A letter hand delivered to Governor Chris Gregoire by the Washington Federation of State Employees yesterday asks her to veto—in its entirety—a medical-marijuana bill on the governor's desk. "State workers, our members, would therefore by placed in the precarious position of enforcing a state law which could potentially lead to their prosecution under federal law," says the letter signed by the AFSCME executive director Greg Devereux, referring to portions of the bill that would require the state Dept of Health to issue licenses to dispensaries and growers.
The letter is here.
What remains unclear is why the union would send this letter. Specifically, did the governor's office ask the union to send this letter?
Neither the governor's spokesman Scott Whiteaker or AFSCME's Devereux has responded to that question this morning. But the letter serves as a politically well-timed tool to justify a veto.
Yet for context, it's worth keeping in mind that the reason this issue of federal enforcement against state workers came up is because Gregoire asked federal prosecutors if state employees were immune from prosecution. When prosecutors said they weren't (immunity is rarely granted to anyone other than law-enforcement officials), Gregoire then claimed prosecutors "would" charge state employees—a plainly dishonest characterization of events. The law is clear that they wouldn't be prosecuted. Now it's unclear if, once again, Gregoire has requested a letter that serves her agenda to kill this bill that would help medical marijuana patients and their caretakers.