April 22, 2011

Governor declares opposition to parts of medical marijuana bill that put state employees at risk

You may not have thought the medical marijuana bill would become a state employee issue, but it has.

E2SHB 5073 has passed the Legislature and awaits action by the governor. But she’s concerned it makes state employees who use marijuana for medical reasons criminally liable.

Here is the statement the governor issued Thursday:

“I realize the value that medical marijuana has for patients and support the voter-approved initiative. I also agree with the intent of the Legislature to clarify ambiguity surrounding search and arrest as well as concerns around dispensaries and access. We need to create a system that works.

“I asked the Legislature to work with me on a bill that does not subject state workers to risk of criminal liability. I am disappointed that the bill as passed does not address those concerns while also meeting the needs of medical marijuana patients.

“I will review the bill to determine any parts that can assist patients in need without putting state employees at risk. No state employee should have to break federal law in order to do their job.”

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