State ready to ban pot in bars

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OLYMPIA — The state of Washington is getting ready to clamp down on bars and restaurants that allow customers to smoke pot.

A bar owner in Olympia beleives he is the target of the proposed rule. Frank Schnaar, who owns Frankie’s Sports Pub spoke to the Liquor Control Board during a public hearing on the proposed rule change.

Ever since marijuana became legal in the state, Schnaar has been allowing people to light up in his upstairs bar, which he calls a private club. He beleives allowing pot smokers at his place may have actually saved his business.

“My food order is up 40 percent, it`s huge,” said Schnaar. “People who smoke marijuana like to eat.”

But his customers could be out in the cold if the state changes the rules about smoking marijuana in bars and restaurants.

Chris Marr, a member on the Liquor Control Board, said it’s clear in the 502 law legalizing pot, “That you can`t smoke in public. We`re reflecting that in the new rule.”

The new rule would make it illegal to smoke pot any place with a liquor license.

Brian Smith, a LCB spokesperson, said Schnaar’s pub, “Holds a restaurant license and restaurants are public places.”

Schnaar, whose bar is less than a mile from the board’s headquarters, believes he’s being singled out, and no matter what the board votes next week, he’ll continue to let people light up in his place.

“I don’t fear my government and I sure as Hell am not going to fear the Liquor Control Board,” said Schnaar. “I sell for them. Bars keep the board in business.”

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