Washington Legislators Propose New Bills to Expand Marijuana Laws
The bills would allow home pot delivery, allow MMJ patients to possess unlimited seeds, and decriminalize industrial hemp.
Published on March 4, 2017

Legislators in Washington have proposed a number of bills that would change the state's laws on how marijuana is grown, bought, or sold.

One of the most interesting of these bills, HB 1712, would allow licensed marijuana delivery. The bill would allow anyone over 21 to purchase pot online or by phone, and have it delivered to their door. However, opponents of the bill are concerned that moving marijuana sales away from secure locations could pose a risk.

“So what this bill does is take away the walls, it takes away the witnesses, it takes away the cameras and the security protocols and any sort of alarms,” said John Kingsbury of medical-marijuana advocacy group Patients United. “I have to think that the first kid that gets stabbed, or shot, or beaten, you’re going to feel a little bit responsible for that. If this isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.”

State Rep. David Sawyer, sponsor of the bill, believes the risk is actually minimal, and that home delivery would cut down on black market sales. “Our whole goal is that we’re taking down the black market, the cartels, and that we’re running a safe, legal market. We want to compete on convenience and a fair price point.”

Another bill, HB 2021, would allow medical marijuana patients to possess unlimited marijuana seeds at their homes. The current laws allow licensed patients to buy up to six cannabis plants and possess up to eight ounces of pot produced from said plants. However, the law left out the ability for patients to have access to seeds or plant clones. “This bill closes a gap and it’s important that we close this gap, because there are folks who qualify to have marijuana plants, but they don’t have access to them,” said Rep. Jessyn Farrell.

A third bill, HB 2064, would remove industrial hemp from the state's schedule of controlled substances. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matt Shea, says that the purpose of the bill is to “make it very clear that Washington, right now, is removing hemp from the scheduling act, so it gives us better legal grounds to defend against any sort of federal intrusion later to prosecute people growing hemp here.”

All three of these bills passed the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming this week, and will move on for deliberation by the House Rules and House Appropriations Committees.

Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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