All posts by Green Xena

Disabled medical cannabis patient.

Video Proof that John Davis (Seattle Hempfest Chair, NWPRC, CCSE, etc) Supports 5052 & End of Medical Cannabis in WA.

UNDENIABLE PROOF that John Davis pushed for & supports the changes under 5052. He says medical cannabis was already dying & this is the way of the future. Those of you still supporting this turd need to wake up (“But Hempfest is cool!” Pfft. No.). There were other, better options for medical bills this session. If Davis supported 5073 in the past, he should’ve supported 2058 this session, which used much of the same language. Or he could’ve supported 1020. Or he could’ve just said NO to this piece of crap. But, 5052 was pushed because it most benefits the recreational industry (and him & his businesses) the most while hurting patients.

Quotes by John Davis from the video, regarding bill 5052:

“What came out wasn’t perfect but ok, from the national perspective, from what it started, man, I couldn’t hope that we get better.”

“People are saying 5052 is the death of medical. No, not in my opinion… Medical was already over, it was just a matter of how. 5052 actually gives us an extended life onto cleaning up the system and putting it where it needs to go, so it was something that really needed to happen.”

The eventual plan is to eliminate medical cannabis:

“The DOH is supposed to rule on what is the definition of medical cannabis, and they can define medical cannabis as pretty much anything that they want.”

When asked by a fellow ganjapreneur if defining medical cannabis could potentially backfire by not being taxed the same as recreational since medications aren’t taxed in WA, which would be a “win” for the medical community, Davis replied,

“The DOH could totally take a ruling and say that only things  that are 20%CBD and under 0.3% THC, that is it, that is medical, and then all access to anything outside that basically ceases to be.” 

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We had to take the video that went viral because this “Margarita Madison” Says its her video , but I give you my word, this video is everywhere…I have never been to your “Fcebook” page Margarita Madison..LOL Get over yourself. This went viral, you have a lot of cleaning up to do!

Here is here email:
“I will respectfully ask that you cease any use of my personal video which you have copied for alternate use from my personal facebook page without permission. 

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In the meantime and in all fairness here is an excellent substitute!

Here’s The Video Seattle Hempfest Doesn’t Want You To See

By On at 1:20 pm · 2 Comments

http://www.tokesignals.com/heres-the-video-seattle-hempfest-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

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PATIENTS, PLEASE BOYCOTT: John Davis’ SEATTLE HEMPFEST (Chair), NW Patient Resource Center, anything touched by the CCSE (Exec. Director), and of course, 502 stores & the registry.

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Keep Calm and Toke On

So…as you probably know, Governor Inslee signed bill 5052, thus effectively ending affordable, accessible medical cannabis in Washington State. There is much confusion being spread about the details of how this will affect patients.  Much of the media is either misinformed or biased. The bill has had many changes to it through the process and is difficult to read.  Therefore, we at The People for Medical Cannabis are waiting for the final version as signed by the governor before giving our analysis. Please keep in mind that we are patients and citizen activists, not lawyers or paid lobbyists; so while we have experience with interpreting bill language, we’re not an authority. We encourage you to also read the finalized bill and take note of any questions you have to discuss and ask legislators, lawyers, & others in the medical cannabis community. Everyone is in a panic and wants immediate answers, but please have patience. The final version of 5052 should be available on the legislative website this week, however, the legislators are taking a brief break before continuing an extended session. Meanwhile…

keep calm toke on

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Excuses for Strict Regulations of SB 5052 Invalidated

Addressing common concerns that have been stated by legislators who support SB 5052 as reasons for the proposed regulations: Access by minors, laboratory testing, patient legitimacy, federal guidelines (Cole memo), and success of the recreational system.

Access by Minors

Medical cannabis was legalized in WA in 1998. Increased access by minors was not a major concern here until after recreational use was legalized in 2012. In order for minors to become authorized medical cannabis patients, they must first be diagnosed with a qualifying condition, and if the diagnosing practitioner is not the same one authorizing use of cannabis, they must have a copy of their qualifying medical records sent to the authorizing provider. In addition to the cost of an exam, there may be an additional cost for the authorization paperwork. Minor patients or their authorized designated provider must show valid state ID and proper authorization at each visit to a dispensary, and the authorization is verified with the provider. The process does not lend itself to easy access by minors. In contrast, customers at recreational stores must only show valid state ID to prove they are over age 21, the same as when buying liquor in a grocery store. Anyone of age has access, so parents must be responsible with storage and educating their children about cannabis. The medical cannabis system that has existed for seventeen years did not suddenly become a threat to minors.

Laboratory Testing

Proponents of 5052 claim that pushing medical cannabis patients into the recreational stores will provide them with safer products that have been tested by cannabis labs. They accuse medical cannabis products of being untested and tainted. Actually, most products in dispensaries are tested because of market demand. In addition, patients can currently closely inspect flowers for quality (sight and smell can tell a lot about terpenes, trichome structure, mold/mildew, etc.) None of that would be allowed under the proposed bill.

As for recreational testing…  First, most of the cannabis labs in WA are not equipped to test for pesticides and it is extremely cost-prohibitive. Second, the recreational system is permitted to use hundreds of pesticides and fertilizers (Sources: http://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/pesticides/pesticideuseonmarijuana.aspx, http://www.beyondpesticides.org/watchdog/documents/PesticideUseCannabisProduction.pdf ).  The testing done by recreational stores is the same testing currently done by medical cultivators and dispensers and uses the same labs. The labs are not regulated by standards of practices and there is some question about consistency and accuracy of results (Read more:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_kdFQA4brwVdHFrd0hQX09LNnc/view , http://www.hightimes.com/read/lab-testing-debunked-thca-vs-thc).  The test samples are chosen, packaged, and submitted by the producers/processors at their discretion. Samples can be from anything and could be adulterated to test stronger or cleaner. In addition, bribery and favoritism are possible risks to accurate results. Testing of commercial cannabis should not be mandated until the laboratories, sampling, and testing methods themselves are regulated.

Patient Legitimacy

Some of those in favor of SB 5052 doubt the legitimate medical needs of authorized cannabis patients, although they have no factual basis for this assumption. While there are always people who will use false pretenses to access controlled substances, the therapeutic benefits of cannabis are essential medicine to the majority who utilize it.

A common misconception of those with chronic conditions and/or disabilities is that people who look “normal” and don’t use assistive devices such as a wheelchair, walker, tote an oxygen tank or feeding tube/bag, etc. are healthy. In fact, 74% of Americans with severe disabilities do not use such equipment and their condition is not visible (Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, http://invisibledisabilities.org/). These are known as invisible disabilities, and it is insulting and irresponsible to superficially judge another’s health status, especially without medical knowledge.

Based on data extrapolated from Colorado, the WA Dept. of Health modestly forecasts approximately 153,000 registered medical cannabis patients and designated providers (Source: 5052 fiscal report). This number is roughly equivalent to a large city such as Vancouver or Bellevue. While this segment is a minority of the state population, it includes some of the most desperately ill who have exhausted other means. It is essential that medical cannabis remain affordable and accessible to those most in need.

Cole Memo

The Cole memo was a guideline sent from the US Deputy Attorney General to federal prosecutors last year regarding enforcement of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. The guidance was not a mandate and should not be construed as law. Congress has since given bipartisan support to defunding Dept. of Justice action against states with medical marijuana laws. The eight suggestions listed in the Cole memo do not necessitate the far-reaching controls proposed by SB 5052.

Success of the Recreational System

The primary motivation behind SB 5052 and moving medical cannabis patients into the recreational system is to increase revenue and bolster the struggling new industry.

Newly-formed trade associations such as The WA Cannabusiness Association and Northwest Producers, Processors, and Retailers have lobbied the concerns of their industry to legislators. They claim that rigid oversight and exorbitant taxes under the laws of Initiative 502 are making it difficult to succeed. Eliminating the competition of sales to the less expensive existing medical cannabis system is the first priority for those with recreational business interests.

Amber Lewis, executive director of NWPPR, recently told The Columbian newspaper, “It’s been less than a year since the legal commercial marketplace for marijuana created by Initiative 502 has been in effect. It’s no secret that significant problems have emerged already. Commercial shops are not thriving, largely stifled by I502’s overly-broad regulation and excessive taxation”. http://blogs.columbian.com/cannabis-chronicles/2015/03/18/nwppr-marijuana-marketplace/

The WA Cannabusiness Association is considered a stakeholder who assisted Senator Rivers with crafting the language for SB 5052. WACA feels that the financial interests of the recreational cannabis industry and need for “fairness” are more important than the legitimate concerns of the medical cannabis community.

WACA executive director Vicki Christopherson, told The Daily Beast, “There is a fiscal argument to be made that the businesses who made significant investment to follow the rules and the whole regulatory mandate should not be forced to compete with those who chose not to do that. It’s a fairness argument.”  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/01/the-millionaire-who-wants-to-control-washington-s-weed.html

The entrepreneurs of the recreational cannabis industry can afford to fund and lobby for legislation that benefits their investments, however, medical patients lack the means to ensure that their needs are represented.

PS) Every member of the WA House of Reps. has received this article (several in person). Please continue to share it!

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Lab Testing Debunked. Regulate the Labs Before Mandating Testing.

“States that have legalized cannabis require testing for potency and contaminants in cannabis, and lab-testing cannabis is quickly becoming an important part of the industry. The tests for pesticides, mold, contamination, etc. don’t require any new or special analytical techniques and are part of standard practice for other agricultural products. With the right lab equipment, chemists can also measure cannabinoids to a certain degree of precision, if they do it right. Unfortunately, there is no standardized way of looking at the data, and this has everyone confused.”   Read more…

Legislators keep using testing as an excuse for stricter regulations, however, cannabis testing laboratories have no standards of practices. They may use varying methods and equipment. Their results may not be consistent or accurate. Testing should NOT be mandated until the testing labs are regulated.

testing bud

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

 

MPP MMJ taxes other states1MPP MMJ taxes other states2

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.

 

 

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Interview with Reps. Condotta & Hurst on Major Cannabis Bills 5052 & 2136

condotta hurst impact

The latest episode of The Impact (on TVW.org) featured an interview with Representatives Condotta & Hurst about top issues being decided this session through the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming.  The conversation on the major cannabis overhaul bills, 5052 and 2136 (written to be passed together), starts at 36:07 on the video (they discuss hemp & e-cigs before that).

Representative Condotta is supportive of the bills but realizes that the medical aspect is too expensive & restrictive for patients. He especially has a problem with the registry.

Condotta states, “I’m a little concerned with how the medical bill we’ve got goes a little too far a little too fast. I do think we need to license and limit, that’s what we started out to do. But they’ve created this entire package that really goes the whole route and they’ve put it all together.”

“I’m particularly concerned with the registry. It’s almost 17 years they’ve been doing this and it hasn’t been an issue. “

Thank you, Rep. Condotta! Unfortunately, he thinks the proposed bills just need some ”fine tuning” in the future and they will work for now. He needs to realize that patients will suffer & die while waiting on the legislature to fix yet another faulty law. Condotta seems to have good intentions towards medical cannabis; yet continuing to support this legislation would cause irreparable harm.

On the other hand, former police officer & detective Representative Hurst appears smugly eager for bills 5052 and 2136 to be enacted and enforced. He would like to go further to regulate all cannabis (recreational, medical, tribal) and get it “on the same page”.

The interviewer asks if there is enough time this session to find what works best for both the medical and recreational sides of cannabis.

Rep. Hurst responds, “If we get to the point that we’re licensing dispensaries and shut down the ones that won’t get a license, that’s the biggest step we can take. Everything after that is frosting on the cake. There’s a lot more things we’ll get to.”

That is hardly a compassionate response to the needs of patients.

Hurst says he doesn’t have sympathy for medical dispensaries because they are illegal and every transaction is a felony. He calls the medical cannabis system the “new organized crime”.  I suppose if that is true, the state is also guilty for accepting $15 million in so-called illicit tax money paid by dispensaries in just the last fiscal year and a half (2014 to part of 2015, Source: Dept. of Revenue). They haven’t been a problem until the poorly regulated recreational industry formed, hired lobbyists, and greedily aimed to destroy any competition. The state uses the Cole Memo as an excuse for recent efforts to over-regulate cannabis, however, this reasoning is faulty because it was not mandated by law and the memo did not specify the drastic control and restrictions proposed under these bills.

Rep. Hurst claims that forcing patients into the recreational system will provide them with a safer product than they get today. Legislators in favor of pushing patients into the recreational system continue this scripted excuse but patients know better. They accuse medical cannabis products of being untested and tainted. Actually, most medical cannabis products are tested because of market demand. In addition, patients can currently often obtain their cannabis directly from the grower and closely inspect flowers for quality (sight & smell can tell a lot about terpenes, trichome structure, mold/mildew, etc.) None of that would be allowed under the proposed bills.

As for the recreational system…  First, most of the testing labs in WA are not equipped to test for pesticides and it is extremely cost-prohibitive. Second, the 502 system is permitted to use over 200 approved pesticides. The testing done by recreational stores is the same testing currently done by medical cultivators and dispensers and uses the same labs. The testing laboratories themselves are not regulated by mandated standards of practices and there is some question about inconsistency of results among labs. The test samples are chosen, packaged, and submitted by the producers/processors at their discretion. Samples can be from anything and could be adulterated to test stronger or cleaner. In addition, bribery and favoritism are risks to accurate results. Testing of commercial cannabis should not be required unless and until the laboratories, sampling & testing methods themselves are regulated.

Hurst curiously estimates that under bills 5052/2136, patients will probably pay less than they do now. Even though bill 2136 reduces the excise tax to 30%, it is still at least 30% more than current costs. Medical cannabis prices per gram range from approximately $6-8 directly from the grower to $8-10 at dispensaries. The average price at recreational stores is approximately $25 per gram. Even the recent blow-out sales at 502 stores due to overstock have only brought the price as low as approx. $15 per gram, and only in high-density areas. The 30% reduction in the exorbitant excise tax won’t help the sickest, poorest patients; it would be an added expense. For disabled patients limited to a below-poverty-level income, every dollar affects their health and wellbeing.

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. These bills would cause Washington State to have the highest taxed medical cannabis in the country, by a ridiculous amount.

Bill 2136 would allot $12 million dollars to local jurisdictions for “marijuana enforcement”. While not all of that would go to the police, you can be sure a good portion of it does. Where will this money come from? The state expects the system to pay for itself with the extra revenue from forcing patients into the recreational system but will be disappointed by our lack of participation in a broken system. Fiscal reports estimate that two-thirds of the current medical market will move to the illicit market if these bills pass. This legislation would criminalize patients and would give law enforcement the resources to do so.

Former police detective Rep. Hurst’s final words in the interview are a grim warning of what the medical cannabis community faces if these bills pass, “Patients are going to be better served, and the folks that want to play by the rules are going to do fine and those that don’t want to play by the rules are in for a big surprise.”

To protect and serve, eh? It won’t be a surprise, but the proposed changes would be a disaster for the cause of medical cannabis and the state of Washington.

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Senator Rivers Complains About Being Demonized.

In an article in The Columbian, Senator Ann Rivers is upset she’s being called-out as the heartless, corrupt, greedy bitch she is. Waaa. Although she says she’s met with many patients to discuss this bill, that doesn’t mean she’s listened to anything they said. She rarely takes the time to give a crap, laughs in our faces, makes jokes about us to the media, and continues on with her mission to squash us under the 502 boot. Also, there are many “patients” out there with business interests claiming to represent true patients. There are about 8 paid lobbyists for the recreational industry working against us this session but the sickest, poorest patients must fight for themselves.

Rivers claims that, “a few ‘bad actors’ are whipping others ‘into a frenzy’ over misinformation.” The bad actors are the traitorous “patients” with business interests getting paid as spokespeople for the recreational industry, NOT the average patient who just wants to be able to afford their medicine without over regulation &  risk of  law enforcement. I’m not misinformed, I have the same amount of college education as Senator Rivers. Don’t insult the intelligence of the medical community.

5052 would:

  • Require patients & designated providers to register in a statewide database in order to get the maximum allowed amounts (which is still drastically reduced from current 60-day supply), arrest protection, & shop in stores with medical endorsements. Patients not registered in the database have further decreased allowed amounts, only have affirmative defense if in compliance, & are denied access to stores with medical endorsements & products.  Minors & their parents are required to register (putting them at risk of action by CPS & in child custody disputes).  5052 states that federal law enforcement (among other agencies) may access the registry and that state law offers no protection from federal laws.
  • Reduce allowable possession and plant count. Patients who register in database: Decreased from current 60-day supply to 1-week supply. Allowed plant count from 15 to 6 plants (60% reduction). Patients not registered in database:  Decreased from current 60-day supply to a few days’ supply. Allowed plant count from 15 to 4 plants (73% reduction).
  • Force medical patients into the overpriced, less accessible, unsuitable recreational market. High prices/excise taxes (2 to 4 times the current medical prices according to fiscal note). Limited access due to bans, moratoriums & caps (40% of cities prohibit).
  • Require noncommercial, residential patient grows of up to 4 patients to register as a co-op. Limit the allowed amount of plants per residence to 15 regardless of number of patients.  Permit inspections by LCB & law enforcement of noncommercial patient co-op grows.  Require physical labor of all patients, regardless of illness or disabilities, who participate in a shared grow.
  • Change the definition of concentrates & plans to restrict patient processing in the future of any extract over 10% THC.
  • Close of hundreds of licensed & taxpaying medical cannabis businesses who cater to the specific needs of patients.
  • Restrict authorizations & interfere with doctor/patient relationship.
  • Provide millions of dollars in funds to local jurisdictions for marijuana law enforcement.

Senator Rivers, the medical cannabis community is not misinformed, we are scared of losing our medicine & furious that our health & wellbeing means nothing in the face of the greed of your legislation and all who support it.

PS to Rivers) The anecdote about your father using medical cannabis for pain when he was dying of cancer only disgusts me further that you would harm those in his situation now.

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