Editorials

Punting pot to the polls in Pierce County

From the editorial board

A marijuana cigarette is rolled for purchase at a medical marijuana dispensary in Olympia.
A marijuana cigarette is rolled for purchase at a medical marijuana dispensary in Olympia. Staff file, 2012

If you’re confused about marijuana in Pierce County, so is the County Council.

On Tuesday, it — sort of, kind of — took a step toward allowing legal, state-licensed marijuana stores in unincorporated areas. But it also decided to hold an advisory election on April 26.

We wish the wording of the ballot measure would clarify the real issue. Namely: “Should the County Council keep on dithering over legal, licensed stores while tolerating the more than 60 illegal, unlicensed stores already operating in its jurisdiction?”

Better yet: “Should the County Council demonstrate enough political courage to make a real decision about marijuana?”

The April vote should at least help answer an interesting political question.

In November, Federal Way voters decided to ban legal marijuana sales in their city — even though most of them voted to legalize marijuana sales three years earlier by supporting state Initiate 502. In other words, legalize it somewhere, anywhere, just not here.

Do Pierce County voters share the NWIMBY (“No Weed In My Back Yard”) syndrome? Do voters in other rural areas and suburbs? If so, good luck coming up with coherent marijuana rules in Washington state.

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