Compassionate Care Legislation

Gov. Inslee signs Engrossed Substitute House Bill No. 1094, April 30, 2019. Relating to establishing compassionate care renewals for medical marijuana qualifying patients. Primary Sponsor: Brian Blake

HB 1094 – DIGEST Allows a health care professional to indicate that a qualifying patient qualifies for a compassionate care renewal of his or her registration in the medical marijuana authorization database and authorization card if the health care professional determines that requiring the qualifying patient to renew a registration in person would likely result in severe hardship to the qualifying patient because of the qualifying patient’s physical or emotional condition.”

If you’ve never really put too much thought into the entire process of law making, you’re not alone, I promise! The law-making process is quite rigorous and involves numerous people to ensure that the majority are satisfied before it sails through. Following House Bill 1094 has enlightened me to the complex process of making state laws, and I can assure you that is not a simple task. My experience through the process of law making started off with a simple visit to the state capital for a public hearing for this bill.

The experience was not as intimidating as I had anticipated. Regular members of the public were all sharing ideas and opinions. To them, this was not just a bill, but something they were passionate about. Something that they knew would affect the lives of countless people across our state. They shared the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the bill and outlined all of the effects it would have.

To my surprise I learned that less than 10% of drafted or proposed bills actually become laws. The process involves a number of complex steps in which the bill must undergo committee procedures and hearings, pass from one house to another, and undergo several amendments. If the bill fails in any of these steps, it is dropped and can only be revived through the introduction and undergoing the entire process again. Bills may even take years to pass. This allowed me to see the bigger picture in life: that failure is never the end and that there is always an opportunity to get back up and keep going.

While keeping a close eye on the bill with every step that House Bill 1094 passed, it marked a step closer to being passed into law. As the weeks went on, House Bill 1094 moved through all the hurdles and the day finally came when this bill would be signed into law. I saw and felt the excitement, the passion, the relief, and the sea of smiles that were shared by everyone who had arrived at the Governor’s office that day. It was truly a moment of joy. While I waited in line to take a picture with the Governor, I got a chance to meet inspiring individuals that were celebrating months of hard work paying off in supporting this tremendous bill. As a result, qualifying patients suffering from physical and emotional ailments will no longer be faced with  hardships to renew their registration in the medical marijuana authorization database. Additionally, health care professionals can indicate whether a qualifying patient can receive a renewal of their registration in the medical database, lessening the burden of administrative work for healthcare professionals as well.

This experience not only had a profound impact on my knowledge of the law-making process, but left me with a much greater sense of appreciation for the actual people involved in helping shape the landscape of our state law. Seeing people work hard for what they believe in, people who devote themselves to what they are passionate about, genuinely changed me that day. It was inspiring to see the process come to fruition, and the result of everyone’s hard work paying off. In the end, It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time or the 100th time trying to accomplish something, what matters is not giving up and striving to succeed. What I witnessed that day at the capitol was the result of this devotion to succeed, and was a devotion to the people of the State of Washington to have a better quality of life.

Daniyela Varvaryuk
Executive Administrator

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