When i502 was first implemented years ago, licensed producers were allowed a very limited window for new licensees to obtain genetics, basically a 15 day window where the state promised to “look the other way” and allow for i502 producers to obtain their genetics, basically by any means. Once that window closed, the only way for a licensee to obtain a new strain would be finding them from other producers.
That window is now completely closed.
So now even legislators are starting to notice. I had a meeting with one not long ago who told me they have not smoked in many years, but went and purchased some “top shelf strains”. In their own words: “I barely felt anything. This is not what pot used to be like even 3-4 years ago.”
Time to open the window. In fact, break the damn window.
I warned the WSLCB and legislators in detail, both in writing and in person, about this back in 2013 that closing access to new genetics would cause problems. Creating a new license specific to breeding seeds and having an open window for these breeders to obtain genetics from anywhere in the world could help alleviate this problem.
By the way, homegrowers would love to help breed. Home horticulturists have contributed many new varieties of plants of all kinds throughout history. Many flowers, trees and shrubs that we see in garden nurseries were first developed by hard core gardening geeks and nerds at home.
We need access to the worldwide seed market to keep the genetics strong!
“B. Encouraging States to Adopt Specific Laws and Policies Using Financial Carrots and Sticks
Because states and localities have not always shown an eagerness to submit to the control of federal agencies, the federal government has found it necessary to entice their cooperation. The drug task forces encourage participation in two ways. First, they offer state and local agents the opportunity to work with federal agents on equal terms, thereby elevating the status of state and local agents. Thus, state and local criminal justice personnel are less likely to resent the federal presence. Second, the federal government recognizes that generous remuneration decreases power struggles. The federal anti-drug effort makes substantial sums available to state and local governments following the federal plan. If the President’s 1995 budget request is fully funded, state and local governments will receive roughly $811million. The timing of the drive for federalization has coincided with a period of economic hardship in most states. By offering financial incentives, the federal government has effectively dismantled potential political opposition to its growing influence over state and local policy making. To the contrary, state and local agencies consider themselves the beneficiaries of federal largess. To maximize their intake of federal dollars, state and local agencies seek ways to become involved in federal investigations.
The expansion of federal influence also coincides with a self-perpetuating cycle of political rhetoric that has fed a public frenzy over drug crimes. In turn, public opinion has justified even stronger rhetoric and broader policies. In this environment, any dissent from proposals for broader law enforcement efforts and more severe penalties is widely viewed as political suicide. Neither state nor federal leaders dare come forward with objections, even if the objections are based on federalism concerns rather than substantive policy concerns. Issues of federalism give way under the weight of public fear of crime and the states’ needs for economic aid.”
Still influencing policy to this day. Here are links to the current version of the WA state bill, HB 1095 that would allow sick kids to use nonsmokable cannabis medication in schools. It was first introduced in 2017.
Wonder how local law enforcement can selectively enforce criminal activity and bypass state drug laws to allow corrupt individuals to get what amounts to more rights than those who obey the law, without any penalty to the officer or the criminals?
For instance, in Washington State, there is no penalty for not determining whether a person is compliant with the medical use chapter, so the law enforcement officer, usually on a local state drug task force team, seizes the cannabis even though RCW 69.51A.040 requires a threshold determination on whether they are compliant or not compliant with the medical marijuana chapter (which still exists) before the plants are seized: http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A.040
Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force and local law enforcment have routinely violated this state statute because the statute contains no state penal or financial penalty provision. A Multi-jurisdictional officer is both a state and federal law enforcement officer, who has no penalty for ignoring state cannabis and other laws… https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/FR-1997-10-08/97-26660
Their number one tool is the use of criminal informants, which can be a lucrative way for greedy individual’s to take advantage of people using a social, mild psychoactive substance. Especially disadvantaged patients, young and new consumers. You just infiltrate the consumer and grower groups online and smoke pot with them for awhile to gain your trust. Think you are immune to that kind of manipulation over time, maybe even years, especially with them using modernized surveillance technology?
Good guidance checklist for future legislative proposals if you can’t convince your state legislators to remove cannabis from your state’s controlled substances act, and you can’t raise enough funds to get an initiative to do it, or file a lawsuit:
1. Set reasonable boundaries for ultimate user possession amounts on plant counts or plant canopy for all adults, respective of established common home horticultural practices for personal use. If you don’t know what an ultimate user is, you should. See comments below. Do it openly and allow ALL stakeholders to participate in the process. Limit home production of concentrates to noncombustable methods. Patient limits should be established by their health care providers as needed to treat their own condition(s) if a minor or if adult limits are not enough.
2. Make sure your limits in the seizures and forfeiture statute are triggered when over the legal possession statute limits, for both individuals and state licensed businesses. A forfeiture limit that is less than the legal amount is a potential for law enforcement abuse with the word of a corrupt paid informant when there is no penalty for their action. Any limit that is lower risks people to losing out to police working with corrupt, paid informants. Any exemption, or promise of a hearing is easily rendered useless without hiring expensive legal help. Especially when they don’t notify you when getting a search warrant from a judge without you being able to face your accusers.
3. Do not create new seizure and forfeiture hearings specifically for cannabis. Set reasonable penalties on state law enforcement officers that are ignoring state cannabis laws instead. Don’t make it easy for prohibition minded federal and state prosecutors that work with the Multi-jurisdictional teams. It creates a mess of counties all running different precedents across the state. With all these and other law enforcement loopholes, it becomes easy to delay or set up otherwise innocent people who don’t know their rights. The main issue is the failure include the penalty on officers failing to follow state law back when the law was first created.
4. Do not create laws that criminalize someone for a good harvest, or for accidental or even intentional seeding of the crop. And don’t penalize the kids beyond confiscating it and offering treatment or education instead of incarceration!
5. De-monetize corrupt paid informants by eliminating financial rewards if amounts seized is not more than personal holding limits, with severe repercussions for targeting patients.
6. Prioritize all commercial industry access around a process similar to organic that reflects established cannabis consumer habits, employs a “get to know your grower” attitude, including opportunities to “try before you buy” quality assurance standard. No more plastic containers, please!
7. Don’t make patient access to doctors, products or plants any more complicated than it needs to be. Patients are already suffering enough. Make it tax free, easy and safely available over the counter in privacy with nothing more than a prescription like document for minors to be able to posses and use, or allow for personal adult plant and possession limits to be increased if medically necessary.
8. Be respective of the connoisseur and social and relaxation qualities for adult uses, including gifting of cannabis plants, seeds and clones in a manner that beer and wine connoisseurs, specialized crafters and home gardeners currently enjoy.
9. Allow for the population to voluntarily participate in medical and scientific study on the plant and all its uses and potential so it complies with the spirit of international drug treaties the Controlled Substances Acts were modeled on.
10. Run separate legislation for greater reform for the entire seizure and forfeiture process. The issue is much bigger than just cannabis. Same thing for reforming, if not completely disbanding the multi-jurisdiction drug task forces.
11. Industrial hemp should be exempted from controls so it complies with the spirit of those treaties as well.
12. NO MORE MONOPOLY SCHEMES
We should not be having to jump through hoops like this for our constitutional right to a plant! If you disagree with any point here, all I ask is tell me what part specifically, be ready to back up your objections with facts and cite your reasons clearly, please!
Why do I and others make this issue so personal? How would you feel when a so called friend was secretly setting you up for their own financial gain or personal glory?
Would you let it go, or try your hardest to make sure it doesn’t happen again when real people are forced to pay the price for bad legislation?
What is an “Ultimate User” and are they required to register?
Federal law at
21 U.S. Code § 802 – Definitions
“(27) The term “ultimate user” means a person who has lawfully obtained, and who possesses, a controlled substance for his own use or for the use of a member of his household or for an animal owned by him or by a member of his household.” https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/802
In WA State law:
“(uu) “Ultimate user” means an individual who lawfully possesses a controlled substance for the individual’s own use or for the use of a member of the individual’s household or for administering to an animal owned by the individual or by a member of the individual’s household.”http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.101
(c) The following persons need |not register and may lawfully possess controlled substances under this chapter:
(3) AN ULTIMATE USER or a person in possession of any controlled substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or in lawful possession of a substance included in Schedule V. (Caps mine for emphasis)https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=69.50.302
The biggest threat to patient and consumer privacy at the licensed cannabis shops is actually not the patient registry, but something much simpler that targets EVERYONE that comes in to the cannabis stores, not just patients.
The ID scanners the shop uses to check your driver’s license does more than check the math for your age. It actually gathers and stores all information on the card. That way, they get both patients and adult purchasers. And many of the stores ask for and scan your ID twice: once at the door and again to log in your purchase.
In Washington state, fhis is not required by law, so you can refuse if they want to push it.
This shop appears to understand, but the vast majority use the scanners…
Worset case scenario: There has been a cottage industry for paid police informant rings for years now, who get up to $5000 for every tip leading to a marijuana forfeiture and they get to remain anonymous! This describes the one for Washington State…
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.
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.
“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.”
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
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.