Friday, August 29, 2014
A Pierce County judge ruled this afternoon that nothing in state law — including Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana — prevents a city from enacting a local ban on pot businesses, report the Associated Press and Seattle Times.
As Washington has implemented its marijuana law, the debate over whether cities and counties should be able to pass local moratoriums on the businesses has been ongoing. The state attorney general has said he believes there's nothing in the law preventing such bans. Supporters of the law (like the hopeful entrepreneur looking to open a pot store in Fife) have argued local bans undermine the voters' will in approving I-502 and the goal of eradicating the black market. A similar case is ongoing in Wenatchee.
The other big argument in this case was about whether federal law preempts state law. If so, state-level legalization could be doomed. Yet, even while he upheld Fife's ban, the judge in this case reportedly said he saw no evidence that the federal Controlled Substances Act prevents states like Washington from making their own drug laws.
Read more from the Associated Press here.