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Spin Control

Archive for February 11, 2013

Spokane legalizes pot possession

Following the lead of state voters, the Spokane City Council on Monday legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by anyone 21 and up.

Councilman Jon Snyder, who has led the effort on the City Council to consider the impacts to the city from marijuana legalization, said that Monday’s unanimous vote was a routine matter to keep city law consistent with state law. But bigger decisions are ahead as officials consider if they should regulate pot more strictly than what was approved in Initiative 502, the law that legalized marijuana, he said.

Barkeep: A round of booze hearings

OLYMPIA – Getting a drink of alcohol in a movie theater, a farmer’s market, even a senior center or a massage,  would be easier under a series of proposals considered Monday by a Senate panel.

Getting a taste of that $90 a bottle whiskey or the merlot from an unfamiliar winery selling its wares at a farmers’ market would be possible, too.

While that might make consumers happy, it has folks in the substance abuse community worried that relaxing state liquor licensing laws will mean more places where kids will see adults drinking and where recovering addicts will be tempted alcohol. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Senate passes school security bill

OLYMPIA – Washington state would spend $10 million over the next two years in an effort protect schools from a massacre like Sandy Hook as part of a school construction proposal that moved quickly through the Senate Monday.

With references to the Dec. 14 massacre at the school in Newtown, Conn., the Senate unanimously approved spending $475 million on school construction over the next two years, with $10 million of it going to make schools safer.

Republicans said the school construction package was a sign they were meeting goals to move their priorities of education, smart budgeting and jobs. The accompanying Safe School Buildings bill has the added benefit of paying for ways to protect schools from an attacker and get police there faster if they are needed, said Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup.

Democrats said the school safety measures were a good first start, but called for GOP support on bills they introduced Monday that take further steps to curb gun violence. The state needs better laws on firearms safety and more support for mental health services, Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Seattle, said…

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Pot forum moved to Convention Center

Anticipating a large crowd at Tuesday’s forum on legalized marijuana rules, a state agency made an 11th hour decision to move to a bigger room.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board’s forum on its efforts to comply with Initiative 502 will be held in the Spokane Convention Center, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.. A spokesman for the board said agency officials feared the Spokane City Council Chambers, which holds about 190 people in the basement of Spokane City Hall, wouldn’t be big enough.

The three previous forums all generated crowds bigger than the Council Chambers and an overflow room for 100 people would have held, Mikhail Carpenter said. More than 350 people showed up for the first forum in Olympia, about 500 attended the Seattle forum and about 400 were at the Vancouver forum.

The convention center ballroom will hold 450, and can be expanded if necessary.

The board announced new locations for other planned forums, and added new meetings to its schedule early last week. But the new location for Spokane wasn’t nailed down until late Friday. Because of that, a story in Sunday’s Spokesman-Review and three newspaper ads about the forum all had the old address.

Carpenter said the board hopes to a sign at City Hall directing people to the Convention Center, which is several blocks east on Spokane Falls Boulevard

I-502 made the private use of marijuana by people 21 and over legal, but currently there's not a legal way to purchase the drug. The law put  the board in charge of adopting rules for growing, processing and selling marijuana, with a mandate to have those rules in place by Dec. 1.

WA Lege Day 29: Hearings on booze, health care

OLYMPIA — Most work is in the committees today, with a full day of hearings on dozens of bills.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee has 11 different bills involving some change to the state's liquor laws,  including allowing beer and wine sales at theaters and spas, samplings at farmers markets and banning self-checkout machines.

The Senate Health Care Committee has bills on long-term care insurance, abuse of vulnerable adults, and a proposal for a joint select committee on  health care oversight.

Government Operations has so many bills it is scheduling a double header, one hearing in the afternoon and another in the evening.

A full schedule of hearings can be found inside the blog.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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