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Update – 2:55 p.m. 7/25/2013: According to the Associated Press, four dispensaries were targeted in raids yesterday, despite claims by one Washington attorney that as many as 18 were on the chopping block.
So far, Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross, Key Peninsula Cross and Bayside Collective (formerly Lacey Cross) are the four dispensaries identified. All four were also parts of raids in 2011. The feds haven’t officially commented on it, but employees at Bayside Collective say agents told them that the raids were part of a two-year investigation.

The Weed Blog

By Bryan Punyon
Special to Toke of the Town
To all of my friends and associates who support I-502,
Hi there. You may know me as a cannabis activist, you may simply know me as a guy on Facebook who keeps asking critical questions about I-502. You may not know me at all.
Whatever the case, I am still genuinely undecided on Initiative 502. Some of you seem to take that to mean that I’m secretly against it, on account of all those pesky questions I keep asking.  That saddens me; it pains me that I would be arbitrarily assigned to the Opposition simply because I choose to ask questions and request clarification, especially when so much of the cannabis legalization movement and Drug War has centered around the control and interpretation of information and knowledge.

Patients Against I-502

The Unraveling of Dominic Holden
By Lee Rosenberg
The New Approach Washington campaign turned in its signatures this week for Initiative 502. This initiative would legalize personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and regulate the distribution and sale of the drug to anyone over 21 [in Washington state]. It also introduces a per se DUI limit for “active” THC – in layman’s terms, the amount of “unprocessed” THC in your body.
Over at Slog, Dominic Holden continues to lash out at the folks in the medical marijuana community who oppose it – primarily due to the DUI provisions. I’ve been trying to stay out of this fight for my own sanity, but Holden’s anger is so misdirected (and misinformed), I have to speak up.

Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

​Of Seattle’s 105 medical marijuana dispensaries, almost two-thirds — 68 — have business licenses, according to a report in alternative weekly The Stranger.

“We only have 68 dispensaries currently licensed in our system,” said Denise Movius, a spokeswoman for Seattle’s business licensing division, reports Q13 Fox News Online. “We’ve gotten the names of the rest by reading The Stranger and other advertisements.”
The business licensing division has been contacting the out-of-compliance shops to remind them they need the $90 business licenses.

Photo: KOMO News
Congressional candidate Roger Goodman, left, advocates the legalization of marijuana and protecting the planet.

​What if we could elect a real, live drug policy reformer to Congress? A candidate who has that background — and unabashedly advocates the legalization of cannabis nationwide — is running for the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington state, and he has an excellent chance to win.

Washington state Rep. Roger Goodman had in February initially announced he would run in the 8th District against Rep. Dave Reichert, a right-wing Republican, but now that Rep. Jay Inslee is vacating his seat in the House to run for Governor, Goodman will be running for that open seat in the reliably liberal 1st District where he lives, the candidate told Toke of the Town in an exclusive interview Friday afternoon.
“My number one priority is planetary health,” Goodman told me. “We need to pay attention to that, and we need to foster justice in our society.
“Cannabis policy reform is actually a part of both of those major issues, and my training as a lawyer, an environmentalist, a former Congressional chief of staff, a state agency director, and now as a legislator and reformer for years, qualifies me not just on cannabis reform but on qualify of life issues and on true progressive leadership,” he said.

Photo: KOMO News
Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna thinks fighting health care reform is a states’ rights issue — but he seems completely unwilling to defend the state’s medical marijuana law against the feds

​When 15 Democratic lawmakers in the Washington Legislature on Monday asked state Attorney General Rob McKenna for his opinion on several cannabis-related issues, his non-response only proved that the long-winded AG is capable of blathering on meaninglessly for six pages without ever actually saying anything.

McKenna’s office released an informal opinion which, Chris Grygiel of the Seattle P.I. reports, “largely declined to answer the questions the legislators previous posed to him. Those centered around how the federal government, which does not recognize state medical cannabis laws, might react to changes in Washington’s rules.”

Photo: The Reagan Wing

​Washington Governor Christine Gregoire seems to be wavering between a partial veto and a full veto of a medical marijuana dispensary bill passed by the Legislature last week.

“I’m looking at it only with what I can save,” Gregoire said at a news conference on Wednesday. “Not whether I will sign it.”
SB 5073 would license storefront dispensaries and grow operations, and protect registered patients from arrest, reports Andrew Garber at the Seattle Times.
But the governor indicated the bill would not survive in its present form.

Photo: Injustice In Seattle
Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske requested — and got — a meeting with the editorial board of the Seattle Times after the newspaper endorsed marijuana legalization

​Immediately after the Seattle Times ran an editorial last week supporting marijuana legalization, the newspaper got a telephone call from Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske in Washington, D.C., Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger reports.

Kerlikowske, who heads up the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), wanted to fly to Seattle to “talk personally” to the paper’s full editorial board, reports Dominic Holden at The Stranger.
Holden called the meeting “an apparent attempt by the federal government to pressure the state’s largest newspaper to oppose marijuana legalization.”

Photo: The Stranger
Washington state Rep. Roger Goodman supports the legalization of marijuana. He is now running for U.S. Congress.

​Washington state Rep. Roger Goodman has announced he is seeking the Democratic Party nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R), a two-term Congressman who represents Washington’s 8th Congressional District. Goodman supports the legalization of marijuana, and has an excellent track record as a drug policy reformer.

Goodman served as the executive director of the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission in the late 1990s and was elected to the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, reports Phillip Smith at Stop The Drug War. While with the state commission, he published reports on prison capacity and sentencing policy, helped increase the availability of drug treatment in prisons, and guided 14 other sentencing-related bills through the Washington Legislature.
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