Medical Marijuana Deal Remains Elusive In Olympia - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Medical Marijuana Deal Remains Elusive In Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Lawmakers are struggling to broker a deal that would fully recognize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state.

Several senators proposed a new bill Tuesday that would leave it up to local jurisdictions to decide whether to regulate the distribution outlets. Dispensaries have popped up all over
Washington in recent years even though state law doesn't specifically address them.

Some medical marijuana advocates are already raising concerns about the latest proposal. Washington Cannabis Association political director Ezra Eickmeyer says it would force distributors to go through years of political conflict at the local level.

Gov. Chris Gregoire recently vetoed a plan that would have provided statewide oversight. The state's two U.S. attorneys had warned that state employees involved in regulating the industry would not be immune from prosecution.

   

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state attorney general's office says it cannot predict whether federal prosecutors would take action against Washington state employees for regulating the medical
marijuana industry.

Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Even said in a letter to lawmakers Monday that federal law typically preempts state law. Gov. Chris Gregoire recently vetoed a bill that would have regulated medical marijuana dispensaries after U.S. attorneys told her that state workers would not be immune from prosecutions.

A group of lawmakers had turned to Attorney General Rob McKenna for an opinion on the likelihood that federal prosecutors would hold state workers accountable for enforcing state law. The office says it cannot meaningfully predict what federal prosecutors may or
may not do.

Lawmakers are working on developing an alternative measure.

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

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