Shelly Clark of the conservative Spokane Valley-based group “Coalition for Community Values” has set her sights on the municipality banning marijuana use, according to The Spokesman-Review . Clark’s coalition successfully campaigned to ban topless baristas at Spokane Valley espresso stands last year.
Washington state has legalized medical marijuana as well as marijuana for recreational use through Initiative 502, which legalized marijuana use for ages 21 and older.
Clark and other unhappy conservatives are upset with the decriminalization of marijuana. Concerned with what she and other groups believe is a danger to young people, the group plans to ask the Spokane Valley City Council to limit access to marijuana. She’s also upset that medical marijuana can be legally prescribed to young people.
Linda Thompson, executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council Prevention Center, presented the latest drug statistics collected from area youth. She said that 62% of youth in drug abuse treatment in 2012 smoked pot.
Spokane Valley City Council member Ed Pace said he supports Clark’s initiative.
“We need a city that’s drug free and has zero tolerance for crime,” Pace said. Pace, a conservative Republican, has been advocating for the city to re-outlaw marijuana since it passed.
In October, the Spokane Valley City Council discussed banning marijuana businesses within the city limits after the Tacoma suburb of Fife adopted a similar ordinance on the heels of the passage of I-502 and it was upheld by a state court. New businesses that allow guests to get a table and smoke their recreational use have started popping up throughout the state, and DUI’s from marijuana consumption are on the rise since legalization.
In October, Pace had asked what would happen if the city banned marijuana businesses.
“It would be good to know what’s the worst that can happen to us if we do that,” Pace said.
At Monday’s City Council meeting Pace once again brought up a complete ban, adding that he support’s the Coalition. He wants to make sure medical providers can’t prescribe marijuana to youth, regardless of the health benefits.
“I would like to look at what the cities of Fife and Wenatchee did,” Pace said, “and if it makes sense for us to put a moratorium on medical marijuana.”