Clark County, WA: No Pot Until Feds Legalize It

WASHINGTON:  Clark County commissioners signaled Wednesday that they are considering an effective ban on all marijuana-related operations.

With a six-month moratorium set to expire in February, commissioners said during a work session Wednesday that they will need to issue another moratorium because they know they won’t have an ordinance adopted in time.

They also directed staff to prepare a draft ordinance modeled after Pierce County’s, which sets restrictions on marijuana facilities but includes a whopper of a caveat: “No application for a marijuana-licensed business shall be approved by Pierce County until such time as marijuana is removed from the schedule of controlled substances at 21 U.S.C. sec. 812(c) as evidenced by a slip law available from the Library of Congress.”

In other words, if the commissioners end up adopting an ordinance modeled on Pierce County’s, the county won’t allow growing, processing or selling of marijuana until the federal government legalizes the drug, said Chris Horne, Clark County’s chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney.

Horne said the beauty of Pierce County’s ordinance is if local jurisdictions are eventually told that outright bans aren’t allowed, the section referencing federal law can just be redacted.

Initiative 502, which legalized possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults ages 21 and older, was approved by voters in 2012.

County Executive McCarthy Vetoes Pierce County Council Prohibition On Marijuana Businesses

WASHINGTON:  Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has vetoed the County Council’s ordinance that prohibits licensed marijuana businesses from operating until the U.S. Congress removes marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances.

McCarthy said the county’s ordinance conflicts with state law. She said the county must comply with state law, which permits the licensing of marijuana businesses.

In a letter to the council released Monday, McCarthy said she has concerns about legal risks the council’s ordinance poses regarding “federal authorization.” She urged the council to “approve clear and well-defined zoning regulations that protect our neighborhoods.” [Read more…]

Tacoma Council Begins Marijuana Code Process

WASHINGTON: Tacoma City Council approved two interim laws relating to recreational marijuana sales Tuesday night.

The city’s new laws, one for land use and another for its nuisance code, nearly mirror the state’s suggested laws for recreational marijuana growers, processors and sales. [Read more…]