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Pierce County Executive McCarthy vetoes ordinance banning marijuana businesses

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Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy (Photo:

TACOMA — Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy on Thursday vetoed the County Council’s ordinance that would have banned recreational marijuana businesses.

The current county ban expires Friday.

“I am vetoing this ordinance because my job as an elected official requires me to advance the will of the people who voted in 2012, in a comprehensive election, to legalize recreational marijuana,” McCarthy wrote in Thursday’s veto letter to Council Chairman Doug Richardson.

In response, Richardson issued a statement saying he had received the veto message and will let the ordinance die because “there are not five votes on the Council necessary to override her veto.”

Basically, the current county law made it impossible for marijuana businesses to get a county-issued permit because of a provision that required them to comply with federal law. That law will expire tomorrow, on Friday, July 1.