A week after a medical marijuana reform bill died in the Washington state Legislature, a group is filing an initiative to the people with the Secretary of State’s office on Thursday. According to the Washington Alternative Medicine Alliance, the initiative would ensure safe access to medicinal cannabis statewide, and would finally give real arrest and prosecution protection to patients in the state.
“The Legislature failed to act this year, so now it’s up to the people of the state,” said Philip Dawdy, director of WAMA. “We’ve been left with an unclear state medical cannabis law that is hurting patients as much as it’s helping them.
“Much of our state is a black hole when it comes to medical cannabis access,” Dawdy said. “That’s an unacceptable situation and it must be addressed. Taking this issue directly to the voters is our best option.”
The initiative would also create a state-licensed system of medical marijuana patient cooperatives and growers, similar to systems already operating in Colorado and Arizona.
The main backers of the initiative, besides Dawdy, are Seattle-based defense attorney Kurt Boehl and Ezra Eickmeyer, a political activist and lobbyist in the state capitol, OIympia.