Editorial: Be responsible with your marijuana

July 8, 2014

Marijuana.

No matter how you feel about it, it’s now legal to purchase and smoke it in the state of Washington. (Leave it to officials to sort out the federal vs. state issue, though at this point, no one has announced plans to crack down on people who take a toke.)

And although there is not yet a local place to make a purchase, 24 retailers in the Puget Sound area were granted licenses this week by the state Liquor Control Board.

A majority of voters wanted marijuana, and now we all have it. In order to turn that initiative and vote into a real win, people must be responsible with their pot.

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Issaquah could see retail marijuana by October

May 6, 2014

Recreational marijuana retail lottery results are in — and Weedhouse got the No. 1 spot.

After an independent process that took place April 21-25, the Washington State Liquor Control Board released the order in which retail applications will be processed May 2. Though Issaquah can only have one retail location, based on population, 21 prospective business owners applied for a license. The state winnowed that list down to 10.

At the top, aiming to locate at 225 N.E. Juniper St., is a possible business named Weedhouse.

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Marijuana use rules get redrafting after public input

August 27, 2013

Draft rules for recreational marijuana will need more public input Oct. 9.

After the Washington State Liquor Control Board filed its preliminary rules July 3 for zoning, production and selling of recreational marijuana in accordance with Initiative 502, it held several public meetings in August to gather feedback. Concerns given by the public led staff to recommend a revision of the rules to the board Aug. 13.

After five meetings, Brian Smith, spokesman for the Liquor Control Board, said the staff learned a great deal about what the public wants from official state guidelines as recreational marijuana enters the economy.

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Report: Illegal tobacco sales to minors increase

December 14, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 14, 2012

The number of Washington retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors is at the highest level in more than a decade, according to a report from the state Department of Health.

State health officials said about 16 percent of retailers offering tobacco illegally sold the substance to minors between January and June. The figure is up from 11 percent last year and 10 percent in 2010.

If the rate of retailers selling tobacco to minors exceeds 20 percent, Washington could lose almost $14 million in federal funding for drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention and treatment.

“This is unacceptable. Our young people should not have access to these deadly tobacco products,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “Most adult smokers start as teens, so if we can keep tobacco out of the hands of kids, it’s likely they’ll never take up this dangerous habit.”

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Raid uncovers 150 marijuana plants in Issaquah home

December 4, 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 and the investigation is ongoing.

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Issaquah police plan no immediate changes after Initiative 502 legalizes marijuana

November 13, 2012

In a milestone, Initiative 502 legalized marijuana for recreational use among adults 21 and older in Washington.

In the days after the measure passed, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg dismissed 175 cases involving people 21 and older for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana.

The law outlined in I-502 is scheduled to take effect Dec. 6. Meanwhile, Washington Liquor Control Board officials must formulate rules to grow, sell, tax and regulate marijuana.

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Retailers challenge liquor privatization process

July 3, 2012

Issaquah-based Costco and other supporters of liquor privatization filed a lawsuit challenging the way the state implemented the law.

Costco, joined by the Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Restaurant Association, filed the suit June 21 — 20 days after private retailers started selling spirits, ending a decades-old state monopoly on liquor sales.

Washington Liquor Control Board officials said the agency is confident in the rules drafted to implement the liquor privatization measure, Initiative 1183. Board officials said the rule-making process remained open and transparent.

Costco — the largest employer in Issaquah — led the push to pass I-1183 last year. Statewide, almost 60 percent of voters supported the liquor-privatization measure.

The measure limits hard liquor sales to stores of at least 10,000 square feet.

The lawsuit is the latest case to result from I-1183. The day before the initiative took effect, the state Supreme Court upheld a challenge to the measure.

Issaquah liquor store closes before changeover

May 29, 2012

The state-run liquor store in Issaquah closed May 29, as the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to shift stores from public to private ownership.

Under a state law approved by voters last year, liquor sales by private entrepreneurs can start June 1.

The board auctioned the rights to entrepreneurs to sell liquor at the state-run store in Town & Country Square along Northwest Gilman Boulevard last month. State records show the right to the Issaquah store sold to Seattle merchant Leon Capelouto for $251,000.

“There is a lot of work involved in transferring these stores to private ownership,” Chris Liu, director of retail services for the liquor authority, said in a statement.

The availability of liquor in Issaquah is poised to expand beyond a single storefront.

Bartell Drugs, Fred Meyer, Front Street Market, Rite Aid, Safeway, Target, QFC, Walgreens and Costco received licenses to sell liquor.

QFC received licenses for the Northwest Gilman Boulevard and Klahanie stores.

Issaquah liquor store to close May 29 before changeover

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

The state-run liquor store in Issaquah is due to close May 29, as the Washington State Liquor Control Board prepares to shift stores from public to private ownership.

Under a state law approved by voters last year, liquor sales by private entrepreneurs can start June 1.

The board auctioned the rights to entrepreneurs to sell liquor at the state-run store in Town & Country Square along Northwest Gilman Boulevard last month. State records show the right to the Issaquah store sold to Seattle merchant Leon Capelouto for $251,000.

“There is a lot of work involved in transferring these stores to private ownership,” Chris Liu, director of retail services for the liquor authority, said in a statement. “This method will ensure that our customers have the ability to buy liquor right up until June 1, when private retailers take over.”

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Supreme Court hears challenge to Costco-backed liquor privatization

May 22, 2012

Opponents of liquor privatization urged state Supreme Court justices May 17 to overturn Initiative 1183, less than a month before the switch from a state-run liquor system to private entrepreneurs.

If the high court overturns the Costco-backed measure, state-run liquor stores could remain open and retailers could not sell spirits. The changeover is scheduled to occur June 1, and a ruling is expected before then.

Opponents said I-1183 violates the single subject rule for statewide ballot initiatives.

In addition to the liquor privatization language, I-1183 included a section directing $10 million to public safety, in addition to the liquor-privatization language.

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