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Pierce County pot ban

The Pierce County Council voted to ban pot grow, distribution and retail stores in unincorporated areas of the county.

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Local News

Council pushes Pierce County pot ban forward

TACOMA — The Pierce County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to again effectively ban legal pot production, distribution and retail in many parts of the county after county executive Pat McCarthy voted to override the veto recently.

CR Douglas: New pot rules would outlaw dispensariesAccording to the Tacoma News Tribune, the council voted to override McCarthy’s veto of an ordinance that bans pot businesses in unincorporated areas of Pierce County in advance of I-502′s implementation. The vote bans pot businesses from operating in Pierce County until Congress either approves pot legalization or removes pot from its list of federally banned substances.

The council had previously voted 4-3 for the ban, and needed an extra vote to override McCarthy’s veto. Republican Councilman Doug Richardson changed his mind Tuesday, the News Tribune reported, and went along with the other four Republican members of the county council to ban pot ships.

Two Democrats on the council decided along with McCarthy and said that pot businesses should be allowed to legally operate in the county after Washington state voted to approve recreational marijuana last year.

The ban is likely to face a challenge in court, the News Tribune has previously reported.

TACOMA — Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy has vetoed the County Council’s measure that would prohibit marijuana businesses from operating until Congress removes pot from the list of federally controlled substances, The News Tribune of Tacoma reported Monday.

pottAccording to the newspaper, McCarthy said she vetoed the ordinance because it conflicts with state law, which permits the licensing of marijuana businesses.

The council voted 4-3 to pass the ordinance Nov. 5.

Council Chairwoman Joyce McDonald, R-Puyallup, told the News Tribune that the council will vote Dec. 10 on whether to overturn the veto.  An override requires five of seven votes.


Local News

Council: No pot in Pierce County

TACOMA — The Pierce County Council voted Tuesday night to prohibit all recreational marijuana businesses from operating in the county until Congress removes pot off a list of federally controlled substances, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.

The measure effectively creates a ban on pot businesses in areas outside urban centers in the county, the News Tribune reported. Production, processing and retail would be limited to areas like Tacoma and Lakewood. The ordinance sets up a potential dispute between Pierce County rules and state law.

CR Douglas: New pot rules would outlaw dispensariesThe ordinance must be signed by county executive Pat McCarthy within 10 days before it goes into effect. If she chooses not to sign the ordinance and execute an executive veto, the council could override her veto with a 5-2 vote.  It is unclear whether or not McCarthy will sign the ordinance.

Opponents said the ordinance was against state law. Keith Henson, a marijuana reform proponent, told the News Tribune the ordinance, which passed by a narrow 4-3 vote, will surely face a challenge in state court.

The council’s attorney Susan Long said the county could cite marijuana businesses that operate within the county before pot is taken off the federal drug list.

“We don’t have the right to overrule federal law,” Council man Jim McCune (R-Graham) told the News Tribune.

Opponents said any citation would go against state law.

More than 60 people packed into Pierce County’s Council chambers to speak about the issue Tuesday night, the News Tribune reported.