Issaquah milestones from 2012 reflect challenges, changes

December 25, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig June 26 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.

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Uncertainty clouds debate over marijuana legalization measure, Initiative 502

September 25, 2012

Marijuana sits in a jar held by Lydia George in 2011 at GreenLink Collective. File

GreenLink Collective, a medical marijuana operation along Northwest Gilman Boulevard, reshaped attitudes and policies about marijuana in Issaquah last year, as patients and officials engaged in a long debate about access to a drug banned under federal law.

In November, Washington voters could further redraw the battle lines in the marijuana debate. Initiative 502 aims to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for recreational users. The proposal goes a step beyond a 1998 measure to legalize medical marijuana in Washington and could set a national precedent.

The initiative calls for sales at state-licensed stores of up to 1 ounce of marijuana — grown by state-licensed farmers. Marijuana-related tax revenue could pump as much as $1.9 billion into state coffers, if the federal government does not intervene.

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City considers permit for medical marijuana garden

July 10, 2012

City planners could allow a medical marijuana collective garden in Issaquah, months after another medical marijuana operation opened to patients.

The nonprofit medical marijuana operation Eastside Greenlight Collective Garden applied for a city permit to open in a commercial building at 230 N.E. Juniper St. — a mixed-use area near the Lakeside Industries quarry north of Interstate 90.

The marijuana operation does not intend to grow marijuana in the space. The applicant proposed minimal change to the unit, if any is needed.

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City approves permit for medical marijuana operation

April 10, 2012

The long process to establish a medical marijuana collective garden — and city rules for such operations — reached a milestone March 23, as planners approved a permit for GreenLink Collective to open along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

The facility in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. is proposed as a place to process and deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients, offer classes and information, and sell supplies for people to produce and consume marijuana under a framework established by state law. GreenLink does not intend to grow marijuana in the space.

State law allows up to 10 qualifying patients to join together and form a collective garden of up to 45 plants, so long as the marijuana is not visible from public spaces.

Under the city code established last year, GreenLink must operate entirely inside the enclosed structure and cannot deliver marijuana in areas visible to the public.

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City approves permit for medical marijuana collective

March 23, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. March 23, 2012

The long process to establish a medical marijuana collective garden — and city rules for such operations — reached a milestone Friday, as planners approved a permit for GreenLink Collective to open along Northwest Gilman Boulevard.

The facility in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. is proposed as a place to process and deliver medical marijuana to qualified patients, offer classes and information, and sell supplies for people to produce and consume marijuana under a framework established by state law. GreenLink does not intend to grow marijuana in the space.

State law allows up to 10 qualifying patients to join together and form a collective garden of up to 45 plants, so long as the marijuana is not visible from public spaces.

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Ordinance faces test as marijuana collective applies for license

January 24, 2012

In the initial test for a landmark medical marijuana ordinance enacted last month, a patient-run collective at the center of discussions about changes to city rules applied for licenses to operate.

The application from the nonprofit medical marijuana operation, GreenLink Collective, came after planners, officials and residents crafted a medical marijuana ordinance designed to balance public safety concerns and patients’ access to the drug.

GreenLink organizers applied to occupy units E, F and G in a commercial building at 160 N.W. Gilman Blvd. The organization does not intend to grow marijuana in the space. GreenLink founders Jake and Lydia George applied for the license on behalf of the organization Dec. 19, the day the ordinance took effect.

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Milestones from the year 2011 reflect changes

December 27, 2011

Renewal defined the year, as the community paused after a population boom and economic bust — and positioned Issaquah for the decades ahead.

Milestones from the last 12 months offer contrasts.

Leaders opened showcases for “green” design and concluded a milestone effort to preserve Tiger Mountain forestland. Tragedy left indelible impressions, too, as a gunman menaced downtown pedestrians on a September morning and turned a school campus into a crime scene.

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City Council sets rules for medical marijuana gardens

December 13, 2011

In a decision meant to balance concerns about patients’ rights and public safety, City Council members set rules Dec. 5 for medical marijuana collective gardens to limit such operations near schools, parks and other collective gardens.

City planners spent months collecting input from medical marijuana patients, law enforcement officers, elected leaders and residents to craft the ordinance. The result is a milestone in the effort to clarify jumbled rules for medical marijuana and untangle different local, state and federal rules for the drug.

The measure requires a 1,000-foot buffer between a collective garden and a community center, school or another collective garden. The ordinance also set a 500-foot buffer between a collective garden and park, preschool or daycare center.

The ordinance also established a limit of a single collective garden per site.

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City Council sets rules for Issaquah medical marijuana gardens

December 7, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 2011

In a decision meant to balance concerns about patients’ rights and public safety, City Council members set rules Monday for medical marijuana collective gardens to limit such operations near schools, parks and other collective gardens.

City planners spent months collecting input from medical marijuana patients, law enforcement officers, elected leaders and residents to craft the ordinance. The result is a milestone in the effort to clarify jumbled rules for medical marijuana and untangle different local, state and federal rules for the drug.

The measure requires a 1,000-foot buffer between a collective garden and a community center, school or another collective garden. The ordinance also set a 500-foot buffer between a collective garden and park, preschool or daycare center.

The ordinance also established a limit of a single collective garden per site.

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Local medical marijuana operations unaffected by DEA raids

November 22, 2011

Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local law enforcement officers raided more than a dozen medical marijuana operations in Western Washington on Nov. 15, but the sweep did not affect collectives in Issaquah and Preston.

The operation targeted at least 14 medical marijuana operations in King, Pierce and Thurston counties. Overall, authorities arrested more than a dozen people.

Officials said the operations targeted in the raids failed to meet state guidelines or used the state medical marijuana law as cover to make illegal sales.

“Our job is to enforce federal criminal laws. In doing so, we always prioritize and focus our resources,” U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said in a statement. “As we have previously stated, we will not prosecute truly ill people or their doctors who determine that marijuana is an appropriate medical treatment.”

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