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.

No-Pot City Takes Aim At Washington Marijuana Law

WASHINGTON:  To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It’s in a strip mall across from BJ’s Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.

But like dozens of other cities in Washington, the small Tacoma suburb of Fife doesn’t want Wetherbee — or anyone else — opening marijuana businesses, even if state law allows it. The arguments officials are making in a lawsuit over the dispute threaten to derail Washington’s big experiment in legal, taxed cannabis less than two months after sales began.

A Pierce County judge on Friday is scheduled to hear arguments on two key issues at the core of Wetherbee’s legal challenge to the ban. The first is whether Washington’s voter-approved marijuana measure, Initiative 502, leaves room for cities to ban licensed pot growers, processors or sellers. If the answer is no, Fife wants the judge to address a second question: Should Washington’s entire legal marijuana scheme be thrown out as incompatible with the federal prohibition on pot?

“It’s challenging the state’s ability to create a legal and controlled market,” said Alison Holcomb, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington lawyer who drafted the law. “They’re saying, ‘We’ll just take the entire regulatory system down.’ “

 

Fife Case Could Destroy Marijuana Legalization Effort In Washington, says AG

WASHINGTON: The city of Fife’s legal efforts to restrict marijuana sales could destroy marijuana legalization efforts in Washington state.

That’s according to the Washington state Attorney General’s office, which is battling the city in court and siding with state voters who approved Initiative 502, legalizing marijuana sales in the state.

Washington AG Bob Ferguson said that in the case of MMC, LC v. Fife – where two pot retailers have challenged the city’s marijuana retail ban – he has filed a brief opposing Fife’s efforts to prevent a marijuana shop from opening in the city.

There are two issues in the case that could impact the future of Washington state’s marijuana law. The first is whether cities and towns can ban the sale of the drug. The second is whether federal law trumps state law when it comes to recreational marijuana. Fife claims federal laws trump state laws in the case.

Fife Case Could Destroy Marijuana Legalization Effort In Washington, Says AG

WASHINGTON:  The city of Fife’s legal efforts to restrict marijuana sales could destroy marijuana legalization efforts in Washington state.

That’s according to the Washington state Attorney General‘s office, which is battling the city in court and siding with state voters who approved Initiative 502, legalizing marijuana sales in the state.

Washington AG Bob Ferguson said that in the case of MMC, LC v. Fife – where two pot retailers have challenged the city’s marijuana retail ban – he has filed a brief opposing Fife’s efforts to prevent a marijuana shop from opening in the city.

There are two issues in the case that could impact the future of Washington state’s marijuana law. The first is whether cities and towns can ban the sale of the drug. The second is whether federal law trumps state law when it comes to recreational marijuana. Fife claims federal laws trump state laws in the case.