|Photo: Cannabis Culture|
|Under a joke amendment proposed by a Republican legislator in Washington, medical marijuana patients could order pizza on the state’s dime.|
It seems everyone’s a comedian when it comes to cannabis. Now a Washington legislator has added a joke pizza amendment to a bill which would expand the state’s medical marijuana law.
Rep. Glenn Anderson (F-Fall City) proposed a joke amendment requiring the state to reimburse medical marijuana patients for pizza the eat while legally high. Anderson’s amendment specifies it would not reimburse for more than three toppings, or for tips to pizza delivery drivers.
Philip Dawdy, spokesman for the Washington Cannabis Association, a trade group for the medical marijuana industry in the state, didn’t seem to mind the joke. “It’s the best amendment in the history of the Legislature,” Dawdy told reporter Jonathan Martin at The Seattle Times.
“The entire subject is rather cheesy,” Seattle Hempfest organizer Vivian McPeak told Toke of the Town. “All I am saying is give pizza chance.”
“Pizza is a no-no on renal diets but hey, as long as it’s government subsidized… after all, they’re concerned with our health, right?” medical marijuana patient/activist Ric Smith told us.
|Photo: Seattle P.I.|
|Rep. Glenn Anderson (R-Fall City): “At this point, smoking a joint might not be a bad idea”|
Some cannabis activists, however, weren’t amused. After all, Washington’s medical marijuana law requires that patients must be suffering from a “terminal or debilitating” disease.
“Glenn Anderson’s ‘medical cannabis pizza amendment’ might be funny if it were not one of a dozen amendments proposed by a very few legislators which seek to make our law unworkable and ineffective,” Ben Livingston of the Seattle-based Cannabis Defense Coalition told Toke of the Town Monday morning. “It’s not the only amendment he proposed, though it is the least egregious.”
“The former pot smoker may find humor in jokes about the appetite-stimulating properties of cannabis and cancer patients getting the munchies — we admit to making such jokes amongst our friends with cancer and other qualifying illnesses,” Livingston told us, “but wasting state dollars and employee hours with such whimsy seems to trivialize the wasting syndromes and severe nausea that medical cannabis helps alleviate, as well as our state’s budget crisis.”
“Mr. Anderson’s amendment is, at best, insensitive to suffering patients, but it’s indicative of what many of our legislators think of medical cannabis,” Steve Sarich of CannaCare told Toke of the Town on Monday morning. “Unfortunately for Mr. Anderson, he’s made a joke of himself with this ridiculous amendment.”
Rep. Anderson said he came up with the pizza amendment idea during a House Republican caucus on Friday morning when lawmakers got in a discussion about their favorite munchies. “It got to be a pretty long list of favorite comfort foods,” he said. “But you’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”
Anderson said he supports the bill, SB 5073, because it would impose a framework on how medical marijuana can be legally grown and sold in the state. Washington’s medical marijuana law, passed by voters in 1998, doesn’t answer the question of whether dispensaries are legal.
SB 5073, which has already passed the Senate, would legalize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries and food processors, and would also finally give Washington patients legal protection from search and arrest for possessing cannabis.
Anderson said he suspects most lawmakers have smoked pot, and that the House will pass the bill if it reaches the floor.
The bill could come up for a vote on the House floor at any time. If that happens, Anderson said he plans to talk about the amendment, then he might withdraw it.
“Times are pretty serious right now,” Anderson said. “At this point, smoking a joint might not be a bad idea.”