City fence-sitting on marijuana (MJ) won’t be allowed if the State gets its way, and a warrant to inspect rental housing won’t be needed now that the City has its way.
If House Bill 1099 passes this current legislative session, Lakewood will lose over a half-million dollars annually from the city’s estimated share of alcohol sales.
“If, by January 1, 2018, a local government has not adopted an ordinance or resolution that expressly prohibits state-licensed marijuana retail outlets, then the local government forfeits 70 percent of its share of liquor revenue distribution.”
Lakewood currently neither allows nor does it ban marijuana retail stores.
That will end, or else, pending the outcome of HB 1099.
If the legislature succeeds, cities straddling the stripe in the middle of the marijuana road will get run over financially as they will not only lose the 70 percent but “also forfeit all moneys local governments would otherwise receive pursuant to a distribution.”
Lakewood’s 2017 projected share of liquor profits and liquor excise taxes is $496,860 and $274,596 respectively (p.247 of 302).
Comply or die, or at minimum realize a sizeable financial pothole in what would be a pot-revenue-less and liquor-revenue-less budget.
It’s the “Law of the Jungle,” wrote Rudyard Kipling, who might as well have been referring to how governments control rather than serve.
“Now this is the Law of the Jungle – as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that keeps it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
And the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back,
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack” (“Ghost Ship”, by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown, p. 98).
As wolves run in packs, so too does government.
Some years ago – May 5, 2010 in fact – Lakewood’s Assistant City Manager and Community Development Director Dave Bugher was testifying before the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission about Lakewood’s opposition to Amtrak passenger trains (14 trains per day at 79 mph, testing to begin this February and all up to speed by Fall) roaring through the life-congested neighborhoods of the city, by-passing the current Puget Sound waterfront route and instead paralleling I-5 to save mere minutes on the train’s Seattle to Portland run.
Bugher was asked what “community outreach was performed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).”
Bugher replied, “Generally, the tone of these various activities” (regional meetings hosted by WSDOT) “was not one of identifying and addressing issues as much as informing the people that the project is forthcoming and refuting any concerns. In numerous cases, WSDOT’s response to our various written comments was along the lines of ‘we came and told you why that concern is invalid.’
“Community outreach seemed more geared toward telling and not asking.”
Fast-forward six years and replace WSDOT with Lakewood, the latter not pushing trains but railroading the Rental Inspection Program (RIP).
The City will claim – accurately – that informational presentations were held in various venues throughout the city concerning the RIP; and that the City Council even held a non-obligatory Public Hearing (July 5, 2016).
But it is no move believable – nor acceptable – that the City Council had any more legitimate, honest interest in what turned out to be overwhelmingly negative public response to the RIP, than it is to believe that WSDOT was genuinely concerned – to hear Bugher tell it – for the City’s grief expressed over the matter of trains running at high speed through town.
At each level, by each entity, the government was going to do what the government was going to do and the public be damned.
Ironically, the Lakewood City Council recently held a “discussion on what can be done in obtaining greater citizen input and participation at public hearings and strategizing ways to promote greater public participation” (p.19 of 91).
Actually give a rip.