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Tri-City officials, advocates talk marijuana ban, effects

Tri-City officials, advocates talk marijuana ban, effects

Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldSeptember 11, 2014

Pasco and Kennewick have banned marijuana businesses from setting up shop there, but the mayors of the cities say the issue isn’t going away.

Kennewick Mayor Steve Young is concerned the state Legislature will try to change Initiative 502, the 2012 law that decriminalized marijuana in Washington, to require cities and counties to allow the businesses, he said at a Thursday panel discussion before a Young Professionals Tri-Cities luncheon.

If that happens, the city could be forced to seek approval for a “sin tax” on marijuana sales because the state doesn’t share any of its excise tax revenue from its sales with the cities, he said.

“I’m not against marijuana. My whole position is from a business perspective,” said Young, who was part of a 7-0 city council vote to ban the sale, growing and processing of marijuana on Sept. 2. “I’m a bit fed up with Washington state telling us what to do and not paying the cost.”

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