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A Walla Walla Republican thinks it should be legal to grow marijuana at home

If pot is legal in Washington, what’s wrong with planting some marijuana seeds at home?

That’s what State Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, says in support of her bill to allow a person 21 or older to grow up to six marijuana plants at home. The bill would allow up to 15 plants in “a single housing unit” if three or more people grow marijuana there.

Currently, purely recreational marijuana is not allowed to be grown in Washington’s homes. Medical marijuana can be homegrown in limited amounts.

Walsh’s bill is a clone of a bill introduced by Rep. Brian Blake, D-Aberdeen. Walsh is a fiscal conservative who sometimes leans liberal on social issues, describing herself has having a libertarian streak. She saw Blake’s bill and decided to introduce the same one in the Senate. Both bills have Republican and Democratic co-sponsors.

Walsh’s bill is scheduled for a Thursday public hearing before the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. The House Commerce & Gaming Committee held a hearing Jan. 21 on Blake’s bill.

Marijuana legislation is frequently bipartisan in Olympia, with both sides pointing out that 57 percent of Washingtonians approved legal recreational marijuana in a 2012 initiative.

Walsh and Blake noted that other states allow homegrown recreational marijuana. Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, D.C., allow people to grow three to 12 marijuana plants at their homes for recreational use.

Blake said, “Washington allows home-brewing, home wine-making. This is the same.”

He expects enforcement of the proposed six-plant threshold would be limited, with police officers only responding to complaints rather than actively seeking out home-growing in excess of six plants. He noted law enforcement currently does not go out its way to make sure home-brewing and home wine-making stay within legal limits — instead merely responding to complaints.

“We’re not asking for the moon,” Walsh said.

She said that allowing homegrown marijuana will help Washington compete against pot grown by criminals by cutting back on incentives to seek out black-market pot. For the past few years, the state government, including the Legislature, have been conscious that legal marijuana competes against illegal marijuana, and has taken measures to keep criminals from gaining any financial advantages over legal pot. Washington’s 37 percent sales tax on legal pot has been designed to hit a sweet pot in which the state collects as much money as it can without driving people to look for black-market marijuana.

Washington Department of Revenue figures show marijuana-related taxes raised almost $65 million in fiscal 2013-2015, $165 million in fiscal 2016, and $301 million in fiscal 2017 — with more than $700 million predicted in fiscal 2017-2019, which ends June 30. Washington’s legal pot dealers sold $1.3 billion worth of marijuana in fiscal 2017.

Crosscut attempted to speak with people who grew recreational pot illegally at their homes, but several told an intermediary that they are “too scared” to talk with the media about an action for which they could be arrested.

At the Jan. 21 House hearing, law enforcement interests opposed legalizing homegrown recreational pot.

Chris Thompson of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board told the House commerce committee, “We have concerns that homegrown marijuana on a wide scale could provide cover for illicit grows.” Steve Strachan of the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs echoed that concern, saying, “There’s a problem in our state with large illicit grows.”

The Washington State Patrol’s Monica Alexander said, “It is extremely difficult to go into someone’s home just to see if they limited their marijuana plants to six.”

Bailey Hirschburg of the Washington chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws contended that all other states with legalized recreational marijuana have allowed home-growing for recreational use.

John Kingsbury of Home Grow Washington argued that growing a small amount of pot at home won’t affect the recreational marijuana businesses. “Why,” he asked, “should we be making felons out of people who grow plants that we sell like beer?”

Weed Control

DUE TO COVID-19: To protect our staff, if you are experiencing ANY symptoms, you WILL NOT be allowed entry.

2022 APPLICATOR SEMINAR

2021 LEGAL WEED NOTICE

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:

Puncturevine Season has Arrived

Mechanical control is very effective for controlling this troublesome plant. Always pull up by the root and if you are dealing with large plants roll them to prevent scattering seed. Bag them and dispose to stop the spread. Intrinsic Organics employees in Weiser, ID are using this method to deal with their puncturevine problem.

Pictured is Bruce Cox displaying one of the larger plants, last count from the crew was 7-40 gallon drums filled with plants.

Facts: Each puncturevine burr contains 5 nutlets, 3-5 seeds per nutlet, hence the rapid spread. Seeds remain viable for several years so vigilance is a must. One plant is capable of producing 200-5,000 seeds in one growing season. Use caution to prevent further spread of this Idaho Noxious Weed!

Washington weed seeds

For the purpose of this chapter, “marijuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis l., whether growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, or a cake made from the seeds of the plant, any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or case, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012; Ord. 251 § 1.10.010, 1977].

9.40.020 Possession unlawful.

It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess more than 28.35 grams of marijuana unless the same was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by the laws of the state of Washington.

Except as provided in RCW 69.50.401(2)(c), every person convicted of a violation of the provisions of this section for possessing more than 28.35 grams of marijuana shall be guilty of unlawful possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. [Ord. 10-21 § 1, 2021; Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012; Ord. 251 § 1.10.020, 1977].

9.40.025 Possession of marijuana under the age of 21 – Penalty.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years to knowingly possess marijuana in an amount less than 40 grams, as defined in WRMC 9.40.010, unless pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a practitioner in the course of his professional practice.

Except as provided in RCW 69.50.401(2)(c), any person under the age of 21 found guilty of possession of 40 grams or less of marijuana is guilty of a misdemeanor. [Ord. 10-21 § 1, 2021; Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013].

9.40.030 Misdemeanor violations – Minimum penalties.

A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 24 consecutive hours, and by a fine of not less than $250.00. On a second or subsequent conviction, the fine shall not be less than $500.00. These fines shall be in addition to any other fine or penalty imposed. Unless the court finds that the imposition of the minimum imprisonment will pose a substantial risk to the defendant’s physical or mental well-being or that local jail facilities are in an overcrowded condition, the minimum term of imprisonment shall not be suspended or deferred. If the court finds such risk or overcrowding exists, it shall sentence the defendant to a minimum of 40 hours of community restitution. If a minimum term of imprisonment is suspended or deferred, the court shall state in writing the reason for granting the suspension or deferral and the facts upon which the suspension or deferral is based. Unless the court finds the person indigent, the minimum fine shall not be suspended or deferred. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012].

9.40.040 Second or subsequent offenses.

A. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this chapter may be imprisoned for a term up to twice the term otherwise authorized, fined an amount up to twice that otherwise authorized, or both.

B. For purposes of this section, an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense if, prior to his or her conviction of the offense, the offender has at any time been convicted under this chapter or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogenic drugs. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012].

9.40.050 Medical marijuana – Affirmative defenses.

The state of Washington, by enactment of Chapter 69.51A RCW, has recognized the medical benefits of prescribed marijuana and has legalized medical marijuana use when appropriately prescribed and obtained. The city of West Richland hereby adopts Chapter 69.51A RCW as it currently exists or as it may be amended in regard to legalized medical marijuana and any affirmative defenses therein. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012].

9.40.055 Public consumption – Violation.

As provided by the passage of Initiative 502 following the November 2012 election, it is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana, usable marijuana, or a marijuana-infused product, or to consume marijuana, usable marijuana, or a marijuana-infused product, in view of the general public. A person who violates this section is guilty of a Class III civil infraction under Chapter 7.80 RCW and will be prosecuted in the Benton County district court. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013].

9.40.060 Drug paraphernalia – Selling or giving – Penalty.

A. Every person who sells or gives, or permits to be sold or given, to any person any drug paraphernalia in any form commits a Class I civil infraction under Chapter 7.80 RCW. For purposes of this section, “drug paraphernalia” means all equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance other than marijuana. Drug paraphernalia includes, but is not limited to, objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, such as:

1. Metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads, or punctured metal bowls;

3. Carburetion tubes and devices;

4. Smoking and carburetion masks;

5. Miniature cocaine spoons and cocaine vials;

6. Chamber pipes;

7. Carburetor pipes;

8. Electric pipes;

9. Air-driven pipes;

10. Ice pipes or chillers.

B. It shall be no defense to a prosecution for a violation of this section that the person acted, or was believed by the defendant to act, as agent or representative of another.

C. Nothing in subsection A of this section prohibits legal distribution of injection syringe equipment through public health and community based HIV prevention programs and pharmacies. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012; Ord. 1-97 § 1, 1997. Formerly 9.40.030].

9.40.070 Possession of paraphernalia – Unlawful conduct.

It is unlawful for any person to knowingly use, or to possess with the intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plan, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by, the possession of which controlled substance is in violation of Chapter 69.50 RCW, or to sell, deliver, possess with the intent to sell or deliver, or manufacture with the intent to sell or deliver, drug paraphernalia, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or except as otherwise authorized by, the possession of which controlled substance is in violation of Chapter 69.50 RCW. Except as provided in RCW 69.50.401(2)(c), any person found guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia is guilty of a misdemeanor.

A. No person may, as a family or household member, intentionally use or threaten to use by purposeful words or acts, unlawful physical force against another family or household member.

B. A person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree, or custodial assault, he or she assaults another family or household member.

C. Any defense available to a person charged with the crime of “assault in the fourth degree” under RCW 9A.36.041 shall also be a defense to the crime of simple assault under this section.

D. Any crime charged under this section shall be a gross misdemeanor. [Ord. 10-21 § 1, 2021; Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012; Ord. 1-97 § 1, 1997. Formerly 9.40.040].

9.40.080 Misdemeanor violations – Minimum penalties.

A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 24 consecutive hours, and by a fine of not less than $250.00. On a second or subsequent conviction, the fine shall not be less than $500.00. These fines shall be in addition to any other fine or penalty imposed. Unless the court finds that the imposition of the minimum imprisonment will pose a substantial risk to the defendant’s physical or mental well-being or that local jail facilities are in an overcrowded condition, the minimum term of imprisonment shall not be suspended or deferred. If the court finds such risk or overcrowding exists, it shall sentence the defendant to a minimum of 40 hours of community restitution. If a minimum term of imprisonment is suspended or deferred, the court shall state in writing the reason for granting the suspension or deferral and the facts upon which the suspension or deferral is based. Unless the court finds the person indigent, the minimum fine shall not be suspended or deferred. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012].

9.40.090 Second or subsequent offenses.

A. Any person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this chapter may be imprisoned for a term up to twice the term otherwise authorized, fined an amount up to twice that otherwise authorized, or both.

B. For purposes of this section, an offense is considered a second or subsequent offense if, prior to his or her conviction of the offense, the offender has at any time been convicted under this chapter or under any statute of the United States or of any state relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogenic drugs. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012].

9.40.100 Drug paraphernalia – Affirmative defenses.

The state of Washington, by enactment of Chapter 69.51A RCW, has recognized the medical benefits of prescribed marijuana and has legalized medical marijuana use when appropriately prescribed and obtained. The city of West Richland hereby adopts Chapter 69.51A RCW as it currently exists or as it may be amended in regard to legalized medical marijuana and the use of drug paraphernalia including any affirmative defenses therein. [Ord. 4-13 § 1, 2013; Ord. 36-12 § 2 (Att. A), 2012.]

Editor’s Note: For statutory provisions on controlled substances, see Chapter 69.50 RCW.