In Columbia County we are seeing the same thing happen that's kept pot stores out of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick. Despite the passing of I-502, public input is crushingly against the idea.

According to the Waitsburg Times, a public hearing was held a few days ago about a proposed (and state approved) pot store that would open just west of Dayton. The owner is from Yakima, and has cleared all the legal hurdles, including limited approval from Columbia County commissioners. In 2015, they voted to allow such business, but with certain criteria.

While I-502 legalized recreational marijuana as well as growth, processing and sale in state store, the language of the bill did NOT prohibit cities and counties from enacting their own pot bans within their own boundary limits.

Numerous citizens spoke at the hearing, and virtually all of them voiced various reasons for being against the store.

Some said they felt pot is a gateway drug, others said they don't want the increased traffic or issues they felt would come with such a store.

One resident said Dayton already has a growing problem about perceived drug use in the community, and "we don't need any more."

County commissioners said the comments will be considered and told the overflow crowd their opinions did not fall on deaf ears. Officials say they will make a final decision to approve or disallow the store sometime within the next ten days.


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