Pubdate: Thu, 12 Feb 2015
Source: Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)
Copyright: 2015 The Spokesman-Review
Author: Pia Hallenberg


As Valley Moves Toward a Moratorium, Citizen Wants Consistent Laws

As the Spokane Valley City Council moved its proposed marijuana 
moratorium on to a second reading without much commotion or public 
testimony, Tara Harrison listened from the back of the room.

Harrison works at the Herbal Connection in the Garland District and 
she's been at many Spokane Valley City Council meetings when 
marijuana was on the agenda.

On Tuesday evening, Harrison didn't get up to speak in front of the 
council, but she has an idea for the Valley City Council.

"I don't understand why the municipalities here don't work together 
more on regulations," Harrison said after the meeting.

She would like to bring representatives from all the municipalities 
in Spokane County together for a meeting and panel discussion 
featuring speakers from the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics.

CCSE is a nonprofit organization that works for safe and compliant 
access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients. Harrison was at 
a CCSE-sponsored symposium in SeaTac, Washington, recently, and 
that's where she got the idea to try to bring a similar event to the 
Spokane area.

"We are all for regulation and safe access," Harrison said. "Our 
clients are not the kids."

Several Spokane Valley council members have concerns that legal 
access to medical marijuana also makes it more easily available to youth.

Council member Chuck Haefner said he is planning a meeting with high 
school principals, health officials and law enforcement to explore 
the level of marijuana use in Spokane Valley schools as soon as possible.

Harrison said most customers at the Herbal Connection are 50 or 
older, and many come there as a last resort, often seeking pain relief.

Harrison said she completely understands why Spokane Valley is 
adopting a moratorium. She's hoping to organize the cannabis 
symposium in Spokane in May or June, and she will invite the Spokane 
Valley City Council.

"We will answer every question they have, and we will do so 
professionally," Harrison said. "I hope they will come."

Just like the Spokane Valley council, Harrison is watching the state 
Legislature and the different marijuana bills legislators will be 
voting on in this session.

"I am not sure what's going to happen," Harrison said. "It just seems 
like we should do something."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom