The latest screed comes from Ezra Eickmeyer, a lobbyist for medical marijuana dispensaries, who claims that passing Initiative 502 to regulate and legalize marijuana would hurt patients and their industry. "Most access points would have to shut down," he warns on the pot blog Toke of the Town. Well, I suppose they're being honest about the industry's real concerns here: their own business. They also warn that the cost of medicine will go up, because cannabis sales would be taxed.
But like the industry's previous torrent of dishonest arguments, this is hooey.
I-502 doesn't change the medical marijuana laws on the books in Washington. All the rules for cannabis patients, care providers, doctors, medical pot cultivation, etc. will remain exactly the same as they are today if I-502 passes. Which is to say that the medical marijuana industry would continue to rest in a legal limbo, a gray area of the law that neither prescribes the right to run medical pot stores nor bans them. But it's illogical to suggest that legalizing pot for all adults would make pot more illegal for medical marijuana patients.
So the other crazy claims—like I-502 "Puts cannabis under the state liquor control board" or that prices will rise for patients up to 75 percent—don't really apply to folks with a doctor's note. Pot patients could keep going to dispensaries or grow their own, just as they do today. Eickmeyer and his cronies are apparently trying to scare patients and people sympathetic to patients. But the industry's concern here isn't patients. It's that a legal market for all adults will appeal to sick and non sick people alike, thereby cutting into the current medical pot industry's profits.