Washington State Attorney General In Center Of Marijuana Fight

WASHINGTON:  When state Attorney General Bob Ferguson declared earlier this year that individual cities and counties can ban the growing, processing and selling of recreational marijuana it was taken as gospel by many local officials.

As a result, several cities and counties have put the kibosh on pot operations through moratoriums, including some cities in Walla Walla and Columbia counties.

But — and this was made clear by Ferguson (although many opted to stop listening) — the attorney general’s opinion was just that, an opinion. The final interpretation of the voter-approved law would come from a court ruling.

And that day now appears to be coming.


Clark County WA Commissioners Ban Recreational Marijuana Facilities Outside City Limits

WASHINGTON: The Clark County Board of Commissioners approved a ban Tuesday on the processing, production and sale of marijuana within its jurisdiction despite statewide legalization.

Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke affirmed the ordinance, effectively banning retail marijuana businesses from taking root on unincorporated land. They cited federal law outlawing marijuana as a motivating factor in making their decision.

“It’s important to recognize we’re an arm of the state government and the federal government,” Mielke said. “And the state and the federal are not in agreement.”

The ban is similar to one passed this year by Pierce County. The ordinance calls for marijuana processing and sales to remain off limits on county land unless the federal government legalizes it. That comes despite the passage of Initiative 502, approved by voters in 2012, which legalized the production and retail sale of marijuana.

The commissioners’ decision Tuesday was expected by many. Commissioners had long voiced their opposition to marijuana businesses’ developing on county land. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s written decision this year that local jurisdictions could ban recreational marijuana businesses added clarity to the process.

Mielke Tuesday said allowing marijuana sales would add strain on county resources, including law enforcement. A lively crowd that filled the commissioners’ boardroom Tuesday disagreed, at times loudly and profanely. Late in the meeting, sheriff’s deputies were called to the boardroom to observe the proceedings.

Franklin County Commissioners Vote To Extend Marijuana Moratorium

WASHINGTON:  Franklin County Commissioners decided to extend the county’s moratorium on marijuana sales just before it was set to expire Tuesday.

Despite some disagreement last week over the whether or not to extend the pot moratorium commissioners did decide Monday to extend it, at least for another six months but maybe less.
The commission needed two votes to come to an agreement. Last time they met commissioner Brad Peck was in favor of extending the moratorium while Bob Koch was not and since commissioner Rick Miller was out of town and not able to vote they had to hold another meeting.