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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Colorado warms to pot clubs despite federal uncertainty

At risk of raising the ire of the White House, Colorado is on the brink of becoming the first state with licensed pot clubs. But the details of how these clubs will operate are as hazy as the underground clubs operating already.

Judge rules to reopen marijuana dispensaries immediately

A judge on Wednesday cleared the way for Montana’s medical marijuana dispensaries to reopen after a three-month hiatus by ruling that a drafting error in a voter-approved ballot initiative should not delay the measure’s implementation.

Washington state pursuing medical pot dispensaries’ taxes

OLYMPIA – The state Revenue Department is stepping up efforts to make medical marijuana dispensaries pay their taxes. After more than two years of “educational outreach” designed to teach medical marijuana businesses that they must register with the state and pay taxes, the department says in a memo this week it will go after dispensaries that continue to ignore the law.

Marijuana users face plenty of unknowns

The dried marijuana buds packed in jars, the marijuana-infused vitamin water, the Chewy Choo chocolate cannabis candies, the Canna Bull drinkable energy shots – they’re all sold at the Pacific Northwest Medical marijuana cooperative to people with prescriptions for marijuana to treat what ails them. Soon – likely by next June – marijuana grown at the North Side business will be available for sale to those without prescriptions, too, under the voter-approved initiative legalizing the production and sale of recreational pot.

DEA raids pot dispensaries

SEATTLE – Federal agents have raided a number of medical marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound region. Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said Wednesday afternoon the operation was underway. She declined to immediately provide details about how many dispensaries were being targeted or how many search warrants were being executed.

Pot shop owners sentenced

Two men, including one who sought help from singer Willie Nelson, were sentenced in federal court Thursday after pleading guilty to charges stemming from federal raids that shut down more than 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in Spokane. Dennis L. Whited and Jerry W. Laberdee, former owners of Medical Herb Providers, both pleaded guilty to charges of distribution of marijuana and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

Medical marijuana dispenser’s conviction overturned

The drug-trafficking convictions of the man who operated Spokane’s first medical marijuana dispensary were reversed Tuesday in a state Appeals Court ruling that also appears to clear the way for commercial dispensaries to operate legally in Eastern Washington. While the case provides needed clarification in state law over how medical marijuana users can legally fill their prescriptions, U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby said federal prosecutors will continue to target certain operations.

Appeals Court sides with pot dispensaries

The drug-trafficking convictions of the man who operated Spokane's first medical marijuana dispensary were reversed today in a ruling that also appears to clear the way for commercial dispensaries to operate legally in Eastern Washington.

Spin Control: Cities dazed, confused over marijuana control

OLYMPIA – Whether she realized it or not last spring when wielding her “partial veto” pen, Gov. Chris Gregoire has prompted a hodgepodge of pot laws around the state and a fair amount of confusion among the cities. In Seattle, where possession of a small amount of marijuana is less likely to bring public condemnation than drinking mediocre coffee, medical marijuana dispensaries are being told to register as businesses, pay their taxes, meet building codes and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. But be advised: No-smoking laws apply to smoking medical marijuana, too.

Pot bill tamped down

OLYMPIA – State workers will not be licensing medical marijuana growers or dispensaries, and patients will not be able to sign on to a registry that could save them from arrest. Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a bill Friday afternoon that would have established a state structure for the production and sale of medical marijuana, saying she feared state workers involved in the system would face federal prosecution.

Gregoire vetoes most of marijuana bill

OLYMPIA – State workers will not be licensing medical marijuana growers or dispensaries, and patients will not be able to sign onto a registry that could save them from arrest. Gov. Chris Gregoire vetoed most of a bill Friday afternoon that would have established a state structure for the production and sale of medical marijuana, saying she feared state workers involved in the system would face federal prosecution. “

Medical marijuana bill in limbo after letter from U.S. attorneys

OLYMPIA – The Legislature’s efforts to provide structure and regulations to Washington’s burgeoning medical marijuana operations could be snuffed out by a warning last week from the state’s federal prosecutors. A bill to require the state Agriculture Department to license medical marijuana growers and processors, and the state Health Department to license dispensaries, would run headlong into federal law, U.S. Attorneys Mike Ormsby in Spokane and Jenny Durkan in Seattle told Gov. Chris Gregoire in a letter Thursday.

Editorial: Obsolete view on marijuana holding back state efforts

As the Washington Legislature heads toward adoption of a bill that permits marijuana growing and distribution systems for medicinal use, federal prosecutors are loudly clearing their throats and reiterating that such a law would not prevent them from prosecuting activity it deems illegal. As a result, Gov. Chris Gregoire says she won’t sign the bill. Gregoire sent a query to the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday and got a tandem reply the next day from U.S. Attorneys Mike Ormsby of Spokane and Jenny Durkan of Seattle. They warned that anyone along the supply chain could be prosecuted and that dispensary property could be seized. Ormsby had issued an earlier warning, but the letter to the governor put the consequences in stark terms.