It’s a possibility.
Two locations in fact, as indicated on the map (the red zones are where the green stuff could be sold) per the Lakewood City Council Study Session agenda packet for November 13, the map to be found immediately following page 100.
Council is considering several options, everything from “ensuring certainty with a prohibition on marijuana throughout the City,” to ‘reducing buffer zones to accommodate marijuana sales in the place of most benefit to the city.’
Perhaps ironically, the very last line – of the 10 pages related to this subject – provides this staff recommendation: “The City should select the option that best reflects the value the City places on this business type.”
Value verses volume, a provocative choice with which the Council must deal in determining whether, or not, to allow dealers of drugs in the city.
It would appear Councilmember John Simpson favors volume over values.
In the October 4 Tacoma News Tribune (TNT), in endorsing Simpson for reelection, the editorial board said Simpson “would vote to allow retail marijuana in Lakewood not because he personally supports pot sales but because voters have spoken.”
Were the voters heard when the decision was made to legalize the Rental Housing Safety Program (RHSP)?
It may be argued that they weren’t even asked.
Told, but not asked.
Certainly, they were not asked as a survey might have done, like the survey currently circulating among a select few in the city. “The City of Lakewood has questions and it’s turning to its residents for the answers.” But “only those households who were randomly selected may participate in the survey. The survey represents the City of Lakewood’s goal of communicating with and engaging its residents” – 1,400 of them anyway.
Certainly, they were not asked to vote on the matter like the city is soliciting, promoting and advocating on its webpage to bring free, outdoor concerts to Fort Steilacoom in 2018.
Certainly, with regards the RHSP there was no SurveyMonkey as is now seeking community input on the development of Lakewood’s downtown.
It can also be argued that those who did speak up at the meetings offered by the city concerning the RHSP were nearly unanimous in opposition.
Yet to hear the City Council tell it, the RHSP decision was based on values, or at least within the law. But it cannot be said that their decision was “because the voters have spoken”.
“Before I made my vote,” wrote Simpson recently in this publication, “I researched the topic; I listened to all points of view; and I believe I made an informed decision to pass the RHSP based on the law and the desire to make Lakewood a more desirable locale in which to live.”
Does supporting pot sales “make Lakewood a more desirable locale in which to live”?
Though “the most significant study on the drug’s effects to date” shows “marijuana does raise the risk of getting schizophrenia and triggers heart attacks,” will Lakewood leaders license such establishments anyway?
According to “a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from Harvard and Northwestern studied the brains of 18- to 25-year-olds, half of whom smoked pot recreationally and half of whom didn’t. What they found was rather shocking: Even those who only smoked few times a week had significant brain abnormalities in the areas that control emotion and motivation.”
Will that research be reflected in the council’s deliberations with regards marijuana?
With “about 49 marijuana producers in Tacoma already,” resulting in the displacement of existing industrial or service commercial businesses due to warehouse lease rates sometimes tripling and thus forcing otherwise reputable businesses to relocate, does this “make Lakewood a more desirable locale in which to live”?
Is the Lakewood City Council’s decision to study marijuana options driven by the “legislative shove to Lakewood” designed to topple the city from its perch as “the only city that favors federal law over state law, therefore blocking the sale of marijuana products”?
State Rep. David Sawyer, D-Parkland, whose district includes parts of Lakewood, together with Reps. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, and Cary Condotta, R-Chelan, would force cities to taken an official stance on retail pot or forgo 70 percent of state distributed liquor revenues,” according to the January 31, 2017 TNT Editorial Opinion.
Will Lakewood leaders in affect drop their basically silly scruples and their non-action on marijuana sales, holding out their collective city hands for a share of the literal pot, because, after all, as the TNT opines, “Principles are well and good but they don’t keep the lights on, and they don’t pay for recreation departments or police officers”?
The answer may well depend on what value the city places on its values.