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Auburn Leaders Seek Public Input on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Tonight

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City leaders want to know if people believe they should allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Auburn.

The public's chance to speak up is at 7:30 tonight at City Hall, 25 W. Main St.

Recently, City leaders enacted a one-year moratorium on acceptance of applications for licensing, permitting and approval for medical marijuana dispensaries, allowing officials to assess the zoning implications, the impact on citizens and to hold tonight's public hearing.

"Zoning concerns have to be addressed so you don't put these dispensaries in inappropriate locations by schools or parks," City Attorney Dan Heid recently told the Auburn Reporter.

Marijuana possession is illegal in Washington. But in 1998, 59 percent of Washington voters approved an initiative to legalize medical marijuana.

On April 21, the Senate and House passed Senate Bill 5073, which would establish a regulatory system for medical marijuana dispensaries and growers and provide protection from criminal prosecution for patients.

The bill passed through the House with a 54-43 vote and through the Senate with a 29-20 majority. Locally, 31st District Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn) and Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-Enumclaw) voted against the bill, with Rep. Christopher Hurst (D-Enumclaw) voting yes. In the 47th District, Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) and Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington) voted to pass the bill, with Rep. Mark Hargrove (R-Covington) voting no.

On April 29, Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed many sections of E2SSB 5073, including the sections that would create a patient registry and require dispensaries and producers to be licensed.

Gregoire said she could not approve a measure that could put state workers at risk of federal criminal charges.

"If I have my state employees intimately involved in a commercialization of growing operations, they could be subject to being called before the court as criminal defendants," Gregoire told the Associated Press. "I will not put state employees in that position."

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: pnwlocalnews.com
Author: Robert Whale
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Copyright: Sound Publishing, Inc.
Website: Auburn leaders seek public input on medical marijuana dispensaries tonight
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