Governor Gregoire has signed into law a bill spearheaded by 36th District Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle). The new law grants Washingtonians with terminal or debilitating medical conditions improved access to medical marijuana. “With this bill we honor our state’s commitment to relieving some pain and suffering for thousands of Washingtonians,” said Kohl-Welles, the primary sponsor for SB 5798.
This new law expands on the 1998 voter-approved I-692 which first allowed MDs and osteopaths to authorize the use of medical marijuana. The new law extends the authority to prescribe medical marijuana to other licensed health professionals such as naturopathic doctors, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants and osteopathic physician assistants. These professionals are already authorized to prescribe controlled substances.
During the next legislative session, Senator Kohl-Welles plans to do more work on medical marijuana issues. “Most unfortunately, this small protection is not enough. In the last month we have seen attacks on medical marijuana patients and providers. Next session, I will build on this year’s progress by working to provide full legal protection for medical marijuana patients and designated providers who work within the law,” Kohl-Welles said.
Read the entire SB 5798 as it was signed by Gov. Gregoire here (.pdf).