Seeing that Rob McKenna, the state's Republican attorney general, leaped into a controversial federal battle last year—when he added Washington to a collection of states trying to repeal the health care reform bill passed by Congress—he should should have zero reluctance jumping into another national fight that affects our state, too.
State representative Roger Goodman (D-45) is testing that theory. Today Goodman asked McKenna in a letter (.pdf) if he supports the the medical use of cannabis, as approved by state voters in 1998. Specifically to the federal question, Goodman asks, "Do you also support a change in the federal statute or federal enforcement policy"? Goodman wants "every elected official in the state pulling on the same rope and sending the same message to federal enforcement agencies and to our Congressional delegation."
Goodman specfically names McKenna's health care opposition and his statements on US policy in Israel, saying when it comes to pot, McKenna's "opinion on this issue matters."
Will McKenna jump to the state's defense? Or will he be a weasel?
My money's on weasel. When Goodman and 14 other lawmakers asked McKenna for analysis on Governor Chris Gregoire's recent medical pot veto, McKenna responded with a resounding meh hhm uh cough, cough. Sure, there's an escalating fight between federal law (which finds all marijuana use illegal) and a growing number of states that authorize medical pot. But I can't foresee McKenna showing a backbone to help the sick and the dying obtain the medicine they need when it's pot. After all, he's fighting to stop the millions of sick and dying Americans from getting health care coverage at all.