On December 9th, 2017, Rick Garza and Joanna Eide of the WSLCB met concerned citizens to discuss the homegrow options and to see how they can assuage the concerns of the Washington patient turned consumer, but if you think about it, the Washington State patient has always been a consumer.
As the world catches up with cannabis common sense, it’s the state patient who knows what quality cannabis is. It’s the patient who has learned about their endocannabinoid system and sought out the right strains for their ailments because who else knows our bodies the best.
People have a hard time thinking of marijuana as medicinal and recreational due to 80 years of propaganda. Plus when one thinks of this plant being illegal; one realizes the government is not looking out for your best interest. America is great because we have choices and this is one natural ingredient everyone should have an option to grow and use in the privacy of their domain.
I would like to give props to Rick Garza and Joanna Eide for attending the meeting, but I believe they consider working in the WSLCB as “Just doing their job,” but for many in Washington and America, they are viewed as the ones in charge of a billion-dollar tax generating industry. As state employees, we feel you should be focused on the greater good, not the greater dollar. You are In charge of an industry that has people serving decades behind bars for the same “regulated business.”
Resentment towards the board rose among the crowd, Garza and Eide tried their best to level concerns about serving vested interests citing things like patients at previous WSLCB meetings. They noted that the WSLCB has open door policy concerning public meetings, but they fail to acknowledge the settlement concerning a lawsuit about secret meetings.
In attendance was Kim Novak who put it best when addressing the WSLCB’s comments. ”The WSLCB says it has to follow the mandates set forth by the Legislators. When we, the people, say we want homegrows, the Legislators say we have to work within the guidelines of the WSLCB. We are in an endless loop where each group says “go talk to the other.” We need the WSLCB to support us as we push a Homegrow Bill that makes changes for REAL legalization in the upcoming 2018 session.”
The legislatures requested for a traceability system and for the Cole Memo to be addressed when it comes to creating policy. Immediately one gets a traceability system when you incorporate the selling of plants and seeds in the present regulatory system; you don’t need a registry or permit system. Then there’s the addressing and abiding of The Cole Memo; it states explicitly the Federal government is not concerned about personal consumption which directly relates to homegrow. This is the only time The Cole Memo and Homegrows need to be used in the same sentence.
Besides deceptive policy practices, consumers feel that the WSLCB homegrow review does not reflect public sentiment. Garza and Eide say they had to abide by the constraints laid out to them by the legislature; I argue that they took it too far.
The main issue with the WSLCB Homegrow Study is that it wasn’t a study that took in consideration public opinion, instead three options laid out for the public review. When the final Homegrow Study review was presented there was no fourth option laid out addressing the public’s desire, this makes the Washington State consumer feel left out of the process.
Homegrows are a fundamental part of cannabis legalization; it addresses human rights and civil liberties of the cannabis consumer. A license or registry is not legalization but another way to control basic civil liberties of the citizen.
What Can You Do?
There is a joint effort of citizens talking to the legislature about the upcoming rules. If you would like your voice heard to the legislature on homegrows, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, as a collective voice we can make a difference.
Besides voicing your opinion, vote with your dollar. Believe it or not, there are those in the industry that stand against homegrow. Either out of fear of competition or fear of facing repercussions from the Federal government but to me it seems like a case of “covering your ass as you reap the rewards” while others stand prosecuted for a plant that shouldn’t be illegal in the first place. For those in the industry standing against homegrow I would like to present to you WACA, and for the for pro-homegrow establishments, I present to you a list (click here) being created by the good people at Seattle Hempfest.
For 2018, Washington State has locked in the big blue wall on the west coast. Which means the democratic (and most pro-legalization party) dominates the West Coast which should make it easier for passing policy but as we saw in the past eight years, even when there’s dominance they seem to drop the ball which is why it’s important that you speak up as a citizen. Whether it’s speaking up or making a purchase, 2018 is the year to let the legislatures know we demand homegrow.