Let’s All Do An Autopsy: SB 5887 — the Legislature Failed

So who did killed the goose that could lay a green egg?

By Washington State Wire

Success Has A Thousand Fathers, Failure Is Born A Bastard

We watched it all the way through. We seldom ran to the keyboard to post every little twist and turn. Motives were assumed, reasons were thrown around like pillows at a second-grade slumber party. Fingers were pointed, MMJ patients begged and explained. The LCB needed a fix, the state needed a fix, the MMJ law needed a fix. The state of Washington and its historic social experiment needed a clear regulatory platform.

House Ds who have failed to put enough money into K-12 to make the Supremes happy and who couldn’t get the Senate to go along with more new taxes thought they would use anticipated cannabis revenues to “throw at K-12.” The House Rs, for some mysterious reason, became the defenders of local governments and demanded money for them. By the way, this same group of local governments are the ones who don’t want cannabis grown, distributed or retailed in their precious cities and counties. But, oh they love the money. So who did killed the goose that laid the green egg? Or could lay a green egg? WEA? Association of Washington Cities? MMJ patients? MMJ suppliers/growers?

5887 Became A Title Made Up Of Floor Amendments

We won’t even go into some of the other 32 floor amendments. Yes, 32 floor amendments. You know what that says? It tells anyone with a clue that the bill was not ready for floor action. OK, they were moving the title against a fast-approaching deadline.

When Will The LCB “Lead”?

More hindsight (although opined here on more than one occasion) — had the LCB actually gotten busy in the fall when it should have, the bill might have been a little more refined by the time session started. Why? Well, remember the 2013 budget proviso that directed LCB to study and recommend changes to the Legislature? Most of the core of SB 5887 (and other bills) came from the study. It was an idea without a mother, a restructuring without a builder.

What Now?

What we have now are a bunch of questions:

1. Without a “cleanup of MMJ” and the potential for both growing and retailing of cannabis to be leaked out through a wide open, existing MMJ platform, will the LCB actually put I-502 in play? And when? What is their latest announced date now — June? (We have kind of been wondering how this could be drawn out to two full years or more. Here we go.)
2. The Guv told us the feds told him we better close the loopholes, close the border, close both systems to underage people. What are the consequences of failure? Do we get a “do-over?”
3. What are hundreds of business folks supposed to do? Just go ahead and start growing and processing and selling recreational product? Would you? Would you invest in a state with a very leaky MMJ system?
4. And since the original language, I-502, specifically directed the funds from the start, is that good enough? Should we actually find out how much new revenue will come to cities due to increased property taxes, local business taxes, and more?

Next Session?

Oh yes, let’s do it next session. It is only nine months and 123 legislative elections away. (A bunch of the elections are in the burbs…hmmmmm?) Maybe this much lead time will afford the LCB time to actually become the “lead” agency for implementation.

Everybody happy now?

There are two fundamental rules of politics. One of them is, “You seldom (never) lose an election for what you don’t do.”

They didn’t do it, did they?

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