From Justin Gardner of The Free Thought Project   January 24, 2015     Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is pushing to stamp out the medical marijuana industry that has existed in Washington for 16 years. Holmes wants to bring all marijuana sales, recreational and medicinal, under a single system that would impose heavy taxes on the sick and criminalize existing medical marijuana providers.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board (LCB) would be the central player in this extortion racket. Currently, medical marijuana is subject to sales taxes of approximately 9 percent, much like over-the-counter medicines. If Holmes and the LCB get their way, medical marijuana would be taxed at an effective rate of 44 percent (a “sin tax”), the same as recreational marijuana.

They can’t stand the thought of any form of marijuana being sold without a shakedown from authorities.

Proponents are seeking to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries by abolishing “collective gardens.”

Collectives are generally administered by patients and for patients, with the greatest concern for the health and well-being of the patient membership on a not-for-profit basis, where patients obtain the highest quality medicine at the lowest cost possible. Collective cultivation represents a closed network of production and access that prohibits diversion or distribution to or from non-medical sources or recipients. Collective gardens must maintain the legitimacy of their operations and membership.

Ending collective gardens would deprive many sick patients of the medicine they need, especially if they cannot grow their own plants. Patients would instead have to go to state-licensed “adult use” stores and pay exorbitant taxes, and hope to find the strain and form most effective for their particular illness.