6th Press Release 13 May 2015

Medical Cannabis Patient Protection Initiative 1372 Gaining Momentum In Washington

by Steve Elliot1


With 20 co-sponsors for I-1372 so far, the word about the initiative — aimed at protecting medical marijuana patients in Washington state — is spreading like wildfire on Facebook and social media.

“The week before the signing of SB 5052, word about I-1372 began spreading quickly,” said sponsor Kirk Ludden. “With Governor Inslee signing SB 5052, he may have just pushed the People to qualify I-1372 and be the champions for patients once again in this state. If this happens, I-1372 will supersede SB 5052 and the medical cannabis community will have a fair and transparent board to regulate the market.”

As more volunteers gather signatures, a concern by some voters are that the information will be used to create a database. Kirk’s reply, “I’m the one who receives all petitions, and only check for a printed name and signature. I have no time, nor desire to create a database.”

Who Wrote The Citizens’ Initiative?

When asked what inspired him to write I-1372, Ludden responded, “I wrote very little. Section 1 is what I wrote, some thing other patients shared was missing and some edits.

“It comes from SB 5528, SB 5073, existing Washington law and half of the text filed in the House as the Ric Smith Memorial Act (RSMA) as HB 1020 (2014) and HB 2233 (2015),” Ludden said. “This is truly a citizens’ initiative.”

Sections 2-10 are from SB 5528 (the version that had the restrictive regulation removed, and was the cleaned up version of the 2011 sectional veto restoring definitions. This was pulled from second reading in 2013 to be put into the Senate’s “X-file”). Section 12-14, 22 and 24 come from SB 5073. That, along with sections 11 (protections added to protect qualifying patients who are minors, as well as their parent or legal guardian and their designated provider), 20, 21 and 23 come from the RSMA.

In November 2103, Kirk went to an Americans for Safe Access (ASA) meeting introducing the Ric Smith Memorial Act. In the meeting it was discussed what else was needed. A board with its own revenue to remain revenue neutral was deemed important. At the end of the meeting Kirk spoke with those putting it on and mentioned that if they want it passed as is, it needs to be filed as an initiative. Given permission to file, it was assigned I-632.

After filing, Kirk went to his friend George Foley, who comes from a political family back East. Kirk asked George for his assistance in creating the board, of the state and the community to best represent both interests, with its own revenue to remain revenue neutral.

Activist John Novak was also part of the editing and the genius behind section 19. John suggested taking the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exemption of RCW 69.51, that allows for the writing of the law, and writing it into RCW 69.51A including all participants in the chapter. This would also prevent the use of federal drug money to be used to prosecute anyone in compliance with the chapter. It restores cannabis to the state botanical herb list for health care professionals to prescribe and authorize according to state law.

Ludden said that he knew last year that the initiative was possible. This year, he says, “I know that it will happen, it is just a question of when.

“I know I won’t stop till the board is in place,” Ludden told us. “The community desires a board that is looking out for their best interests.”

Petitions are at www.cppwa.org.

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1Steve Elliot is a cannabis activist for many years and contributes to many cannabis publications like www.tokesignals.com


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