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State officials recommend reigning in medical marijuana laws

October 22nd, 2013 - 5:31am

SEATTLE (AP) - State agencies charged with making recommendations about the future of medical marijuana in Washington want to drastically cut how much pot patients are allowed to have, restrict what they can have it for, and make them obtain the weed at stores that are licensed under the state's recreational marijuana law.

Representatives from the Liquor Control Board, Department of Revenue and Department of Health released their draft recommendations on Monday. The group is charged with sending a final report to the Legislature by Jan. 1.

Washington voters last year approved the recreational use of marijuana, as well as its sale at state-licensed stores. Officials have been concerned that Washington's unregulated medical marijuana market could undercut the sale of taxed recreational marijuana and invite a crackdown from federal officials.

Under the recommendations, the amount of marijuana patients can have would be reduced from 24 ounces to 3 ounces, which is still more than the 1 ounce adults are allowed under the recreational law. Patients who join the state registry would not be required to pay sales taxes, but the marijuana they obtain would be subject to the same high excise taxes as recreational marijuana.

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