Put Medical Marijuana Under State’s Recreational-Pot System, Says Seattle City Attorney

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes urged the Legislature to fold medical marijuana into the state’s recreational system in a wide-ranging policy memoMonday.

He also pushed the city of Seattle to crack down on medical-marijuana businesses not following state law or city regulations.

Some businesses aren’t operating with proper permits. Others have not paid local business and occupation taxes. Some opened after the City Council passed an intended moratorium on new medical-marijuana businesses.

Holmes said he published the memo to clarify any confusion about medical-marijuana laws.

“If you’re a commercial (medical-marijuana) operation lacking a 502 license (Initiative 502), it’s a felony operation. Period,” said Holmes.

Holmes said he hopes his memo reframes the debate about medical marijuana. He said recent court decisions have made it clear that medical-marijuana providers have a “limited affirmative defense” in court, but that’s it.

“I have talked to some medical producers who are clearly commercial,” Holmes said. “They say, ‘Are you going to make it illegal?’ This memo is clear: You’re already illegal.”

He said the “debate should no longer be about if, but when” medical-marijuana businesses cease operating or join the Initiative 502 system.

– Read the entire article at The Seattle Times.