Washington City Bans Collective Medical Marijuana Gardens

On advice from its attorney, the Bremerton City Council on Wednesday night banned collective medical marijuana gardens authorized under a 2011 state law.

The council had previously passed moratoriums to delay a decision on the gardens, which allow patients who are authorized to use medical marijuana to band together to grow plants. But the council sided Wednesday with city attorneys, who advised that regulating and permitting the gardens might put city workers at odds with a federal government that views marijuana as illegal no matter the use.

Bremerton Assistant City Attorney Mark Koontz brought to the council concerns that government workers engaged in any activity related to regulating marijuana could be subject to prosecution by the federal government.

Ezra Eickmeyer, a lobbyist who has worked on medical marijuana legislation and runs a Silverdale clinic that authorizes medical marijuana patients, argued against the ban. He said the federal government hadn’t prosecuted local and state government workers since the Civil War and felt the city was opening itself up to a lawsuit by banning collective gardens.

“To demonize and push those people outside of city limits … is just wrong,” he said.

– Read the entire article at Kitsap Sun.