Marijuana, casinos and strip clubs in the same sentence? It wouldn’t be the first time.
Twelve years ago this past June 22, upon the announcement of plans for two new minicasinos in DuPont’s city immediately to the north, Lakewood’s first mayor called the gambling venues “the lesser of two evils,” the other being strip clubs (Tacoma News Tribune, June 22, 2002, A1).
“I don’t want Lakewood to be known as the Las Vegas of Pierce County,” Lakewood’s mayor said. “I don’t think that’s what our citizens want.”
Yes they did. And so did Lakewood’s leaders.
Five years later, September, 2007, Lakewood would lead the state in the number of card room tables with 90, thus earning the title “the nontribal gambling capital of Washington State.”
Peter Callaghan further opined, “Only Shoreline, with seven casinos but only 87 licensed tables, comes close. After those is La Center, with four casinos and 60 tables, and Spokane, with five casinos and 59 tables. So if Lakewood’s policy is to discourage the growth of minicasinos, it’s not doing a very good job of it” (Tacoma News Tribune, September 18, 2007, B1).
Now Lakewood wants a sign to welcome people to casinoville.
The signs in DuPont point to a city that doesn’t want to go there.
DuPont City Councilman Mike Courts was reflecting on the likelihood his fellow councilmembers would ban marijuana sales in the city on the very day the psychoactive, paranoia, performance impairment drug becomes legit throughout the State.
Besides the dubious properties associated with pot, the pavement down which the rest of Washington is heading is littered with pot holes not the least of which is that the state legislature has so far not acted to allow cities to profit from marijuana sales according to DuPont Mayor Michael Grayum.
On a high note, should the higher-ups sweeten the pot for city’s sales of pot, would public safety be less a priority?
“Public safety is our top priority and we’re concerned about increasing access in our community,” Grayum said. “We want to make sure we do everything we can to keep kids and families safe.”
So for now, until marijuana supplants the rhododendron as the state flower, at least the signs are DuPont city leaders are against it before they are for it.