Police raid marijuana operation in downtown Issaquah home

November 28, 2012

NEW — 11:55 a.m. Nov. 28, 2012

Police discovered more than 150 marijuana plants during a raid on a downtown Issaquah home, and later arrested a 52-year-old man involved in the grow operation.

Officers surrounded a home in the 100 block of Northwest Dogwood Street at about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 to serve a search warrant. Police called for occupants to come outside and, after officers realized the home was empty, entered the building and discovered the plants.

Issaquah Police Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said charges have not been filed against the man arrested in the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

Behrbaum said the grow operation was connected to a medical marijuana operation based in Seattle.

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Press Editorial

October 16, 2012

Vote to approve marijuana legalization

Despite decades of enforcement and untold millions of dollars, marijuana prohibition does not work.

Initiative 502 possesses the potential to clear the air and allow Washington to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use among adults 21 and older. The ballot measure outlines a sensible plan for the state to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

I-502 is not a perfect plan, but the potential benefits outweigh the potential pitfalls.

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Preston marijuana collective relocates to Black Diamond

October 16, 2012

The Kind Alternative Medical Collective, a nonprofit medical marijuana collective, has departed Preston for Black Diamond and the grounds of MMJ Universe.

In August, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration sent letters to medical marijuana facilities operating near schools and drug-free zones. The Kind Alternative and 22 other facilities received such letters.

Billed as a medical marijuana farmers market, MMJ Universe includes a nursery and more. The operation is open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Initiative 692, passed in 1998, allows people suffering from certain medical conditions to possess a 60-day supply of marijuana. Under state law, physicians can recommend — but not prescribe — the drug for patients.

Initiative 502 appears on the November ballot. The measure asks voters to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for recreational uses.

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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Police seize 401 plants in marijuana investigation

September 11, 2012

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized 401 marijuana plants and about 65 pounds of processed pot Sept. 6 during a raid at a house outside of Issaquah.

Investigators arrived in the 12700 block of 195th Place Southeast at 10:30 a.m. to serve a search warrant. The house is about a half-mile southwest of Southeast May Valley Road and about seven miles southwest of downtown Issaquah.

Inside, detectives discovered 536 plants in a collective grow operation for medical marijuana. Detectives did not arrest anybody in the raid, and later forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

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Deputies seize more than 400 marijuana plants in raid near Issaquah

September 6, 2012

NEW — 9:35 p.m. Sept. 6, 2012

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies seized more than 400 marijuana plants and about 60 pounds of processed marijuana Thursday during a raid at a house south of Issaquah.

Investigators arrived in the 12700 block of 195th Place Southeast, about a half mile southwest of Southeast May Valley Road, at 10:30 a.m. to serve a search warrant.

Inside, detectives discovered a collective grow operation for medical marijuana. Detectives did not arrest anybody in the raid, and later forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Though investigators noted more than 500 plants inside the house, detectives seized about 400, due to compliance issues. Police said the occupants possessed expired paperwork for a medical marijuana operation.

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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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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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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce urged city leaders to rethink medical marijuana decision

January 3, 2012

Matthew Bott

Before City Council members approved a landmark decision on medical marijuana collective gardens last month, business leaders quietly urged officials to consider possible fallout on the local economy.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott sent a letter to council members Dec. 2, days before the council set rules for collective gardens and limited medical marijuana operations near parks and schools.

The chamber did not take a position on the issue, but the organization’s Government Affairs Committee asked Bott to offer input on possible impacts to Issaquah’s standing.

“Our reputation as a safe, family-friendly and wholesome community is one of our greatest assets — and one that has been carefully developed by the community for decades,” Bott wrote. “Many in the community, and specifically those in the residential real estate market, feel that the sanctioning of a collective marijuana garden may damage this well-developed community reputation.”

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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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