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News (Media Awareness Project) - US WA: Sammamish Continues Ban On Marijuana Gardens
Title:US WA: Sammamish Continues Ban On Marijuana Gardens
Published On:2012-01-25
Source:Sammamish Review (WA)
Fetched On:2012-01-28 06:02:04
SAMMAMISH CONTINUES BAN ON MARIJUANA GARDENS

Councilman Proposes Supporting Downgrade of Marijuana's Classification
in Federal Law

The Sammamish City Council extended a ban on collective medical
marijuana gardens for six months at their Jan. 17 meeting, though the
council is considering throwing its support behind Gov. Chris
Gregoire's efforts to lobby the federal government on the matter.

At the meeting, Councilman Don Gerend proposed that the council
authorize the city manager to sign a letter in support of Gregoire,
who in November asked the Drug Enforcement Agency to reclassify
marijuana as a so-called Schedule II drug that has medicinal purposes.
Federal law currently calls marijuana a Schedule I drug, without
medicinal value and on par with heroin and L.S.D.

Washington State, which passed a medical marijuana initiative in 1998,
has found itself in a bit of a gray area with the federal government
on the matter. Cities around the state have gone on divergent paths,
with some (like Issaquah) setting up licensing and zoning regulations
for dispensaries and others (like Sammamish) instituting emergency
moratoriums out of fear that city employees could be held liable under
federal law for approving the gardens.

Gerend, citing a recent Gallup poll that saw 50 percent of Americans
in favor of outright legalization of the drug, said the Governor
deserved city leaders' support in making the federal government come
to Washington State on the matter rather than the other way around.

The council was reticent to agree to authorize the letter that night,
but resolved to discuss the matter at future meetings.

"I'm hopeful that I can get the rest of the council on board," Gerend
said.

The moratorium forbids collective gardens in the city for six more
months.

City staff say the measure is a precaution and that no one has applied
for a garden in city limits.
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