Pubdate: Sun, 01 Jun 2008
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2008 The Olympian
Author: Brad Shannon
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


A Department of Health meeting with interest groups about a legal
limit on medical-marijuana supplies has been opened for the public to
observe from an separate room today.

The agency expects to miss its July 1 deadline for setting a limit for
a 60-day supply for medical-marijuana users. But a draft rule is
expected to be submitted by then for public hearings and rule-making
later this summer, DOH spokesman Donn Moyer said.

Activists want to see a larger supply of pot allowed for patients
under the 1998 voter-approved medical-marijuana law. But some
expressed fears that state health regulators would meet behind closed
doors with police and prosecutors to discuss a lower-than-appropriate

Moyer said there is no intent to exclude activists and no requirement
by law to open the informal meetings. But he said the work group
meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. today will be opened so observers can
watch via video from a separate room. The meeting is at DOH
headquarters, 101 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater.

Expected participants include DOH staff, prosecutors, medical
professionals and perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union, he said.

An earlier recommendation to the governor's office set a limit of
almost 2 pounds, or 35 ounces, but the governor asked the agency to
start over because its calculations had not included comments from law
enforcement or medical doctors.

Joanne McKee, co-founder of the Green Cross Patient Co-op of Seattle,
which helps patients get marijuana supplies, said the 35-ounce limit
is half what it needs to be.

She is part of the stakeholder group that has given comment to the
DOH. She said there are thousands of patients in Western Washington
who could be affected.

Under Senate Bill 6032, the agency was supposed to report to the
Legislature by July 1.

"It's sad that the Department of Health can't get the work the
Legislature asked them to do in a timely and professional fashion,"
Fred Mayer of Olympia said, adding that he had trouble getting
information about the meeting.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin