Most of Yakima & Kittitas Counties undecided on pot sales policy

Most of Yakima & Kittitas Counties undecided on pot sales policy »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima leaders will decide if pot will be sold in Yakima. The city is poised to ban the production, processing and retail sales of marijuana. Now, Yakima County is taking steps to do the same thing. KIMA looked at where the rest of the Yakima Valley stands on this controversial decision.

Almost as quickly as voters said yes to recreational marijuana, cities began saying, 'not in my backyard.'

They're not looking to fight people from possessing it. They just don't want full scale processing operations and stores selling weed. Yakima County is working on a ban of these things for its unincorporated areas.

"Nearly 58 percent of the voters in Yakima County voted against Initiative 502," said Yakima County Commissioner Kevin Bouchey. "And, with that direction from our voters, we feel it's proper and justified to move forward with this ban at this time."

The state attorney general recently said the law leaves room for cities to enact local bans. But, that doesn't mean every city wants to. They miss out on tax money paid when people would buy marijuana legally. KIMA took a round-up of where cities stand today.

In Yakima County, Mabton is welcoming pot growers, producers, and sellers. Six other cities in the Valley are still undecided. Only Wapato has a definitive no at this point.

In Kittitas County, both Ellensburg and Roslyn are open to pot businesses situating there. The city of Kittitas hasn't decided. KIMA did not hear back from Cle Elum administrators.

Given how many cities are still on the fence, KIMA asked Yakima County Commissioner Kevin Bouchey if the county is being too hasty.

"We've had plenty of time to make a decision."

Neighbor Alex Pualani says Yakima is making a mistake.

"I think that the benefit would be to collect funds that other places in the state will be collecting, because Yakima, I think, is in need of those extra monies."

Extra money that could end up in other cities' pockets instead.