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Did state fail to protect in-home day cares from pot businesses? Port Orchard says yes

potPORT ORCHARD — The state’s new pot laws are putting children at risk.

That’s the warning from a woman in Port Orchard who runs a day care out of her home.

Terri Squires says it should be about equal protection under the law for all children in Washington and right now, she says, it’s not.

“The children in elementary schools, junior high, high schools, arcades, parks, childcare centers are protected, licensed family home child care as well as school age child cares are not protected,” Squires said.

Here’s the problem: When I-502, the law the legalized recreational marijuana, was written, it specifically included day care centers under the protection of the 1,000-foot buffer rule, meaning no marijuana business can be located within a thousand feet.

But licensed in-home day cares are listed under a different code and weren’t included in I-502, so a marijuana business could legally open up right next door

In-home day care parents like Dan Calvert don’t like that at all.

“It could bring in vandals or people trying to break into the area, which could bring crime to the neighborhood,” parent Dan Calvert said.

“Our City Council has asked the City Attorney to come back with some suggestions on how we can change our city code to include all child care,” Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes said Thursday.

The Port Orchard City Council has yet to take action, but Matthes says he and some council members believe they should and sooner rather than later.

“Because several of them said it was obvious, to them at least, that that’s what the intent was, and they were confused why there was this gap in that law,” Matthes said.

Local municipalities can do that because they issue the local business licenses the marijuana businesses will need so they can set the parameters.

Otherwise, the state Liquor Control Board said the Legislature can revise I-502 next year.

 

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