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WA Gov Won't Sign Medical Pot Law After Fed Threat to Prosecute

April 15, 2011 09:01:19 am

Washington state's top federal prosecutors have threatened to crack down if the state goes forward with a proposal to legalize medical-marijuana dispensaries and growers, putting in jeopardy a bill that has already passed both chambers of the legislature, reports the Seattle Times. In a letter to Gov. Chris Gregoire, U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Michael Ormsby of Spokane wrote that the bill would undermine drug enforcement and could result in an array of prosecutions or civil penalties against dispensary owners and growers, as well as against state regulators enforcing the proposed law.

The prosecutors were responding to Gregoire's request a day earlier for "clear guidance" about the legislative proposal, a sweeping expansion of the state's 1998 voter-approved medical-marijuana law. Gregoire responded that she could not sign the law but pledged to work with lawmakers on a new proposal. Durkan and Ormsby, citing federal law outlawing marijuana cultivation and sale, wrote that, in addition to targeting dispensaries and growers, federal agents could go after their landlords and financiers.

 

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