Pursuant to RCW 34.05.330(3), you are hereby notified for publication in the Washington State Register that:
On January 26, 2008, the Governor's Office received an appeal from Mr. John Worthington relating to the Department of Health Pharmacy Board's denial of a petition to repeal or amend RCW 69.51A. The Governor denied the Petition on February 12, 2008.
DATE: February 12, 2008
Richard E. Mitchell
General Counsel to the Governor
February 12, 2008
4500 SE 2nd Place
Renton, WA 98059
Re: Administrative Rule Appeal - Marijuana Rescheduling
Dear Mr. Worthington:
This letter is in response to your petition for rulemaking, which was initially filed with the Board of Pharmacy (Board) on October 29, 2007. The Board considered your petition during its business meeting on December 13, 2007, and issued its written denial on December 28, 2007. On January 26, 2008, you then petitioned that denial to the Governor's Office under RCW 34.05.330. After careful consideration of your petition and the Board's denial, I am denying your petition.
I support efforts to implement Initiative 692 -- as intended by the voters in 1998, and ESSB 6032 -- as intended by the Legislature in 2007, to allow for limited medical marijuana use by patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses. I also recognize that organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, note both the potential therapeutic value and potential risk factors of medical marijuana. As a result, it is therefore important to address patient needs while simultaneously ensuring patient safety. The Board in denying your petition arrived at the same well-reasoned conclusion.
With that in mind, I am denying your petition to allow for the completion of actions required by the passage of ESSB 6032. Your petition is principally concerned with local law enforcement agencies' implementation and interpretation of the state's medical marijuana law. ESSB 6032 was intended to address these issues by outlining appropriate actions for law enforcement as it relates to medical marijuana and by requiring the Department of Health (DOH) to define in rule an appropriate 60-day supply of medical marijuana. DOH is in the process of finalizing its rule and is expected to issue a report in July 2008. I therefore believe this to be a more appropriate next step, one which is consistent with the Legislature's intent, to addressing your concern regarding law enforcement.
Christine O. Gregoire