It’s written into Washington state law (Chapter 69.51a RCW “MEDICAL CANNABIS”) for everybody to see. Pot is medicine as far as the State of Washington is concerned.
Voters approved the medical marijuana law back in 1998 and since then pot co-ops and dispensaries have bloomed like hemp in the sunshine. But with new rules being written for “recreational marijuana” following the passage of I-502 the state seems to saying there are different laws for different kinds of marijuana - one set for the fun pot and one set for serious pot.
Under the new rules it will be against the law to make any advertising claim that marijuana has any “curative or therapeutic value.”
The Liquor Control Board, which is drawing up the regulations to govern the new state-licensed industry, said the value of pot as medicine is something that should be “between and doctor and patient” and they simply aren’t going to deal with it.
Attorney Jay Berneburg who represents a number of medical marijuana co-ops, says that’s exactly how this should work, with the state acknowledging they’re dealing with different types of pot being used for different purposes by different consumer groups.
“Recreational is about partying, having fun, getting high, which is fine. The other is about medicine. It’s about helping cure symptoms, about relieving pain,” said Berneburg.
He shrugs off the apparent dichotomy of Washington law explicitly and repeatedly referring to marijuana and cannabis as having medicinal properties, and new Washington law not allowing any claim to be made that it has medicinal value. Burneburg wants to keep the fire-wall between the two worlds, especially at the point-of-sale.
“If I’m a cancer patient I want to talk to somebody who knows what their talking about. I don’t want some guy saying ‘Hey man, here’s a pack of Acapulco Golds. This will knock your socks off’. That’s not going to help me. I’m a cancer patient!”
The advertising restriction is just one of the many things people getting into the recreational pot business will have to pay attention to. The WSLCB has just released a top ten list.