norml17 - Page 6

Page 6 Previous , Next , Original Image
Return to Index

 The Act provided that the program would be administered by the
 Board of Pharmacy (Department of Health) I5 and provided for the
 appointment of a patient qualh_cafion review comr_ttee, which was to
 include an ophthalmologist, oncologist (cancer speciafist), radiologist and
 psychiatrist. The review corrL_rfittee was authorized to expand the program to
 other disease groups upon being presented with pertinent data, and "after
 approval for such participation has been granted pursuant m pertinent ruIes
 promulgated by the United States drug enforcement agency, the food and
 drug administration, and the national institute on drug abuse." 16 (Lower-case
 usage is from the statute.) The statute provided for the use of marijuana
 confiscated by local or state law enforcement agencies, after being analyzed
 and determined to be free of impurities° 17 The iaw was amended in 1989, brat
 primarily for °'housekeeping" reasons._
 This would seem to be the answer to the problems of the afflicted who
 need marijuana for medical reasons in this state, but that is not the case. For
 reasons that defy explanation, the legislatmre killed the program in 1981 by
 not funding it. It effectively died as of June of that year. 19
 The law remains on the books, uvxepealed, even updated with
 "housekeeping" items, yet the program simply does not exist.
 This is particularly sad because the Act would have easily
 accommodated the onslaught of AIDS patients who find relief from the drag,
 without the need for further legislation. It seems that Ne Act was not only
 broad-minded and insightful, but prescient. As the song says, only the good
 die young.
 1977, Samuel Diana was arrested for possession of a small amount
 of marijuana. He was a multiple sclerosis patient, and found that marijuana
 helped him cope with his disease better than prescribed medications, and with
 15 RCW 69.51.040
 16 RCW 69.51o050
 t7 RCW 6951.060
 xs Substituting "department" for "N0ard," inserting a defmidor_ of "department," etc.
 19 Letter of OcL I3, 1992_ to the author from Donald Williams, Execrative Director, Board of Phamaacy.

Previous , Next , Return to Index