Gregoire also said the science on the issue has changed. The American Medical Association reversed its position two years ago and now supports investigation and clinical research of cannabis for medicinal use.
Gregoire said she was on a phone call in August with other governors in medical marijuana states and said that there was a “huge volume” of interest.
“I have every expectation that you will see other governors join us,” she said.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin plans to sign the petition and write a letter in support of the proposed change, said spokeswoman Susan Allen. Gil Duran, a spokesman for California Gov. Jerry Brown, did not have an immediate comment when asked about the petition Wednesday.
“The governors in Washington and Rhode Island raise a valid conflict that needs to be resolved,” said Eric Brown, a spokesman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “Colorado law requires we make a similar ask of the federal government by Jan. 1. We will do that. We will also continue to consult with other governors on this issue and with Colorado’s attorney general before deciding whether anything else will be done.”
Other governors did not immediately respond to requests from The Associated Press.
There is currently an effort in Washington state to decriminalize and tax recreational marijuana sales for adults. Initiative 502, which has been endorsed by two former Seattle U.S. attorneys and the former head of the FBI in Washington state, would create a system of state-licensed growers, processors and stores, and would impose a 25 percent excise tax at each stage. Adults 21 and over could buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana; one pound of marijuana-infused product in solid form, such as brownies; or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids. It would be illegal to drive with more than 5 nanograms of THC, the active ingredient of cannabis, per milliliter of blood.
Sponsors need to collect more than 240,000 valid signatures by Dec. 30 to place the measure before the Legislature early next year. If the Legislature doesn’t take up the issue, it automatically goes to the November ballot.
When asked about the initiative, Gregoire said her focus was on medical marijuana, and how to “get relief that is safe and readily available to these patients.”
Rachel La Corte can be reached at http://twitter.com/RachelAPOly. Associated Press writers Juliet Williams in Sacramento, Calif., Dave Gram in Montpelier, Vt., and Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this report.
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