A bipartisan group of state lawmakers have sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) asking that marijuana be reclassified as a Schedule II drug.
The 42 lawmakers wrote the letter to express their support of a petition Gov. Chris Gregoire recently submitted to the DEA. Reclassification would make doctor-prescribed, medical marijuana legal on a federal level.
The lawmakers argued that criminalizing medical marijuana nationally makes it difficult for patients to acquire their medication in Washington and the 15 other states where it is legal.
"We are also concerned that qualifying patients with serious medical conditions who could benefit from medical use of cannabis do not have a safe and consistent source of their medicine that has been recommended by a licensed health care professional in our state," the letter said.
Last week, Washington also took a step toward legalizing marijuana for recreational users when the Secretary of State certified Initiative 502, which would authorize the Liquor Control Board to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana for sale to adults 21 and over.
If the legislature does not make a decision on I-502, it will go to voters on the November ballot.