The possibility Sammamish residents could one day run marijuana operations from their homes is still alive — at least for another six months.
The City Council voted Tuesday to extend a moratorium on the establishment of collective gardens and impose a moratorium on the establishment of marijuana-related facilities within city limits.
“We need to see what the state comes up with,” councilmember John James said. “We are probably aren’t going to find out what the feds are going to do anytime soon, so let’s just take a wait-and-see approach. Unfortunately, that means kicking it down the road a little bit.”
James also made it clear he didn’t believe anyone on the council was pro marijuana-related facilities within the city limits.
Councilmember Ramiro Valderrama, the lone dissenting vote to the moratorium, continued his strong opposition to an extension.
“The police believe it’s a security threat in our city and for that reason I ask that we hear them out,” he said. “It’s also a mixed message that’s taking place here. We have all of these initiatives now because of the youth driving under the influence. I think there’s a mixed message that is coming out to our citizens when we’re doing that.”
Mayor Tom Odell said he agreed with Valderrama’s points, but also said the city needs to see which direction the state goes.
Marijuana use in Washington has become a bit hazier since November when voters passed I-502 — a law that allows people to possess and use a small amount of the drug for recreation.
Collective gardens, which allow up to 10 medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis together, is legal at a state level. It’s up to jurisdictions, however, to set their own zoning laws.
When it comes to personal use, the Washington State Liquor and Control Board has yet to adopt rules regarding how the product will be distributed. The state has until Dec. 1 of this year to create criteria for licensing and operation of marijuana producers, processors and retailers.
Sammamish will examine the issue of collective gardens and other marijuana-related facilities again in December.