With the recent passing of I-502 on marijuana reform, commercial marijuana production businesses are now able to apply for licenses through the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
It was by pure coincidence that we discovered that a commercial marijuana group was attempting to purchase property in our residential development known as Gaskell Acres. This information has been very unsettling and has left the owners of the homes already built here in an alarming situation. Efforts have been focused on trying to understand initiative I-502 and the document published by the WSLCB (WAC-314-55).
One section in the document addressed a specific situation when a license would not be issued.
This section was intended to protect children from any exposure to marijuana. It stated that a business could not exist within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of grounds where children were attending school, on playgrounds, in public libraries, child care centers, as well as in public parks, arcade game centers and transit stations.
They completely ignored, however, the homes where children live and the backyards they play in. They never took into consideration that families with children in residential areas do not want commercial marijuana growing and/or processing facilities as neighbors.
Sadly it seems, we have very few rights to affirmative defense.
If this enterprise is successful in obtaining a license and purchasing land here, our future for a continued peaceful, rural and picturesque neighborhood is uncertain.
Be aware. This could happen to other unsuspecting citizens of our fine community.
Our county officials should, at least, consider reforming zoning laws to protect residential areas from becoming commercial marijuana growing operations.