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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Local medical marijuana operations unaffected by DEA raids

November 16, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 16, 2011

Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local law enforcement officers raided more than a dozen medical marijuana operations in Western Washington on Tuesday, 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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Press Editorial

October 18, 2011

Schaer has earned another council term

The choice in Issaquah’s only contested City Council race is stark.

Incumbent Joshua Schaer articulates a clear vision for the future. Schaer has fashioned a reputation as a councilman unwilling to yield just for the sake of another unanimous vote. Such independence is valuable for a council member and even better for the citizens he represents.

Schaer also brings a broad understanding of the tiny details of city policy — a critical factor for elected officials as the council delves into the Central Issaquah Plan, a medical marijuana ordinance and other hefty issues in the year ahead.

Schaer deserves credit for pushing the first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance to ban Styrofoam takeout containers. In his second term, however, he needs to lead the charge to increase compliance with the ordinance.

Challenger TJ Filley initially built a single-issue campaign around the pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90 at state Route 900. Though Filley deserves praise for attracting attention to the late and over-budget project, the continued focus on the now-completed bridge is counterproductive.

Filley needs more local experience, while Schaer has earned a second term.

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Issaquah, Port of Seattle candidates answer questions

October 13, 2011

Councilman Fred Butler (right) answers a question as council candidates (from left) TJ Filley, Joshua Schaer, Stacy Goodman and Paul Winterstein listen during a candidate forum Thursday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11:30 p.m. Oct. 13, 2011

Candidates for local and regional offices offered prescriptions for counteracting the ailing economy and educating a 21st-century workforce at a forum Thursday.

Organized by The Issaquah Press and moderated by Publisher Debbie Berto, the forum attracted candidates for City Council, Issaquah School Board and Port of Seattle Commission.

The candidates, gathered at the King County Library System headquarters in Issaquah, answered questions in 40-minute sections organized by race.

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City to host medical marijuana hearing Oct. 13

October 11, 2011

Citizens can offer input about a proposed ordinance to address medical marijuana collective gardens.

The municipal Planning Policy Commission is hosting a public hearing on the proposed ordinance Oct. 13. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Commissioners heard from medical marijuana advocates, city planners, Police Chief Paul Ayers and others at a Sept. 8 meeting about the proposal.

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City reschedules hearing on medical marijuana

September 20, 2011

Citizens can offer input on a proposed ordinance to address medical marijuana collective gardens next month.

The municipal Planning Policy Commission rescheduled a Sept. 22 public hearing on the proposed ordinance to Oct. 13. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

Commissioners heard from medical marijuana advocates, city planners, Police Chief Paul Ayers and others at a Sept. 8 meeting about the proposal.

Under direction from the City Council, the municipal Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what or if business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue in July.

The council agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

Citizens can offer input on city’s marijuana proposal

September 13, 2011

Citizens can offer input on the citywide moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens as meetings on a proposed marijuana ordinance continue.

Under direction from the City Council, the municipal Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what — or indeed if — business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens.

The city is offering opportunities for citizen input on a proposed ordinance in September and October.

Citizens can comment at Planning Policy Commission meeting Sept. 22. The commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

The measure is expected to return to the council for discussion Oct. 3. Citizens can also address the council about the proposal. Members meet at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers as well.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue July 18.

The council agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

Citizens can offer input about medical marijuana ordinance

August 30, 2011

Citizens can offer input on the citywide moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens as planners craft a possible solution.

Under direction from the City Council, the municipal Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what — or indeed if — business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens. The city is offering opportunities for citizen input on a proposed ordinance in September and October.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue July 18. Members agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

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Citizens can offer input about medical marijuana ordinance

August 21, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 21, 2011

Less than a month after the City Council upheld a moratorium on medical marijuana collective gardens and urged planners to craft a solution, the city announced opportunities for citizens to offer input on a proposed medical marijuana ordinance.

Under direction from the council, the Planning Department is developing a measure to determine what — or, indeed, if — business, safety and zoning restrictions should apply to such gardens.

Issaquah is in the midst of a six-month moratorium on the collective gardens. The council enacted the ban in June and, per standard procedure, held a public hearing on the issue July 18. Members agreed to uphold the ban, but after hearing from medical marijuana users and advocates, directed planners to formulate a solution as soon as possible.

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