Liberty student wins ‘Influence the Choice’ video contest

April 16, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. April 16, 2014

Liberty High School junior Ashton Herrild took home the top prize in the Drug Free Community Coalition’s 2014 “Influence the Choice” student video contest.

Herrild’s two-minute video encouraged peers to “live for the nights you’ll never forget,” rather than “the nights you won’t remember,” and live a drug-free life. His overall win came with a prize of $800.

More than 100 Issaquah School District students worked to submit 54 videos encouraging their peers to say no to prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana. The students spent an estimated 400 hours crafting the videos.

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Legislators talk transportation, schools at Town Hall

March 4, 2014

As the regular legislative session draws closer to an end, 5th District policy makers gave an update to residents Feb. 22.

Democratic Sen. Mark Mullet and Republican Reps. Chad Magendanz and Jay Rodne welcomed the public to a Town Hall at the Issaquah Highlands Fire Station 73. There, they answered questions about bills hearing discussion in this session, bills that may come in the future and the general state of the Legislature.

Moderator William Shaw gathered questions from the audience and led the discussion, beginning with a possible transportation package.

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Marijuana moratorium receives four-month extension

February 20, 2014

NEW – 6 a.m. Feb. 20, 2014

Recreational marijuana businesses will have to wait until at least July to legally operate in Issaquah.

During its Feb. 18 regular meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to extend the current six-month moratorium on recreational marijuana businesses by four months. Instead of expiring March 3, the prohibition will last until July 7.

“The original agenda bill had the extension for two months and after meeting with city staff, we asked for it be extended to four,” said Councilman Tola Marts, also the chairman of the Land and Shore Committee, which recommended the extension to the full council. “Some municipalities are looking to extend the clock as much as they can. I don’t think that’s the purpose here.”

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Liberty teens get candid about marijuana use

February 11, 2014

By Christina Corrales-Toy Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Liberty High School students (from left) Jenna Purkis, Neil Chakravarty and Ashton Herrild talk about the effects the legalization of marijuana has on teens at a Drug Free Community Coalition forum held at Liberty on Feb. 6.

Not much has changed about the perception of marijuana among teens since voters elected to legalize the drug with the passage of Initiative 502 in 2012.

If anything, legalization has made the drug seem more acceptable, according to a group of Liberty High School students at the third and final forum hosted by the Drug Free Community Coalition Feb. 6.

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Issaquah City Council hosts hearing on extending marijuana moratorium

February 6, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 6, 2014

The Issaquah City Council is hosting a public hearing regarding the proposed extension of the moratorium on recreational marijuana facilities originally adopted by Ordinance No. 2686.

The hearing will be during the regular council meeting at 7 p.m.  Feb. 18, in the council chambers, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Anyone interested may appear at the public hearing and be heard for or against, or provide comments regarding, the proposed moratorium extension.

Learn more by calling Jason Rogers, associate planner, at 837-3097.

Old year brought new problems

December 31, 2013

Top news stories of the year

Many new things happened in Issaquah this past year and not all of them were greeted warmly.

While most people saw new parks and a new mayor as positive changes for the city, contention rose around new technology, new development standards, new fish ladders, new plastic bag ordinances and a newly legalized drug.

Much of what happened in 2013 spells more growth for Issaquah in the years to come and even more changes ahead. The year 2014 can learn much from the lessons taught by this past year of transformation.

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Marijuana grower eyes budding industry despite moratorium

December 10, 2013

Issaquah’s future marijuana economy could start with one man.

Despite a six-month moratorium on the production and retail of marijuana passed by the City Council in September, Issaquah-resident Lance Blanchard has applied for a state license to produce marijuana in the city.

“It’s been a long time coming, that this legislation was going to happen,” Blanchard said about the passage of Initiative 502 last year. “There is an opportunity here to become a different type of business. Small business is the backbone of our economy, and Issaquah is just perfect for that.”

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Sammamish hosts teens and marijuana forum

November 26, 2013

The Drug Free Community Coalition, in partnership with seven community organizations, presents the Legal Marijuana and Our Teens forum at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Sammamish City Hall Council Chambers, 801 228th Ave. S.E., Sammamish.

The program begins with an open house and presentation of the video “Marijuana and Teens,” produced by Mercer Island Communities That Care. At 7 p.m., a panel of Sammamish-area teens will start the forum with comments about the video and about marijuana legalization.

A Q&A follows at about 7:30 p.m.

Feds respect state marijuana initiative

September 10, 2013

After almost a year of speculation, the United States Department of Justice has decided to defer to Initiative 502.

Though it maintains that marijuana remains an illegal drug under the Controlled Substances Act and federal prosecutors will continue to aggressively enforce the statute, the Department of Justice announced Aug. 29 that it would respect states that have legalized its recreational use in the 2012 election. However, it clearly stated that enforcement and regulation must remain a top priority.

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Olde Town medical marijuana dispensary denied

September 6, 2013

NEW — 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 2013

A medical marijuana dispensary will not be allowed to open in Issaquah’s Olde Town neighborhood, the city announced.

The Peaceful Choice, a medical marijuana collective garden, submitted an application to open within the Issaquah Court Condominiums, a mixed-use building housing both residential and commercial units.

The city denied the application due to the site’s proximity to a nearby community center. The proposed collective garden would have been located within 1,000 feet of the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, which is considered a community center according to the city’s land use code.

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