The WA state Court of Appeals ruled in favor
of Pullman, WA resident Loren Hanson yesterday, declaring that he was covered by Washington's Medical Marijuana Act. Why is this significant, you ask? Because Washington State's medical marijuana law is one of the weakest in the country. This seems to be the first case where the affirmative defense of medical necessity went all the way through the courts and wasn't sidelined by a technicality or plea bargain since Initiative 692 was passed by Washington state voters 9 years ago.
What's also interesting is this:
Writing in dissent, Judge Stephen M. Brown argued that regardless of the timing of the authorization, the case should have been returned to Superior Court for a hearing on whether the 34 plants that were seized exceeded a 60-day supply "because the evidence is sufficient to support guilt before considering the affirmative defense."
It's exactly this sort of problem, the question of what constitutes a 60-day supply (the amount provided for in the original medical marijuana law), that current WA Senate Bill 6032
is designed to fix. The bill, currently sitting on Gov. Gregoire's desk (she's expected to sign it), will instruct the state's Department of Health to investigate and determine a 60-day supply, while still allowing patients who need more than the DoH's allotment to keep a greater amount provided they have a note from their doctor confirming the need.