Yakima Top Cop Urges Officials to Keep Pot Shops out of the City

YAKIMA — Even though marijuana can be legally bought just down the road, Yakima’s top cop wants to keep marijuana shops out of his city.

“I don’t see anything positive coming out of it,” police Chief Dominic Rizzi Jr. said of a proposal to allow retail sales of marijuana in Yakima.

Rizzi sees any financial benefits to the city outweighed by increases in crime and other problems related to addiction.

But police in two cities that allow marijuana sales said the shops do not appear to increase crime.

While Yakima residents may legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use, and the city is home to a state-certified marijuana-testing lab, Yakima has banned marijuana shops since January 2014, citing the 56 percent of city voters who opposed the 2012 initiative that legalized marijuana in the state.

The city’s first — and so far only — marijuana shop briefly opened last year when Jaime Campos unsuccessfully challenged the ban. The city shut down the shop, and a Yakima County Superior Court judge upheld the ban.

But this month the City Council, acting on a motion by Councilwoman Kathy Coffey, voted to have city staff begin the process of lifting the ban, citing her own experience watching two husbands die from lung cancer.

Cancer patients sometimes use marijuana for pain relief and to treat the nausea and lack of appetite that accompany chemotherapy….

Continue reading on The Seattle Times by Donald W. Meyers

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