or repeal or suspension of, the rule;
(f) Citations to data, factual information, studies, or reports on which the agency relies in the adoption of the rule, indicating where such data, factual information, studies, or reports are available for review by the public, but this subsection (2)(f) does not require the agency to include in the rule-making file any data, factual information, studies, or reports gathered pursuant to chapter 19.85 RCW or RCW34.05.328 that can be identified to a particular business;
(g) The concise explanatory statement required by RCW 34.05.325(6); and
(h) Any other material placed in the file by the agency.
(3) Internal agency documents are exempt from inclusion in the rule-making file under subsection (2) of this section to the extent they constitute preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, and intra-agency memoranda in which opinions are expressed or policies formulated or recommended, except that a specific document is not exempt from inclusion when it is publicly cited by an agency in connection with its decision.
(4) Upon judicial review, the file required by this section constitutes the official agency rule-making file with respect to that rule. Unless otherwise required by another provision of law, the official agency rule-making file need not be the exclusive basis for agency action on that rule.

Cannabis Patient Denied Constitutional Rights Gets Appeal Hearing

american-flag-and-weed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oral Arguments; Constitutional Rights to Cannabis? The Right to Choose Healthcare And Protection for a woman in Washington state
Freedom and Bodily Autonomy for Medical Marijuana.
July 19, 2016. Oral arguments for the Human Rights Legal case of Wilson v. Lynch at the 9th Circuit Court of the United States of America, Browning Federal Court House in San Francisco, California on Thursday morning, July 21, 2016.
Moving into its 5th year, the case tests the first, second, fourth and fifth amendments of the US Constitution for a woman who is registered with a medical marijuana card. 60% of Americans approve the legal use of cannabis per Gallup polls.  The plaintiff contends that all people have a right to free speech, their choice of health care and basic rights of protection, including from undue process. The case brings to the forefront more than just one Washington woman’s ‘right to choose’ in a contentiously ‘medically legal’ cannabis state.
Medical cannabis has been known since ancient times to have positive health effects.  25 US states have regulated its medical use. Even with this approval, patients who may or may not be using medical marijuana/cannabis are still categorized as criminals.  The federal law classifies cannabis as a dangerous drug similar to opiates, despite research clearly showing its multiple benefits.  ‘Patients are out of Patience.’  Even with the legalization of medical cannabis, discrimination continues. In the case of Wilson v. Lynch, the defendants egregiously violated the fifth amendment, contending the plaintiff is an “unlawful user” of a controlled substance. She was deprived of her rights to secure a firearm for self-defense.
A more pressing problem is the rising number of people addicted to opioids and the drug’s effects on the population. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, opioid addiction includes the use of the illicit drug heroin and prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl. Over 259 million prescriptions per year are written for opioids. This number is more than enough to provide each American a bottle of prescription opiate pills.
More information about the case can be found here.

Patient Database Screw up Accidently Exposes Information

Not even a week into the new rules for medical cannabis after the July 1, 2016 deadline, the WSLCB and Department of Health in Washington state revealed that trained medical consultants were entering private information into the database that was not supposed to be there.  The state is not capable of keeping your information private!Washington_State_seal_web_ready_color_for_educational_use_only

 

The following message was posted to their listserv:

 

——– Original message ——–
From: “No Reply (LCB)” <NoReply@LCB.WA.GOV>
Date: 7/6/2016 9:27 AM (GMT-08:00)
Subject: Medical Marijuana Sales Data Collection and Verification

Summary:

It has come to the attention of both the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and the Department of Health (DOH) that some third party commercial traceability software systems are requesting patient information such as: conditions, history, and notes. Licensees are prohibited by law and rule from soliciting or retaining patient information in third party commercial software systems. Certified consultants are the only persons who should be seeing the information on the authorization forms to enter them into the database. All other retail employees are only to verify the recognition card by using the publicly available information on the recognition cards itself and by verifying the card number in the DOH medical marijuana authorization database (for a sale), which does not include the patients’ medical condition or any other information not printed on the recognition card.

 

Medical Marijuana Registration Database:

Under RCW 69.51A.230, the DOH database is the only authorized database for medical marijuana patients and designated providers, and was established as a secure and confidential database for the purposes of medical marijuana sales at licensed retailers holding a medical endorsement. A second database defeats the confidentiality and security of DOH’s database. DOH’s database is the only database authorized for verifications, including information to Dept. of Revenue for identification of tax exempt transactions (by recognition card ID#).

 

Under RCW 69.51A.240(1)(a) and (b), placing patient information into a different database means that persons involved are at risk of being charged with a Class C felony because they are disclosing information received from the DOH database. No one should have access to, or request, the information about the patient’s medical condition except for certified consultants entering the patient or providers name directly in to the DOH authorization database.

 

Traceability System vs. Third Party Systems:

The WSLCB Traceability system developed by BioTrackTHC and located at wslcb.mjtraceability.com is the required reporting system identified in WAC 314-55-083(4). Licensees may use third party commercial software systems to satisfy reporting requirements in rule as described at our website: http://lcb.wa.gov/mj2015/traceability_system. BioTrackTHC’s software is utilized by the WSLCB to track marijuana through the supply chain. Washington State licensed marijuana producers, processors, and retailers are free to employ their own inventory tracking software solutions as long as it allows for the collection and submission of the specific information and reports required by the WSLCB’s seed-to-sale inventory tracking rules for Licensees. Licensees are required to submit specific information and reports to the WSLCB.

 

Traceability System Verification for Medical Sales:

The WSLCB Traceability system requires the recognition card number for the patient or designated provider seeking to purchase a WAC 246-70 compliant product, or receive sales and use tax exemptions for the purchase of any marijuana product.

 

The WSLCB Traceability System does not:

 

·         Connect to the medical marijuana data base in any way

·         Verify any information with the medical marijuana data base

·         Cross reference the recognition card number with any data base

·         Require or allow the transferal of any information besides the recognition card number to complete a sales/use tax exempt sale

 

The WSLCB Traceability system only records the price, quantity, recognition card number, and whether the item was a WAC 246-70 compliant product.

 

For more information, please contact Marijuana Examiner Program at 360-664-1614 or mjexaminer@lcb.wa.gov.

 

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