Interesting story about marijuana store bans

I just read this piece from Al Jazeera America that looks into the legality of city and (one would assume) county bans on marijuana businesses.

Since unicorporated Clark County has banned marijuana businesses and several other local cities have moratoriums or are looking at bans, it’s likely we’ll see some lawsuits cropping up soon.

But will those bans get overturned? It’s anybody’s guess at this point.

Vancouver, which is approved for 6 retail sales stores (the number of producers and processors isn’t limited), has been moving forward with the process and already has its first licensed marijuana producer.

But other local cities appear to be waiting to see how things pan out across the state.

Brandon Brock, owner of Mary Jane’s House of Glass at 212 N.E. 164th Avenue, won the lottery to license a pot store in Washougal, which has a moratorium. (Steven Lane/The Columbian)

Officials in cities with bans say law enforcement and other costs of allowing them would be prohibitive. They also fear it will damage tourism revenues.

But in the story, Alison Holcomb, who wrote the I-502 legislation legalizing marijuana and setting the framework for the sales network, said bans run counter to what the law tries to accomplish.

“Obviously, allowing counties to ban licensed marijuana businesses altogether would make it impossible to provide adequate legal sources to undercut the black market,” she said in the story.

She also said that bans run afoul of the state Uniform Controlled Substances Act, which says local laws that are inconsistent with the requirements of state law are essentially null and void.

“It’s shortsighted. There’s this idea that somehow by eliminating legal, regulated businesses in their cities or towns, they’re going to stop marijuana from coming into their communities,” she said in the story. “We’ve got 75 years of experiences that says that’s absolutely not true.”

Here’s the full story:

Some Washington cities reject state marijuana legalization – but can they?

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section!