MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Washington Legislature weighs measure to allow home-grown marijuana

Jan 23, 2019, 6:34 AM | Updated: 4:30 pm

Nearly a dozen states have legalized recreational marijuana, and of those, Washington is the only one that doesn’t also allow people to grow the plant at home.

RELATED: Does Inslee’s marijuana pardon measure not go far enough?

Marijuana activists have been pushing for home grows for years. There are now bi-partisan companion bills this session in the House and Senate to get it done.

The proposal is similar to what other states have done, and would allow anyone over 21 years old to grow up to six plants at home, with a maximum of 15 in shared homes, with no tracking or permitting required. This runs against proposals the Liquor and Cannabis Board came up with a couple of years ago.

“This bill is for responsible adults — we’re not talking about people who want to exceed the law for nefarious purposes,” argued activist Don Skakie in statements given before the Legislature.

Others argued that it wouldn’t hurt the commercial legalized weed market either.

“I submit that it will improve the marketplace, similar to how the homebrew movement has created a robust microbrew industry in our fine state,” activist John Kingsbury said.

Chris Thompson with the Liquor and Cannabis Board, though, voiced concerns, about federal intervention, and home grows providing cover for illegal grows.

“We anticipate there would be complaints — we do not have the resources to exercise enforcement in this area,” he noted.

Steve Strahan with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs wasn’t worried about personal use, but did have other concerns

RELATED: What’s behind Seattle’s move to toss out marijuana convictions?

“It’s about enforcement in a permissive environment,” he said. “And does this make large scale illicit marijuana grows? And does it make low level drug-dealing even more difficult to investigate and prosecute?”

The state patrol echoed those concerns, and also pointed out that it didn’t know how it would enforce the six-plant limit.

The legislation would also come with caveats: First, landlords would be able to prohibit home grows in their buildings, and second, no one would be permitted to sell the marijuana they grow.

Among the states that currently allow home grow operations (with limits on the amount of plants) are Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, and Maine.

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle...

Heather Bosch

Accused Seattle home invasion robbers face hate crime charges

King County Prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against two men allegedly involved in at least three home invasion robberies.

4 hours ago

Image: An artist rendering of the proposed In-N-Out Burger in Ridgefield...

Steve Coogan

First In-N-Out Burger to come to the state of Washington

Ridgefield City Manager Steve Stuart confirmed Thursday the city has received a building permit application from In-N-Out Burger.

5 hours ago

Image: Monroe High School....

Julia Dallas

Monroe teacher being investigated for alleged sexual misconduct with student

A Monroe High School teacher is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with at least one student.

8 hours ago

federal way baby kidnap...

Frank Sumrall

Florida couple arrested after kidnapping a relative’s baby in Federal Way

In order to kidnap the baby, the couple allegedly zip-tied the mother in her home in Federal Way and stuffed the child in a red duffle bag.

11 hours ago

Foster teens...

Bill Kaczaraba

Wash. foster children could get boost from legislature

State senate legislation recently approved by the House aims to enhance foster care support for young people aged 18 to 21.

12 hours ago

Seattle home sales...

Bill Kaczaraba

Redfin: Seattle-area home sales impacted by climate, environmental factors

Seattle-area home buyers are becoming more interested in factors beyond the home itself. Redfin has added a 'Climate' tab to its website.

14 hours ago

Washington Legislature weighs measure to allow home-grown marijuana