|Office of the WA Attorney General|
|Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna: “Not a big fan of making marijuana available”|
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna said Tuesday he opposes attempts to legalize marijuana in Washington, Chris Grygiel reports at the Seattle P.I.
McKenna was reacting to a a bill introduced by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle) to legalize pot for those 21 and older in the state.
“Like most of my colleagues in law enforcement, like my father who was in law enforcement, I’m not a big fan of making marijuana available without a prescription,” McKenna said.
“It is legal today if you have a prescription. That’s fine; the voters approved that law and people who are really sick with cancer, for example, or glaucoma seem to derive real benefit from the medical or medicinal use of marijuana. But making it available generally without a prescription I don’t support,” he said.
McKenna’s opposition to legalizing cannabis comes as no surprise. McKenna is definitely not cool. The only surprise in his statement was his downright reasonable-sounding words on medical marijuana — since up until now, he’s had a tin ear when it comes to hearing the concerns of patients.
Rob has been severely neglectful of his duties in making sure Washington’s medical marijuana law (passed by voter initiative in 1998) is properly enforced to protect the rights of those suffering from “debilitating or terminal illnesses” (that’s the language of the law) who are eligible to legally use marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.
The unconcern with which the attorney general’s office regards the rights of medical marijuana patients goes beyond mere benign neglect. McKenna has, in fact, allowed some ugly things to happen to patients in Washington, and that’s why Seattle political site Horse’s Ass has decried his “war on the sick.”
|Photo: Joel Sanders|
|Lee Rosenberg: “Rob McKenna’s office has been trying to undermine Washington state’s medical marijuana law”|
”Here in Washington, our state law enforcement officials should be following the voter initiative passed in 1998 (and the follow-up legislation from 2007), not the Federal law,” wrote Horse’s Ass scribe Lee Rosenberg.
“Unfortunately, our attorney general doesn’t seem to agree,” Rosenberg wrote. “Rob McKenna’s office has been trying to undermine Washington State’s medical marijuana law, and thanks to a Public Disclosure Request, we’re finally able to shine some light on what they’ve been doing.”
One dirty little trick played by McKenna’s office goes like this, according to Horse’s Ass: A number of qualified medical marijuana patients have been raided and arrested by police (Washington’s medical pot doesn’t protect from arrest; it just provides an “affirmative defense” in court). The patients are then pressured into accepting unfavorable plea deals that keep them out of a jail cell but still on probation, under the supervision of the Department of Corrections (DOC).
The DOC then claims the authority to deny those patients the legal right to use medical marijuana through obscure “internal rules” they pulled out of their asses — after consulting with McKenna’s office. They would then enforce their “no pot” rule for probationers by giving piss tests.
Net result? People who had been authorized by their doctors to use medical marijuana were being arrested or threatened with arrest for “violating their probation” for — you guessed it! — using medical marijuana. So you have law enforcement using a made-up rule to step between doctors and their patients, forcing patients to stop using the medicine that works under threat of imprisonment.
So when Attorney General Rob McKenna tells you it’s “fine” to have legal medical marijuana, careful about believing him — ’cause his office has figured out a few, you know, “work-arounds” to keep you from using it, if they wanna.
The situation on the ground in Washington state is this: the DOC has formalized a “policy on dealing with medical marijuana” which is little more than a hateful smokescreen that makes it appear as if they are accommodating the law, but in reality was simply denying everyone who had their doctor fill out the DOC’s verification form.
“On several occasions, they were informed that they were violating state law, but those warnings don’t appear to have made any difference in their policy,” Rosenberg wrote.
Rob McKenna doesn’t work for the federal government. He’s the top law enforcement officer in Washington state. Why does he have such a problem enforcing Washington’s medical marijuana law, rather than finding devious work-arounds to negate it?
What do you bet that even in the unlikely event that the Washington Legislature legalized marijuana, Rob McKenna’s office would find any loopholes available so they can keep busting pot users?