**Cannabis History

"Washington State Medical Cannabis Legal Guide", Cannabis Defense Coalition, Version 2012-05-17, pp. 4-8

Before I-692

January 20, 1972

I-264 filed to liberalize Washington State cannabis laws.

November 26, 1976

U.S. v. Randal recognizes medical necessity defense for cannabis.


Federal government starts Compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) Program.


Washington State passes HB 259, creating the Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act.

August 17, 1991

Inspired by Jack Herer's book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” Gary Cook promotes the first annual Seattle Hempfest, originally billed as the Washington Hemp Expo.

November 5, 1991

San Francisco passes Proposition P medical cannabis initiative with a 79% vote.


George Bush shuts down IND Program due to increasing number of AIDS applicants.

Fall 1993

Green Cross Patient Co-op founded on Bainbridge Island.


Hemp Initiative Projects of Washington State runs legalization initiatives.


Joanna McKee presents 834-signature petition to the Bainbridge City Council.


Washington Hemp Education Network founded by Dave Hall

February 5, 1998

Senate Joint Memorial 8030 introduced to ask the federal government to downgrade cannabis to Schedule II.

February 11, 1998

Medical cannabis bill SB 6271 dies in committee.

November 3, 1998

I-692, the Washington State Medical Use of Marijuana Act, passes with 59%.

After I-692

December 3, 1998

I-692 takes effect.

February 3, 1998

SB 5704 introduced to require DOH to adopt rules to implement RCW 69.51A. The bill fails.

February 8, 1999

SB 5771 filed to restrict I-692, goes nowhere.

November 5, 1999

State approves first qualifying condition petition, filed by I-692 sponsor Dr. Rob Killian, to add Crohn's Disease.

January 28, 2000

State approves qualifying condition petition from Hon-Royal Fleming to add Hepatitis C.

April 9, 2000

Reasonable People's Campaign files I-739 to remove criminal penalties for cannabis. Refiled as I-746 on May 19, 2000. The group challenged the state's paper size requirements, and distributed 8.5”x11” petitions via the Internet, but failed to make the ballot.

June 19, 2000

State partially approves qualifying condition petition from Dr. Rob Killian, adds “any disease, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, and/or spasticity.” Insomnia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are denied.

November 22, 2000

State denies qualifying condition petition from Robbie Robinson to add manic or chronic depression.

January 15, 2001

SB 5176 introduced by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles to require DOH to implement rules to define a “presumptive sixty-day supply” of cannabis. Bill dies the following year.

March 12, 2002

Washington Court of Appeals rules in State v. Shepherd, upholds conviction of medical cannabis patient Ocean Israel Shepherd because his authorization stated that the medical use of cannabis “may” benefit him, not that it “would likely” benefit him, in the law states literally.

October 29, 2002

Federal Appeals Court rules that physicians have a first amendment right to discuss cannabis with their patients, and the DEA may not threaten to revoke licenses of authorizing physicians.

February 24, 2003

SB 5947 introduced to direct DOH to implement medical cannabis rules. Replaced by a bill to create a task force to study the issue, the bill dies in committee.

September 16, 2003

Seattle voters pass I-75, making cannabis the city's lowest law enforcement priority.

January 12, 2004

Sharon Tracy convicted on possession and manufacturing charges after court refuses to acknowledge her California medical cannabis authorization.

January 15, 2004

Monica Ginn found guilty of two charges after contacting Thurston County Sheriff to inspect her medical cannabis grow. The court refuses to allow her to raise a medical cannabis defense, and Ginn is sentenced to 36 months detention.

March 20, 2004

The first medical cannabis clinic, The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation starts writing medical cannabis authorizations in Washington State.

March 26, 2004

SB 5947 to define a 60-day supply of medical cannabis dies in the Senate.

November 19, 2004

State denies qualifying condition petition from Glenn True to add depression and sever anxiety.

February 16, 2005

SB 5943 filed to make clear that patients have a right to raise an affirmative defense at trial, and to make clear what language an authorization must have on it. The bill carries on through 2006, and fails.

{Will continue at a later date.}

March 15, 2012

Cannabis History continued from my knowledge with assistance from the Medical Cannabis Community

{a work in progress}