|Posted by Thomas harris on August 16, 2012 at 8:10 AM|
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn on Wednesday signed a bill regulating medical marijuana like any other business.
The bill passed July 18 by the city council requires that medical marijuana operations be licensed, obtain food-handling permits if they sell marijuana cookies, and follow all other regulations such as land use codes.
McGinn signed the bill in front of supporters and people who worked on the effort to allow marijuana dispensaries to grow within city limits.
He said prohibition of marijuana for medical use simply hasn't worked and that it's led to crime, assaults and is costly. He said licensing, regulating and taxing growers as regular businesses makes more sense and provides patients a safe and secure way to get the medicine they need.
The city's approach contrasts with several other cities in Washington that have imposed moratoriums on such operations.
Medical marijuana regulations in the state have been uncertain since Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed much of a bill that would have created a system of licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. She left in sections allowing collective medical marijuana operations.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said the law won't guarantee people won't be prosecuted, but he said believes the law is constitutional.
The Seattle City Council plans to study the issue and work with specific zoning rules for dispensaries. The Council also will have continued discussions with the Police Department and local prosecutors about the new law.