Editorial

July 31, 2014

Be responsible with your marijuana

Marijuana.

No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)

And although there is not a local place to make a purchase, and there won’t be one in Newcastle anytime soon as a result of the City Council’s recent moratorium, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses in early July by the state Liquor Control Board.

A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot. Read more

Council passes marijuana moratorium

July 31, 2014

Newcastle residents won’t find a marijuana retail establishment in the city anytime soon.

The Newcastle City Council approved a six-month moratorium on marijuana-related business activity within Newcastle, at its July 1 meeting.

“A moratorium is simply a procedural mechanism this council can adopt to literally hold the status quo as is, meaning, it gives you six months to review something,” city attorney Dawn Reitan told council members. “Nothing comes in while that happens.”

Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion instituting the moratorium. It passed 4-3, with council members Lisa Jensen, Carol Simpson and Rich Crispo dissenting. Read more

Council to consider marijuana freeze

June 5, 2014

The Newcastle City Council directed city staff to prepare an ordinance placing a moratorium on marijuana-related business in the city at its May 6 meeting.

It mirrors the actions of neighboring cities Issaquah and Renton, both of which have moratoriums on marijuana business practices. Councilman Gordon Bisset made the motion, which passed 4-3.

The direction came after a failed attempt to pursue a ban on marijuana businesses in the city, but that motion, made by Deputy Mayor John Drescher, was shot down 5-2.

City staff considers the potential for any marijuana-related business activity in Newcastle very low due to state Liquor Control Board rules on where marijuana facilities can set up shop. Also, the state’s marijuana retail license lottery came and went without any impacts on Newcastle.

The City Council was set to review the ordinance May 20, but decided to table it for a to-be-determined date. The council last considered a moratorium at its Dec. 17 meeting, but that motion failed.