On June 18, 2009, 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 WAC 246-887-100. The Governor denied the Petition on July 29, 2009.
DATE: July 30, 2009
Martin C. Loesch
Senior Advisor and
General Counsel to the Governor
July 29, 2009
4500 S.E. 2nd Place
Renton, WA 98059
Re: Administrative Rule Appeal - Marijuana Rescheduling
Dear Mr. Worthington:
The Board of Pharmacy (Board) denied your petition to repeal or amend WAC 246-887-100 to reschedule marijuana on June 12, 2009, after reviewing evidence from you and testimony by several individuals who supported your petition. You appealed the Board's denial of your petition to me on June 18, 2009. After careful review, I have decided to deny your petition.
I note that you previously petitioned for a similar amendment of WAC 2460-887-100 to remove medical marijuana from the category of Schedule 1 controlled substances in 2007. In 2008 you requested that the Board adopt a rule rescheduling industrial cannabis under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. After that petition was denied, you filed a petition for judicial review in Thurston County Superior Court, although you later agreed to dismiss that petition.
As I expressed to you previously, 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 recognize that organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, note both the potential therapeutic value and potential risk factors of medical marijuana. It remains important to address patient needs while ensuring public safety.
I have denied your petition because substantial questions remain about the safety of medical marijuana. As the Board noted in its denial of your current petition, there are no current standards for dose, strength, production or methods of administering medical marijuana as a medicine. The Board also found, and I agree, that sufficient questions exist about whether medical marijuana meets the standards in RCW 69.50.201(a) for rescheduling or entirely removing from all schedules, particularly RCW 69.50.201 (a)(i) through (vii), given the dearth of scientific studies of a pharmacological grade or product of medical marijuana, other than the currently produced and available by prescription, synthetic cannabinoid pharmacological product, Marinol. For these reasons, I am denying your petition.
Christine O. Gregoire
Reviser's note: The typographical error in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appears in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.