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.

Pierce County Council Weighs Ban On Marijuana Retail Stores

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. [Read more…]