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WIRE: Cannabis rights rally and march heads to Olympia, WA on April 22

What: March on the Washington State Capitol.
When: Saturday April 22nd, 2017 from 3:00 pm till 6:00 pm.
Where: Legislative Building Steps to Heritage Park, Olympia, Washington.
Who: Cannabis activists and rabble rousers.
Why: This rally has been planned to take a stand in solidarity against US AG Sessions’ statements on legal cannabis. We are also supporting WA State medical access bills – HB 1060 and SB 5290.
Produced by: Eric Miller, Aaron Cain, Jedidiah Haney.

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Olympia, Washington — On Saturday April 22nd, 2017, there will be a public display of civil unrest in response to the Trump Administration’s recent comments about cannabis (marijuana) policy.

The newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was quoted in Senate hearing last April saying that “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.”

Even recently A.G. Sessions was talking to a group of law enforcement officers and he was reported to have said “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store.  And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.  Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”

The recent pitch for cannabis legalization in the Evergreen State has been described as an experiment in democracy, and what an experiment it is!  Currently, in Washington State we boast 1289 state licensed Producers and Processors who create legal cannabis and its various byproducts. And to dispense these legal and taxable cannabis products there are also 486 licensed retail locations spread across the state. This scheme is now providing the Washington State with a massive amount of tax revenue.

Right now there is over $4.6 million dollars a day in sales across the state.  In 2016 the tax obligation was $185,786,493 dollars.  The 2017 obligation has already surpassed that, and we aren’t even a quarter of the way through the year!

Our state is not going to give up this new cash cow without a fight. Concerning the attack on the state licensed cannabis scheme Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said that “I will resist any efforts by the Trump administration to undermine the will of the voters in Washington State.”

The Washington State citizens have technically cast their votes for cannabis legalization twice in our state. The first time was in 1998 when Initiative 692 passed, which legalized medical cannabis, and then again the people spoke in 2012 and passed Initiative 502, which decriminalized cannabis possession in small amounts for recreational purposes. The second vote is what created the scheme that has replaced the green crosses that had popped up across the state.

Even though we have made progress in the grand scheme of cannabis policy, the job is not done yet. The people know that there is plenty more work to do when it comes to cannabis policy. The fine points of legalization have been overlooked in the rush to create passable policy.

In 2015, the Governor signed 2SSB 5052, which forced Washington State’s medical cannabis program to be radically ratified to combine the adult use market with the medical market.

Now, we have to rebuild our medical program under new rules and laws.  This is not dire or desperate situation, rather, it is a chance to rebuild a compassionate cannabis scheme.  A scheme that not only delivers revenue, but also delivers safe and adequate access for every patient and consumer. When a certain policy does not fit for your life, or the lives of those around you, then you have a responsibility to get involved and change things for the better.

One example of citizen activism is John Barclay.  John is the parent of a young cannabis patient named River.  River has generalized epilepsy and suffers from a series of seizures.  About a year and a half ago John had young River on queue for a synthesized CBD trial at Mary Bridge, however, due to complications River was removed. The doctor involved in the study mentioned that CBD could also be found in medical cannabis  John had been aware of medical cannabis, but as he said “they were just not “there” yet.”

John said that they got River her doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis about a week later.  Now, about a year and half later John has collaborated with Washington State Representative Brian Blake to get House Bill 1060 drafted, which will allow parents to deliver cannabis therapeutics to their children on school grounds.  This bill, when passed, will effectively assist 57 children in our state to access their state qualified medicine throughout the day.  We all need to stop and take a hard look at what is happening in our state concerning cannabis policy.  We will find that just because cannabis is decriminalized doesn’t mean we don’t have work to do to right the wrongs of prohibition.

Join us for this day of citizen action! 

We will be starting off the day at 3:00 pm on the steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia.  We will be hearing from speakers to help inspire the activist inside all of us to take charge and start making some demands of our own.  After which we will be assembling to march the state capitol grounds towards Heritage Park.  At the strike of 4:20 pm we will all spark up and smoke our cannabis in pure defiance of the current state law and federal law.  Surely we will be called names for such defiance; however, what natural law are we breaking?

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