Lawsuit Filed Over Seattle's MMJ Ordinance
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Lawsuit Filed Over Seattle's MMJ Ordinance
Posted by CN Staff on December 15, 2011 at 04:10:14 PT
By Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Source: Seattle Times
Washington -- Seattle's effort to bring medical-marijuana dispensaries under the wing of city ordinance was challenged as unconstitutional Wednesday on grounds it would require an admission of illegal activity.A lawsuit, filed by longtime marijuana defense attorney Douglas Hiatt, accuses the city of legal hypocrisy by requiring dispensary owners to get licenses, pay taxes and abide by zoning laws while the city is also enforcing drug-nuisance laws.
The lawsuit exposes intrafamily fighting among marijuana-legalization advocates Seattle City attorney Pete Holmes, whose office championed the ordinance, and Hiatt, who views most regulation as de-facto admission that operating a marijuana dispensary is a federal crime."I think a lot of people are being misled" into thinking the city's ordinance protects dispensary owners, Hiatt said. "Those are all admissions of guilt in federal prosecution, and even in state prosecution."Seattle's ordinance, passed in July, was the first municipal attempt in the state to regulate the medical-marijuana dispensaries that have blossomed — with an estimated 80 in Seattle alone — over the past several years.Among the 16 states allowing medical marijuana, Washington has one of the most chaotic regulatory schemes because a bill in the 2010 Legislature to legalize and regulate dispensaries was mostly vetoed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.She allowed municipalities to go their own way, resulting in patchwork local regulation, which funneled so-called "pot shops" into the most progressive cities.Philip Dawdy, spokesman for medical-marijuana trade group Washington Alternative Medicine Alliance, said the lawsuit undermines efforts by Holmes and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who is also an advocate of marijuana legalization.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Author: Jonathan Martin, Seattle Times Staff ReporterPublished: December 14, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #1 posted by Oleg the Tumor on December 16, 2011 at 07:17:43 PT:
The Cities are over their heads, too…
As more states pass MMJ legislation, so more cities will find themselves with the same problem as presented by attorney Hiatt. This is where Federal policy really begins to affect Main Street in a way the framers of the Constitution specifically sought to avoid. Since the hemp industry was thriving at the time the Constitution was written and only outlawed in the 1930s, I find it suspicious there is no mention of social dysfunction connected to this plant until the simultaneous introduction of anti-marijuana propaganda and mass-produced pharmaceuticals,c. 1900.Also curiously absent during the 1700s was the concept of the private, "For-Profit" Corporation. Corporations only came into existence to serve some public need, like bridges, tunnels, canals, in short: Infrastructure.The Corporation as we know it today, did not come into existence until legislators in the states of Delaware and New Jersey "were made to understand" that they could either stand with Rockefeller and change their rules of incorporation or against him and run the risk of being "Rockefeller Roadkill".Playing the states off of one another has been a time-honored trick of business ever sense, but the Feds are not really supposed to interfere like this (The Patriot Act? The Department of Homeland Security? The TSA?) at the local level, turning any discussion of the US Constitution into a heated debate.If Obama is allowed the controls over the Internet that he seeks, (outside of the courts) shutting off access in the name of "national security" is the perfect way to keep you off-line long enough for traders outside the US to dump their dollar positions in favor of a new reserve currency (or possibly gold) with which to purchase oil.But I digest……The cities and the states now both have the same problem with the federal government as to marijuana – the problem of "constructive estoppel" or as it is commonly known "Entrapment".Heah come de judge…
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