Let the people decide on cannabis retail stores in Federal Way

The following letter was also shared with the Federal Way City Council:

I am writing this to be read into the record as I am unable to be present for the meeting this evening due to other civic commitments for our wonderful city. As a fair number of people are aware, tonight there is supposed to be a council discussion about retail cannabis stores being in Federal Way.

When the issue was first presented for legalization of cannabis in the state of Washington, I voted in favor of it. I was not and still not today someone who would purchase cannabis unless it was perhaps a remedy recommended by a medical doctor for an illness or as a pain reliever. If so recommended, I would hope to be able to purchase this product in Federal Way rather than traveling to a neighboring city like Auburn or Des Moines.

Lately there seems to be much discussion about the ban that was instituted via council action a few years ago. With that in mind, I felt a local poll of residents (nonscientific) might be an aid in the discussion to see whether it would be a good idea or not to lift the ban.

I launched a poll of Facebook and cross linked other social media (focusing on Federal Way area) to that specific poll. The results thus far, having posted the poll June 2 at 9:58 a.m., are 329 votes cast with 227 in favor and 102 in opposition, which is roughly 69% in support and 31% in opposition.

I have used polling information in the past to get an idea how issues would be viewed by residents of Federal Way. Again, they are not scientific, but they do offer insight into what might be possible outcomes. This poll reflects consistently a larger amount of support (it has trended near 70% since day one) and if placed before the voting public it stands a good chance of being approved and the ban lifted.

I believe now as I did when I initially voted “yes” that allowing legally operated stores in the proper locations as outlined by the state regulations and approved by the city would have a number of positive impacts, 1) removing the black market of marijuana in Federal Way, 2) implementing a city revenue source through taxation, 3) and offering the public the ability to shop locally for something they are now traveling out of town to buy.

The existing laws that govern would apply to siting as well as state regulations that apply to shop owners, i.e., ID checks and so forth. Federal Way is the “marijuana ban bubble” of South King County.

In closing, I would hope that the council at the minimum places the ban lift as a ballot issue for the 2020 election cycle and let the people of Federal Way decide.

Roger Flygare

Federal Way

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