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House Medical Marijuana Bill Clears Committee Despite Pleas From Activist Groups

April 18th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
Marijuana activists at the Capitol are unhappy with current versions of medical marijuana legislation proposed in the House and Senate.
Lawmakers got an earful from 25 people who testified on medical marijuana before a House committee.
“Who do you serve? Is it the people of this bill?” said Bill Brothers with AFS, “Or the people of this state?”
Critics believe the legislature has so far dropped the ball on medical marijuana legislation.
“This is horrible I implore you not to pass this legislation on behalf of the patients,” said Dennis Deckerhoff, a concerned citizen.
Some legislators agreed with them.
“We’re having constitutional amendments pass and then we’re coming up here and we’re trying to figure out how to limit the progressive idea that the voters voted for,” said Representative Jared Moskowitz.
One of the biggest issues that came up was the exclusion of smokable marijuana for non-terminal patients in the bill.
Law enforcement and others against smokable pot argue the amendment didn’t specifically call for lighting up a joint.
“They voted for medical marijuana. They did not vote specifically for what form it comes in,” said Representative Elizabeth Porter.
Those for smoking say no other medicine is so tightly regulated.
The House continues to push a 90 day delay in receiving medical marijuana after being prescribed.
“If this is now a medicine and the voters decided it was a medicine, we need to make it available,” said Rep. Moskowitz.
Sponsor Ray Rodrigues says he’s working to address some of the concerns with the bill.
“We’re in negotiations with the Senate, to get the Senate bill and the House bill reconciled. We’re making progress there. I think we’ll see some policy changes made at the third stop,” said Rodrigues.
Opponents say they don’t think their cause is lost just yet and hope by the end of the session, the bill looks a little more like what they believe voters had in mind.

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