"We need a good bill or no bill," said Ezra Eickmeyer, one of the lobbyists working on a bill that was intended to clarify state laws on medical marijuana.
He was speaking to a meeting of the Cannabis Defense Coalition last night in SoDo, where attendees lamented how the bill had become stuffed with problematic amendments as it passed that state senate. As a result, many people at the meeting were talking openly about moving to kill their own baby—if they can't get the bill's problems fixed in the state house.
"I felt like someone was ripping my testicles off," Eickmeyer said of watching all those amendments get added in the senate.
Now, from the perspective of Eickmeyer and many in the room last night, the medical marijuana bill, originally proposed by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle, has numerous serious problems. It doesn't offer clear arrest protection for people possessing medical cannabis, it decreases the number of pot plants that can be grown in "group grows" to well below the current limit, it prohibits doctors and other medical professionals from specializing in medical marijuana prescriptions, and it contains a ban on advertising medical cannabis.
When leaders of the Cannabis Defense Coalition asked for a show of hands on how people at last night's meeting felt about the bill in its current form, the hands in the room were overwhelmingly against the bill. "The outlook is decent in terms of being able to fix the bill in the house," Eickmeyer told the room. But, he made clear, the aim should be "a quality bill."
If that can't be achieved, he and others made clear, then medical marijuana activists, providers, and consumers may be better of with the legally confusing situation they have now than the legally limiting situation that the current version of Kohl-Welles's bill would create.