Friday, May 31, 2013

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                                                                        May 30, 2013

Council President Sally Clark and
Members of the Seattle City Council
601 Fifth Avenue, Second floor
P. O. Box 34025
Seattle, Washington 98124-4025

RE:                  Council Bill 117781 regarding Marijuana Siting and Distribution Issues

Dear President Clark and Members of the Council: 

            At its May 28th meeting, the Seattle Community Council Federation voted unanimously to urge you to postpone your June 3rd vote on Council Bill 117781.  Federation members studied and discussed the proposed ordinance keeping in mind the provisions of Initiative 502 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.  We believe it is premature to vote on the CB 117781 because of the many issues in the initiative that have not been addressed in the proposed ordinance, the apparent lack of coordination with the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the inadequate public involvement in the local process. 

            For one thing, the proposed ordinance does not distinguish between the state law governing medical marijuana and the provisions within I-502 governing the recreational use of marijuana.  CB 117781 addresses the siting, distribution, production, selling and delivery of marijuana with no regard to the provisions of I-502 and the proposed state rules governing licensing for producers, processors and retailers and tax issues.  It is clear from I-502 that home grown marijuana for recreation use and sale is illegal—that the drug for recreational use must be purchased from a state-licensed retailer—but  the proposed city ordinance does not address this discrepancy. 

            The proposed ordinance seems to allow the growing of less than 45 marijuana plants in single family neighborhoods with no regard to proximity to schools, playgrounds, community centers, parks, libraries—contrary to the provisions of Initiative 502. 

            These are just a few issues we have identified with Council Bill 117781.  The Federation strongly urges you to postpone a vote on this measure and to allow a broader public process and coordination with the Liquor Control Board.  Thank you for considering our comments. 

                                                                        Jeannie Hale, President
                                                                        3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
                                                                        Seattle, Washington  98105
                                                                        206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631

cc:  Washington State Liquor Control Board

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