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Medical marijuana measure passed to Seattle City Council

A committee has passed on a proposed ordinance to regulate the sale and distribution of medical marijuana.

The city of Seattle is getting closer to regulating medical pot dispensaries.

The Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee of the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a measure that would require the marijuana shops to comply with city building codes, zoning ordinances and fair employment laws.

It's the opposite approach of some other cities, which have banned the dispensaries outright.

In testimony before the Committee, some medical marijuana business owners praised the council for taking action. John Davis runs the Northwest Patient Resource Center in West Seattle. He said he does more than provide a community service. 

"We employ three Seattle citizens. We happily pay our taxes. We provide revenue to the city of Seattle. We work with our local community watch group," he said.

The council acknowledges regulating medical marijuana dispensaries is tricky.  The city is trying to walk the fine line between the federal government's prohibition of marijuana and the state's murky rules regarding the dispensaries. 

One city staffer told the Committee regulating medical pot shops is a little like a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.  The full city council will consider the measure on Monday.


Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
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