Gregoire VETOES Parts Of Medical Marijuana Bill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gregoire VETOES Parts Of Medical Marijuana Bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has vetoed key parts of a bill that aimed to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.

Gregoire said Friday she could not approve the measure after the state's two U.S. attorneys said that state regulators would not be immune from prosecution. A union that represents thousands of state employees asked Gregoire to veto the bill.

A key section of the proposal would have regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. But federal prosecutors say it would create a licensing scheme that permits large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution. Federal law classifies marijuana as a controlled substance.

Gregoire says she is still approving parts of the bill that allow cooperative marijuana growing and new protections against state criminal and civil penalties. She also wants to continue working with the Legislature on the issue.

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UPDATE: A union that represents thousands of Washington state employees is asking Gov. Chris Gregoire to veto a medical marijuana measure.

The Washington Federation of State Employees said in a letter Friday that workers are concerned they could be subject to federal prosecution under the law. The state's two U.S. attorneys have previously said state regulators would not be immune from prosecution.

A key part of the bill passed by the Legislature aims to regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. Federal prosecutors say it would create a licensing scheme that permits large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution. Federal law classifies marijuana as a
controlled substance.

Gregoire is scheduled to discuss the measure Friday afternoon but has previously said she can't let the bill become law because it would leave workers vulnerable to prosecution.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Gov. Chris Gregoire says she will reveal her decision on the medical marijuana bill approved by the Legislature during her bill action time Friday afternoon.

The governor is scheduled to take action on a number of bills and has the option of partially vetoing a bill or signing it into law.

The Legislature has passed a major overhaul of the state's medical marijuana law in spite of a veto threat by the governor. The measure would for protect some patients from being arrested and create a system for licensing storefront dispensaries and grow operations.

>>Agents Raid Spokane Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

On Wednesday, Gregoire reiterated her stance that signing the bill as it stands will put state employees at risk of federal prosecution, an argument contended by constitutional experts.
Gregoire has hinted at a partial veto that would take out the regulatory proposals advocates fought for during the session.



 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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