"Right now, you're taking everything away from them" ~ Rep. Cary Condotta
By Steve Elliott
Each time lawmakers scheduled and considered House Bill 2149 during the daytime, medical marijuana patients crowded the hearing rooms, protesting the changes they said would destroy safe access in the state. So the Washington state House waited until just before midnight Monday night to approve a measure gutting the state's medical cannabis law, claiming the move is necessary to "bring it into line" with the still-unimplemented legal recreational marijuana market created by Initiative 502.
HB 2149 passed shortly before midnight Monday on a 67-29 vote, reports Rachel La Corte at TDN.com. It now goes to the Washington Senate, which is already considering similar measures on how to "reconcile" the two marijuana systems, medical and recreational, which, ironically, voters were told would remain separate.
Changes under the bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Eileen Cody, include reducing the amount of marijuana patients can possess from 24 ounces to just 3 ounces; reducing the amount of plants patients can grow from 15 to just six plants, three of which may be flowering; entirely doing away with collective gardens, effectively eliminating dispensary access; and establishing a patient registry.