I-502 legalizing marijuana was not, never was, about requiring local jurisdictions to allow the sale of recreational marijuana.
So much for the narrative, the commonly heard pro-marijuana party-line – even verbalized by elected representatives – that the 2012 “voters have spoken” passage of the state-wide initiative supposedly meant elected officials were duty-bound to represent their constituency and allow pot to be sold locally.
In a March 13, 2018 reply to the ruling of the same day issued by a three-judge state court of appeals, Attorney General Bob Ferguson expressed vindication.
“Today’s ruling affirms my office’s position and formal opinion. I have said from the beginning: If the Legislature or the drafters of Initiative 502 had intended to require local jurisdictions to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, they could have done so in a single sentence. They did not.”
Thus, the proper court-ordered interpretation of Washington’s marijuana law – even in cities where I-502 passed – means there is no necessity, no mandated responsibility, for councils to feel somehow conscience-bound in approving retail sale of marijuana.