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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

October 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM

City Council: Move most medical pot patients to recreational system

Most medical marijuana patients should be brought into the recreational pot market the state is creating, urged all nine Seattle City Council members in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and key legislators.

The medical marijuana market continues to operate, at best, in a gray market, council members said, which could undermine the state’s goal of  curtailing illicit dealing through a legal system allowing adults to possess small amounts of weed.

While many medical customers “live with conditions ameliorated by medical cannabis, the vast majority do not and would be better served through the access made possible by Initiative 502,” council members wrote in a letter dated Sept. 30.

That could mean combining the recreational and medical markets into a single regulated system, according to council members — though they also said the state should “make certain that the legitimate needs” of medical marijuana users are met. “Patients deserve a system that supports development of medicines appropriate to different conditions at a price point patients can afford,” council members said.

Under orders from the state Legislature, three state agencies — the Liquor Control Board and the departments of Revenue and Health — are supposed to make recommendations regarding the medical and recreational systems.

On Oct. 21, the agencies are scheduled to provide draft recommendations for comment, with a Nov. 8 deadline for comments.

The agencies will then present recommendations to state House and Senate committees in late November. By Jan. 1 they are supposed to deliver final recommendations to state lawmakers.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council, State government | Topics: Jay Inslee, marijuana, seattle city council

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