To pot or not to pot: City examines marijuana moratorium

FEDERAL WAY -- The city's moratorium on legalized marijuana sales will be the subject of a City Council Special Meeting at 5:30 p.m. in Federal Way City Hall Council Chambers. Citizen comment is welcome and encouraged as the Council considers the moratorium on marijuana-related businesses that is set to expire on May 5.

On November 5, 2013 the City Council enacted a one-year moratorium on marijuana-related land uses and directed the Planning Commission to study the issue and make recommendations.

The Council extended the moratorium another six months and requested additional information. At Tuesday's meeting, the City Council will hear a staff presentation on the issue, followed by public comment. Also in attendance, will be a representative from the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Options before the City Council are to develop zoning regulations for marijuana-related businesses, enact a ban on this type of business, or extend the moratorium another six months, city officials said.

Most of the folks we spoke with on the issue are okay with recreational marijuana stores in their backyard.

J.D. Phillips said, “I’d like to see them around actually. I’d like to see the industry flourish and take off. It would be good for our local economy and I think it would be good for the country overall.”

Some argue that marijuana stores will attract crime and don't want to live anywhere near them. Sean Cortez says he doesn't believe that theory.

“I don’t think it attracts crime," Cortez said. "I just feel like it’s always been around whether its been open in a recreational shop or not.  It’s always right in front of us."