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The Emerald City Just Got Greener - Seattle's Mayor McGinn Creates Legal Cannabiz's
Tired of fighting...
Seattle is probably one of the most pro-cannabis city's in our nation and after trying to go through proper channels to re-legalize for decades, it finally took a risky chance and made medical marijuana collectives into legal business entities inside the city.
After signing laws that made medicinal marijuana legal and cannabis as a whole the lowest law enforcement priority, then being denied a more refined law by Washington states governor, Seattle's mayor McGinn took a bold stance and signed a new city wide law requiring mmj facilities to register as businesses and follow normal business laws. Now they are required to get food handlers permits for medicinal munchies they sell, follow land use codes, pay regular B&O taxes and just generally be good neighbors.
The up side is that this is a revolutionary move for just about any city and a large step away from prohibition, which is why mayor McGinn felt it was the right direction. It's also a positive and interesting new law, because it's the first to actually put some accountability in city government. Although the city has no promised any sort of protections for medicinal cannabiz's that open in the city, just the fact that the city has signed this bill means they face just as much federal prosecution as any of the dispensaries or co-ops.
The downside to this new ordinance is that it could very well paint Seattle with a new DEA bullseye, which is what one of Seattle's most pro-cannabis attorney's (Douglas Hiatt) is concerned about. So far, DEA presence in the Seattle cannabis scene has been very minimal and no one is really sure what will happen from here. It could be just the right move to show that the prohibition is pointless, or it could be that the DEA will use the cities business registry as a new source of leads on medicinal marijuana providers they can stomp out. Who knows at this point?
As a cannabis advocate in the city of Seattle, I feel that it's a necessary move regardless of federal consequences. I applaud mayor McGinn and am happy that we voted him in. Whether it was a good move or a bad move, at least someone had the spine to do something positive.