Search Results: hiatt (31)

Photo: Cinema Libre Studios

​Director Rod Pitman’s just-released cannabis documentary, A NORML Life, goes beyond the recitation of facts and figures to capture the beating heart of the legalization movement, in all its passion, its commitment and its excitement.

It’s an extraordinary job by Pitman, producer Doug Ross and a rich cast of cannabis characters including Seattle Hempfest founder Vivian McPeak (who, near the beginning of the show, rightly says America’s marijuana laws are “fixing a problem that never existed,”), and it wastes no time in going for the emotional resonance which is the reason many of us are involved in this movement.
The documentary, which compellingly tells the proud story of advocates fighting for the legalization of marijuana, was released by Cinema Libre Studios on DVD last week. The film presents a strong case that the use of medical marijuana is effective, and that it is a safe alternative to pharmaceutical medicines.

Graphic: Seattle Hempfest

There has to be a Number One in every category. When it comes to pot rallies, Seattle Hempfest is the biggest and arguably the best on the planet.

The monster marijuana rally — or “protestival,” as organizer Vivian McPeak puts it — is marking 20 years of existence with this year’s event, held at Myrtle Edwards Park on the beautiful Seattle waterfront — and for the first time ever, Hempfest is slated for three days.
The party begins at high noon on Friday, August 19 and continues until 8 p.m., then things start up again at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, lasting until 8 each night.

Graphic: Seattle Weekly

​Tomorrow night at 7, I’ll be onstage in Seattle with seven other panelists to discuss what’s next for marijuana in Washington State.

The event, sponsored by Seattle Weekly and KCTS 9, is called “Toke Signals: The Future of Marijuana in Washington State.”
And there’s still time to submit questions for the panel, reports Curtis Cartier at Seattle Weekly.
The forum will be at KCTS 9’s studio near Seattle Center and will feature:
• John McKay: Former U.S. Attorney and Seattle University Law Professor who prosecuted Marc Emery
• Rick Steves: Author, PBS travel correspondent and marijuana law reform advocate
• Steve Elliott: Seattle Weekly’s Toke Signals” medical marijuana dispensary review columnist and Toke of the Town blog editor

Photo: Douglas Hiatt
Douglas Hiatt: “It is not legalization, and it is going to criminalize patients in this state”

​The New Approach Washington initiative, which has gained financial support and big backers for relaxing Washington state’s marijuana laws, is not real cannabis legalization, according to Seattle-based activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt of Sensible Washington.

“It is not legalization, and it is going to criminalize patients in this state,” Hiatt told Toke of the Town Monday afternoon of New Approach Washington. “They’re using polling to justify their positions, saying we have a ‘nervous public,’ and that we have to win at all costs.”
The New Approach Washington initiative would authorize the Washington State Liquor Control Board to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana for sale to adults 21 and older through state-licensed stores. A new marijuana excise tax would be earmarked for prevention, research, education and health care. State and local retail sales taxes would be directed to the general fund and location budgets.

Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~
Cass Stewart mans the counter at Apothecary Seattle on Capitol Hill. The Seattle City Council on Monday voted to license the city’s dispensaries.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are alive in Seattle, at least for now. The Seattle City Council, on a unanimous 8-0 vote Monday, approved an ordinance which licenses and taxes dispensaries in the city.

The ordinance now heads for the desk of Mayor Mike McGinn for his signature, reports Philip Dawdy at 4Evergreen Group. The mayor is expected to sign the ordinance.
The ordinance requires that medical cannabis dispensaries have city business licenses, pay business and occupation (B&O) taxes and be at least 1,000 feet away from schools.

Photo: Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

​A Seattle City Council panel on Wednesday unanimously passed a measure licensing and regulating medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The ordinance now moves to the full City Council for consideration on Monday, July 18, reports Chris Grygiel at the Seattle P.I. But prior to the vote by the Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee, one attorney told the council members that the ordinance won’t stand up in court.
“I want to applaud the City Council for taking a look at this matter … unfortunately I must urge you to reconsider your proposal,” said activist/attorney Douglas Hiatt, who said he represents medical marijuana patients. “Go back to the drawing board. I do not believe there is any way you can pass your ordinance will stand under the law. The state’s controlled substances act pre-empts the field … Marijuana is still illegal … It’s illegal for all purposes, you cannot regulate an illegal business without a specific authority.”

Photo: Anna Hiatt/Castro Valley Patch
Mason jars are used to keep the marijuana fresh at Alameda County’s We Are Hemp

​Tens of thousands of dollars in previously unclaimed taxes are headed back to the unincorporated Eden area of Alameda County, California, after two medical marijuana dispensaries were restored to local tax rolls.

We Are Hemp and Garden of Eden are the two dispensaries that, according to reporter Sonja Sharp at the Castro Valley Patch, “put Cherryland head and shoulders above Ashland and San Lorenzo in this spring’s cash-in-the-couch cushions bonanza.”
The cash in the couch cushions of which the Patch speaks is that found by local volunteers pounding the pavement for the Alameda County Redevelopment Agency, which had already uncovered some $72,000 in annual tax money “that had been falling into deeper pockets in San Leandro and Hayward.”

Photo: Courtney Blethen Riffkin/The Seattle Times
Laura Healy, of Green Hope Patient Network in Shoreline, Washington, which lost its business license, said cities are in a bind: “They’re trying to force the Legislature to step up to the plate”

​​​Cities across Washington have moved to shut down a combined 35 medical marijuana dispensaries since February. The crackdown is occurring even as the Legislature is moving the legalize the cannabis collectives.

The crackdown is driven, at least in part, by a little-noticed memo from a municipal insurance risk pool, reports Jonathan Martin at the Seattle Times. The memo emphatically states that dispensaries are illegal and not entitled to business licenses, and that opinion has prompted Shoreline, Tacoma and other Seattle-area cities to action.

Photo: TopNews
Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske requested — and got — a meeting with the editorial board of the Seattle Times after the newspaper endorsed marijuana legalization. The Drug Czar is bound by law to oppose marijuana legalization.

​Immediately after the Seattle Times ran an editorial supporting marijuana legalization, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske made plans to visit the newspaper on Friday, March 4 — presumably to tell them where they have erred. In response to that, cannabis legalization advocates plan to protest Kerlikowske’s appearance at the paper by rallying on public sidewalks around the Times building.

Yes, it may be the first time in history that protesters have shown up to support a newspaper editorial on any subject!
Some observers have wondered whether the meeting is an attempt at intimidation by the Drug Czar, especially since the Times is one of the largest newspapers yet to support legalization.
Protest Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske’s Appearance at the Seattle Times
LOCATION: Sidewalks adjoining the Seattle Times at 1120 John Street
TIME: From 7:30 a.m. until the Drug Czar departs the Seattle Times building

Graphic: Reality Catcher

​In a huge win for medical marijuana advocates, a southwest Washington man who grew cannabis for a dying cancer patient has been acquitted of drug charges.

Mark Hensley of Vancouver, Wash., was arrested last year with 133 marijuana plants, many of them small clones between 1.5 to 2 inches tall, attorney Douglas Hiatt told Toke of the Town Friday afternoon.
Hensley was growing the plants to produce cannabis oil for his former tenant, William Britten, who died of esophogeal cancer last August.
Clark County Superior Court Judge Rich Melnick found Hensley not guilty on Friday, Hiatt told us.
His client, Hensley, was allowed to grow more than the Washington’s medical marijuana law’s presumptive limit of 15 plants because it takes lots of cannabis to produce the oil, Hiatt said. “Mr. Britten used a significant amount of cannabis for appetite and nausea and to control the pain, obviously. He was very, very sick.”