Medical Marijuana in the Green?

Seattle criminal defense attorneys, medical marijuana patients, and even law enforcement agencies themselves, may soon see things get a tad-bit clearer for those folks who are affected by the Washington State medical marijuana treatment system. State law makers are in the process of debating over many major changes that would give patients greater protections from possible arrest for possessing marijuana, and would bring the medical marijuana supply chain out of the legal grey area it is currently in.

A bill proposed by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles implicates a number of far reaching modifications to the Washington State medical marijuana treatment system. It is hoped that Kohl-Welles bill would give patients much needed protection from criminal arrest and possible incarceration. Currently, patients are not immune from arrest, but are permitted to raise a legitimate and viable defense in any prosecution for possession of marijuana. The bill provides for both patients and doctors to enter information into a database that would be accessible by law enforcement to check someone’s authorization to lawfully possess marijuana. Kohl-Welles bill would also make the medical marijuana supply chain more clearly accessible and more clearly defined. The current law in Washington State actually prohibits the sale of marijuana; patients are actually required to grow marijuana themselves, or alternatively they are permitted to designate a caregiver to grow marijuana for them. As a result, many patients have formed groups that collectively grow marijuana so as to minimize labor and costs; many of these collectives have created dispensaries to distribute the marijuana to patients. Law enforcement is concerned about the legality of such collectives/ dispensaries; the Washington State Health Department has in fact emphatically claimed they are not legal.

Under the proposed law, state and city agencies would be called upon to license (and tax) marijuana producers, processors and sellers, creating much needed revenue for our cities and our state alike. Moreover, marijuana dispensaries would be characterized as legal but would be required to operate as non-profit entities. In other words, they could not be established for the purpose of making money, or for a person to “get rich” off selling marijuana as a business enterprise.

If you or a loved one is faced with a possession of marijuana charge in Western Washington, you deserve nothing less than the very best representation from a reputable and qualified Seattle defense lawyer who will relentlessly defend your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal defense attorney who has an intimate understanding of not only Washington’s criminal laws, but also the legal issues that could win your case. You deserve a Seattle criminal defense lawyer who is not afraid to stand up against the prosecution and aggressively fight for your rights and interests. SQ Attorneys is the right Western Washington criminal law firm for the job. Call for a free initial consultation – (206) 441.0900 (Seattle); (425) 998.8384 (Eastside) – it will be the best decision you make all day.

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