Recreational marijuana stores to open this summer
West Seattle in the lead
By Gwen Davis
Fess up: do you like pot? If so, look forward to some awesome trips this summer. Washington State's Initiative 502 (I-502), which decriminalizes recreational marijuana, will be implemented and retail stores can put scores of people in happy-happy land.
(Note: None of the sources for this story wished to be identified, due to the topic’s sensitive nature.)
But advocates of the initiative say decriminalizing marijuana is a good thing, for reasons other than getting high.
“About a year ago, I met this hippie pot smoker who also has PTSD and she smoked to control her symptoms, as there are really no treatments for PTSD,” said a former Seattle resident. “And the treatments that are out there really suck. So I [am the] owner of a medical marijuana card.”
Gaining relief from mental illness is a great use of the drug, she said, and therefore she values its availability.
But others say recreational marijuana is beneficial for the local economy.
“I think that all of the grand efforts to enforce criminal sanctions against marijuana use is a great waste of public resources that could be better spent elsewhere,” said another former Seattle resident.
“I don't think Wash. and Co. will be the last to wake up and ask what are we spending all of our money on enforcing marijuana laws that we don't even believe in,” he said. “For what purpose exactly are the enforcement funds being spent? Whose jobs are we protecting?”
Earlier this year, the state set a limit of 334 licensees to sell recreational marijuana, spread through 75 areas in the state. A lottery was held, since there were more applications than licenses available.
The entire city of Seattle will have 21 licensed stores.
Right now, there is no place to buy recreational pot legally in Wash.
West Seattle won big in the Seattle’s lottery results. A proposed North Delridge store won first in line to receive a marijuana-retailer license in the state-wide lottery.
The top of the list was drawn by West Seattle applicant Trichome & Calyx Corp., with the address 3809 Delridge Way SW, Suite B, which is currently the site of a medical-marijuana dispensary, Safe Access MMJ Dispensary.
Within the top 200 Seattle applications, approximately 10 West Seattle applicants requested location on the Delridge Way SW block, particularly at 3809 Delridge Way SW and 3805 Delridge Way SW.
Safe Access MMJ Dispensary is apparently a perceived potluck for recreational marijuana business, and winners will have to fight for the coveted spot, states the Washington State Liquor Control Board:
“If two or more applicants with the same location address are selected in the lottery whoever secures the lease will have the location, the other(s) will have to find a new location within the same jurisdiction and we will grant a specific time to find a location,” the retail lottery FAQ page says.
Still has risk
The support for marijuana is strong.
“It helped on numerous occasions with moderate to severe nausea and mild to moderate pain,” said a Seattle resident who is battling cancer. “As with any intoxicant, it should be used with caution, but the benefits are far from insignificant, and when used properly, the ‘adverse’ side effects [such as] ‘feeling high’.”
“It also helped restore my appetite within hours of vomiting,” he said. “It provided a bit of extra help keeping things down.”
He also added that adverse effects can be reduce and almost mitigated.
Additionally, decriminalization of marijuana will keep more people out of the criminal justice system, which is particularly beneficial to minority communities.
However, marijuana has risks. Possession of marijuana will still be illegal in the following situations:
The amount is above a defined limit.
The person in possession is under the age of 21.
Marijuana is used in the general public, including opening and/or consuming of a marijuana-infused product.
Marijuana is transported to another state.
The person in possession is driving under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana is produced or sold without a state license.