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Dayton to Ban Marijuana Operations

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#1 SkunkyAroma


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Posted 09 September 2014 - 07:16 PM

Dayton to Ban Marijuana Operations

Sept. 9,2014

DAYTON — The City Council banned marijuana operations in a 5-1 vote Monday, citing public opinion and concerns over conflicts between state and federal law.

In addition to banning recreational production, processing and retail operations, the ordinance bans medical marijuana collective gardens, dispensaries and other production and processing operations.

Possessing and consuming marijuana in accordance with state law is still allowed.

Kathy Berg said that in her years on the Council, most of the votes she’s made have been for the good of the town, to promote things Dayton could be proud of.

“Marijuana is not one of those things. I don’t think it’s something we can be proud of ... I think the majority of the people have spoken,” she said.

Public testimony in previous hearings was overwhelmingly in favor of a ban, and 54 percent of Columbia County residents in 2012 voted against Initiative-502, which legalized recreational marijuana in Washington.

Dain Nysoe made the lone Council vote against the city ban.

“My vote this evening is gong to be ... one, to support state law as it currently exists, and two, to represent the 46 percent of the people of Dayton who did vote for (I-502),” he said.

Following the vote, several people in attendance urged the Council to not make the ban permanent, while Columbia County commissioner candidate Dwight Richter thanked Council for its vote, saying he believed I-502 conflicts with federal law.

Debra Callahan, a Waitsburg City Council member who attended the Dayton meeting, spoke about how her use of medical marijuana has helped her manager her multiple sclerosis.

“Please don’t make this a permanent decision because you affect people like me,” she said.

Dawn Meicher, a nurse practitioner at the Waitsburg Clinic, gave an impassioned speech in opposition to the ban. She spoke abut the stigma her marijuana-using patients feel and the misinformation many people have about marijuana users. She also said is was hypocritical for the Walla Walla Valley to promote wine consumption while condemning the use of marijuana.

“We need to base our decisions on reality and not on myth and rumor,” she said, drawing applause from several audience members and Nysoe.

Dayton has one existing collective medical marijuana garden on Willow Street. City Planner Karen Scharer said is would be grandfathered in, provided its operators can prove they’ve been growing marijuana since before the city’s marijuana moratorium was enacted last fall.

The ban takes effect on Sept. 13.

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