From 1981-93 the “zero tolerance” climate of the Reagan and Bush administrations resulted in passage of strict laws and mandatory sentences for possession of marijuana.
In 1993 the Green Cross Patient Co-op of Seattle opened to Washington State residents that present a need for medicinal cannabis on the advice of their physician or other health care professionals. The Green Cross refers patients suffering life threatening or disabling diseases to where they can get their medicine. They also provide educational and informational counseling, and verification and registry for legal protection. They have an active rotating membership of around 500 members in Washington State.
1998, the Medical Use of Marijuana Act was passed as I-692 in Washington State allowing doctors and their patients to discuss the benefits of marijuana as part of their medical treatment. Doctors are not allowed to prescribe it. Pharmacies are not allowed to sell it. Some individuals to legally possess and grow marijuana of up to a 60-day supply.
On June 6, 2005, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that upholds federal authority to punish the medicinal use of marijuana.
In Washington, California, Oregon, and eight other states with medical marijuana laws, sick people who are covered by state law are still protected from state prosecution and imprisonment. Under federal law, these same people – some of the most seriously ill in our society – are still technically at risk of prosecution by federal agencies.
Alice Meier, 63, Auburn
Seven years ago I had a heart attack and I’ve had a bad back for a long time. I’ve had 3 bypasses. My lungs are shot. I have stomach problems in taking all the medicine. If I don’t have pot I’m sick. I need to get a doctor that will give me a prescription to Green Cross so I can do it legally.
If I have to buy it on the street it costs me a lot of money and I’m not rich. I won’t buy the stuff on the streets, because I don’t know what I’m smoking. But the medical pot, I know exactly what I’m smoking.
Every morning at 9 :00 I take my morning meds and that’s 7 pills. And then at 3:00 I take 7 more. And then tonight before I go to bed I’ll take 3 more. I usually take 2 hits of pot right after I take the medication so I don’t throw up.
I buy it illegally. I have too. I could get arrested for it. If I get pulled over and I have a joint in my purse they’re gonna take me to jail. And that’s not right. It should be legal. Alcohol is legal. Why isn’t pot? The alcohol is not good for you. Pot is.
If we could get it legalized it would be wonderful. ‘Cuz old people like me, and people who are sick with AIDS or cancer, it’s a wonderful thing for pain and nausea.
If I don’t get some from the doctor then I’ll just buy it on the street ‘cuz I’m not going to be sick.
I just go outside and tell a couple of the neighbor boys. They call me Grandma. “We know Grandma” (they say). I give them $20 or $40 and they go out and get me just a little bit. It costs me a lot of money so I can’t afford it.
It’s a medical drug and God put it here. We didn’t have pain pills back a hundred years ago but we had pot. People took it, smoked it all the time, and they were perfectly healthy.