What happens in the courthouse...

Unless explicitly noted otherwise, this blog represents my own opinions, not those of any organization (like the Kittitas County Democratic Party) that I might be involved with.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marijuana operations in Kittitas County

Yesterday's Daily Record contains an article in which our county commissioners appear to blame the state legislature for their own failure to lead on this issue. One must be careful about Monday morning quarterbacking, but in this case it's like blaming a safety in the first play of the game on a slippery ball. That kind of blaming isn't what winners -- or leaders -- do.1

Reading past newspaper articles on this issue, I don't see many previous complaints about the state's process, and in some cases the process has been praised. I do see a Board of County Commissioners that seems to have been blind-sided by this issue, possibly because they were so focused on getting the county into the water rights business.

An early report, published in the Daily Record on Dec. 5, 2013, noted that Commissioner O'Brien was the point man for the county's response to Initiative 502, which was approved in the 2012 election. In that same article, Commissioner Jewell notes that the county can't "outright recommend denial" of a permit to grow, process, or sell marijuana. That may or may not be true, but the county certainly had, at least at the time, plenty of tools to ensure a more orderly response to I-502.

1I haven't had a chance to write formally about it, but I'm running against Commissioner O'Brien for County Commissioner; from time to time I may post fair, but understated, criticism, of his performance for the past 3.5 years.


  1. "Commissioner Jewell notes that the county can't "outright recommend denial" of a permit to grow, process, or sell
    marijuana. " I would like to see the law that Jewell notes here because our countless hours of research says no such thing. According to the WSLCB, it is up to the local jurisdictions to determine where and if it is appropriate. Pierce county has denied it and many other counties have placed moratoriums on it (in my opinion they are waiting to see what happens to the fools in Kittitas County). And if the commissioners cannot outright recommend denial to sell marijuana, then how come they just did? They are not allowing selling in unincorporated areas. They continue to talk out of both sides of their mouths and it's getting old

  2. Thank you for your comment, and I agree with you. In a FAQ issued on October 31, 2013 (very early in the process), people interested in getting into the marijuana business were reassured that if local officials did not like their proposed location, they could change their location without having to reapply. In other words, there would be a little or no cost to entrepreneurs as they search for an acceptable site, and entrepreneurs were clearly warned that such a search might be necessary. Here is the link to that FAQ: http://lcb.wa.gov/publications/Marijuana/I-502/I-502_Proposed_Rules_FAQ_10-31-13.pdf .