WASHINGTON: Washington state expects to license about 17 marijuana retail stores in unincorporated Pierce County, but a majority of the Pierce County Council supports measures to effectively ban the stores.
Tacoma attorney Jay Berneburg represents clients who operate medical marijuana dispensaries and want to apply for state licenses to grow and sell recreational marijuana. He said a ban would fly in the face of voter approval for legalization through Initiative 502.
“Our Pierce County Council responds by saying, ‘Actually we know more about it than you, and democracy doesn’t work, and you people don’t know what’s best for you, we do,’” Berneburg said.
I-502 received 54 percent of the vote in Pierce County. Council member Dan Roach, who supports the ban, said opposing a ballot initiative is not something he takes lightly.
“I am going against what the will of voters was for Initiative 502,” Roach said, but “the caveat is the people who elected me expect me to be able to understand the issue on a local level and how it’s implemented and make a good choice on that basis.”