34th Legislative District Democrats April Chair’s message

By Marcee Stone-Velkich

Recently, the E-Board discussed upcoming programs for our monthly meetings, and they enthusiastically chose the implementation of legalized marijuana to be the focus of our April program. According to WeedMaps.com, of the 200 medical marijuana dispensaries and delivery services located in Seattle, the 34th Legislative District is home to less than ten. Posted to that website are links to doctors, marijuana publications, free Apps, videos, and many social media tools. In preparation for our meeting, I encourage you to take a magical mystery tour of that website because today marijuana is not about nickel bags, homemade hash pipes and listening to Pink Floyd in our dorm rooms. My past didn’t prepare me for the modern marijuana culture.

Many of you may share my reaction.

During the recent legislative session, our legislature was charged with smoothing the regulatory wrinkles between the state protected medical marijuana dispensaries and the new recreational marijuana stores poised to open this summer. The dispensaries are illegal according to federal law and the Feds want strict, clear rules and regulations which could change what current patients and dispensary operators have become used to since the 1998 initiative. The dispensaries may run afoul of federal law, but the Feds are focused on international trafficking of huge quantities of narcotics, cash, links to organized crime, furnishing marijuana to minors or selling it to other states. They don’t want to spend their scarce resources on smaller local operations.

The legislature was also confronted by cities and municipalities that want their share of the marijuana-fueled revenue. And some cities and counties want to prohibit these establishments from their jurisdictions altogether. Legalizing marijuana is polarizing on many different fronts. Once again, our free-wheeling initiative system is having unintended consequences. But that is a discussion for another day.
This is a complex multi-jurisdictional issue. I encourage you to come hear Representative Eileen Cody, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and Sharon Foster, Chair of the Liquor Control Board address it.

Please check the website for opportunities to canvas and phone bank for King County Proposition 1. We endorsed Move King County Now and gave a $500 contribution to the campaign. If you didn’t hear Marci Carpenter speak eloquently for this endorsement at our March 12th meeting, you really missed out.
Congratulations to our duly elected delegates and alternates to the 2014 Washington State Democratic Convention. We will host a hospitality suite while in Spokane and we offer an opportunity for our delegates to organize prior to the convention. Stay tuned.

Marcee Stone-Vekich

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