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The Petri Dish: Local battles over marijuana

April 17, 2015

Central Kitsap Reporter

April 16, 2015

by Jerry Cornfield

There’s a good chance marijuana will be in front of voters again this fall. This time, though, the decision will be whether to keep the industry out, not whether to let it in. A bill passed by the state House on April 10 would erase bans on marijuana businesses that have been locally enacted by elected officials in Marysville, Snohomish, Mill Creek and 56 other cities, plus a handful of counties.

But the bill would allow voters a chance to impose a prohibition on marijuana growers, processors or retailers through passage of a local ballot measure — even in a city or county where the budding weed industry is blossoming. House Bill 2136, a 54-page rewrite of the rules and taxation of recreational marijuana commerce, passed on a strong bipartisan vote of 67-28. It is now in the Senate for consideration. The sliver of the bill dealing with preemption and public votes tries to cope with a sizable rebellion of communities after approval of Initiative 502 in 2012.

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