Gregoire Cowers In Fear Of Big Bad Feds, Will Probably Veto Bill To Help Sick People


Gov. Chris Gregoire on Friday is expected to veto all or part of a landmark medical marijuana bill because of federal prosecutors’ threat to prosecute state employees who carry it out.

That threat, delivered by the state’s two U.S. Attorneys earlier this month, has prompted concerns about federal meddling in state policymaking. Legislators, law professors and marijuana activists said Thursday that threat is hollow, and may not be constitutionally legal.

Gregoire has publicly said she will not sign the bill, and has called a news conference for Friday to discuss it.

She has cited a letter by U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mike Ormsby of Spokane, which said state employees could be held civilly or criminally liable for enforcing the proposed law, which would legalize and regulate medical dispensaries and grow operations for the first time.