10/31/2014

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Politics

'How available will legalized pot be to my kid in Yakima?'

'How available will legalized pot be to my kid in Yakima?'

YAKIMA, Wash. -- About 500 people packed into the Convention Center to get some face time with the Liquor Control Board.


Many had strong opinions about legalized marijuana in Washington.

'My goodness gracious we can do this. Tell me that people didn't come up with all these arguments during the prohibition," Joe Dennis said.

"Concerns that you may have on the West side are different than those of ours on the East side," Andi Ervin said.

Officials from the LCB held the unique open forum to get feedback from the public on the implementation of I-502. The historical imitative passed, however pot will be regulated is still to be determined.

"Were interested in hearing what the public has to say and that will help up formulate our rules," said LCB Chair, Sharon Foster.

One by one people took to the microphone. The biggest concern:  how accessible marijuana will become to people under 21.

"Come on board and lets all work together to protect the youth in our communities," Peggy Gutierrez said.

Andi is a mother of four who drove four hours from home to attend the meeting. She says since the state privatized liquor, teens can steal it right off the shelf in their liquor store. She's worried the same will happen with pot.

"If we do not do our due diligence to secure the growth of marijuana will be no different. We will surely see increased possession of this drug by our youth through theft," Andi said.

Joe is a Prosser father who struggles to walk. He says medical marijuana is the only thing that helps his pain.

"I think that we can do this responsibly. I think we can do it intelligently. I think we can do it in a way that everyone will benefit," Joe said.

Of course, how and where it's grown was also a hot topic in an area saturated with agriculture.

"'Marijuana grows in addition need to be secured differently than wine grapes or hops. Those do not cause intoxication directly off the vine," Andi said.

Like it or not,  legalized marijuana is here... and the wave of mixed reactions is starting to light up.

 The law requires all the rules to be finalized by this December. The state panel is recommending enacting a 25 percent excise tax...with some profits going to school construction.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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