Yakima City Council To Vote on Removing Ban on Pot Sales
Less than one year after a convincing 6-1 City Council vote in favor of a ban on marijuana stores, The Yakima City Council is now planning to vote on possibly removing it.
According to pot supporters, some 33,000 people voted in favor of I-502, and they argued this week at the council meeting the ban should be overturned.
Never mind that over 41,000 people voted against it, and it would eventually fail by a margin of of about 59-41%. Councilwoman Kathy Coffee made a surprise motion at Tuesday night's meeting, she asked for a review of the idea. Critics say Coffee is bowing to pressure from special interest groups, instead of listening to the majority of voices in the community.
Because several council members were absent, they plan to discuss further and vote on the idea at the February 16th meeting.
Coffee and supporters argued about the medical benefits of pot, and felt it was time for a change after several members of the community came forward and asked for a reversal. But again, like other cities -including Kennewick- officials pointed to the crushing defeats the pot measure sustained. They said the overwhelming response they received from constituents was, they don't want it in their city. One Kennewick official said they 'represented the citizens of Kennewick, not Washington state' as to why they were in favor of the ban.
Despite passing statewide, I-502 was soundly defeated in most of Eastern Washington, by margins as high as 60% or more, including Yakima, Benton and Franklin Counties.
The language in I-502 allows cities and counties to enact their own pot bans within their boundaries, despite it being legal statewide. The bans refer to growth, processing and sale of marijuana.