New medical marijuana laws in Washington State take effect today, after much debate and revision by the state government. While the new laws ultimately benefit medical marijuana users, they are also a current source of confusion. Many parts of the original laws were vetoed and revised by Christine Gregoire, who feared they might make state workers vulnerable to federal prosecution.
The legislation’s primary gain for medical marijuana users is the legalization of community gardens. These gardens allow medical marijuana users to grow and share plants as a group, rather than relying on distributors or shouldering the cost of plant growth singlehandedly. The gardens will be allowed to serve up to ten patients and grow a maximum of 45 plants.
Additional laws regulating matters such as drunk driving and domestic partnership will be taking effect along with the medical marijuana legislation.