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WA Gov Vetoes Marijuana Licensing Bill, Allows Only 15 Plants Per Patient

WA Gov Vetoes Marijuana Licensing Bill, Allows Only 15 Plants Per Patient

Daily News @ RevolutionNews.US — (Reuters) – Washington’s governor on Friday vetoed most provisions of bill to establish state licensing for cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana, saying she did not want to put state employees at risk of federal prosecution. Governor Christine Gregoire said she was swayed by a legal opinion issued earlier this month by federal prosecutors threatening to crack down not only on dispensary owners and growers but on state regulators enforcing the proposed law. The Democratic-controlled legislature passed the bill in response to a recent proliferation of storefront dispensaries that are neither explicitly permitted nor banned under the 1998 voter-approved state law legalizing pot for medical purposes. The vetoed bill would have directed the state Health Department to devise a system for regulating and licensing medical marijuana dispensaries and directed the state Agriculture Department to do the same for growers. Gregoire, however, let stand several minor provisions, one allowing collective gardens for medical marijuana patients of up to 45 plants total but no more than 15 per person. The law previously authorized a 60-day individual patient supply of up to 24 ounces and 15 plants. Although cannabis is still listed as an illegal narcotic under federal law, 15 states and the District of Columbia have statutes decriminalizing marijuana for medical reasons, according to the National Drug Policy Alliance. — “Leave no authority

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