Washington Judge Upholds Small City’s Pot Shop Ban

WASHINGTON:  A state judge said Friday that a small city can continue to ban state-licensed marijuana businesses, in a case with big implications for Washington’s experiment in legal pot.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper issued the ruling after extensive arguments over whether Initiative 502, the voter-approved state law that legalizes adults’ recreational use of marijuana, left any room for such local bans.

The case concerned a ban in the Tacoma suburb of Fife. Would-be pot proprietor Tedd Wetherbee sued, saying he was entitled to do business but the city wasn’t letting him. Culpepper disagreed.

“Fife’s ordinance is not pre-empted by I-502 or other state law,” he said in an oral ruling.

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