No pot for you, Sammamish
December 12, 2013
New: Dec. 12, 12:14 p.m.
It may not be able to stop people from smoking marijuana in the city, but the Sammamish City Council is continuing a pair of moratoria that make other activities off-limits.
In a 6-1 decision, the council voted Dec. 3 to continue a moratorium on collective marijuana gardens. Councilman Ramiro Valderrama was the lone opposition, but not because he supports the gardens.
Collective gardens are a provision under state law that allows medical marijuana patients to group together to grow marijuana.
Valderrama said he is opposed to the gardens. But rather than continuing the moratorium, he said he’d rather take up the issue with an eye toward outlawing them altogether.
“Send it to the planning commission and be done with it,” he said.
Councilwoman Nancy Whitten said she’d heard the state may ban collective gardens. With the legalization of recreational marijuana, there is now a framework for licensed growing and distribution networks which could render collective gardens obsolete.
“If we wait long enough, maybe it will evaporate on its own,” Whitten said.
The council also unanimously approved a moratorium on recreational marijuana. It declared its intent to develop a final set of regulations on recreational marijuana by the end of 2014.
Washington voters legalized recreational marijuana with Initiative 502 in November 2012. The initiative passed statewide with 56 percent of the vote. In Sammamish, it garnered 55 percent support. The initiative set guidelines about where growing, production and retail operations can take place.
City officials are waiting to determine if they can implement more stringent guidelines, or possibly keep Sammamish a toke-free zone.
The Washington State Liquor Control Board received an application from one Sammamish resident to operate a growing and production operation. However, the applicant indicated they were not likely to receive a license, and that they intended to withdraw their application.