Moratorium on pot in Pasco could be lifted by summer

Moratorium on pot in Pasco could be lifted by summer »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- Pasco is re-thinking its ban on recreational marijuana. The city re-wrote its law and is proposing the plan to city leaders. We learned what this means for a moratorium on pot in Pasco.

Recreational marijuana became legal one year ago. But Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco have all banned the same while they ironed out their own rules. And now Pasco is looking to allow the drug to be sold legally.

"I think that it's a great idea that marijuana is being legalized because there are so many health reasons for doing so," said Viki Quinn.

"For medication use, yes, I think it needs to be legal," said a Pasco citizen.

Last year's legalization still came with a lot of issues. Where can you smoke? Who can sell? Who can buy? Who can grow? And how soon?

It's why all three cities wanted to put the brakes on the plan. How do you move forward with something that's legal on the state level but not on the federal level?

"I think it will all work in the wash, I mean you've got to start somewhere and it's inevitable the federal government is gonna come around if enough people decide... the government works for us, right?" said Viki.

Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield tells KEPR he wants the rules to be clear. The city has not changed its stance on pot laws. But if Pasco doesn't allow legal sales, it won't benefit from the taxes brought in. Some of those taxes would be spent on law enforcement. It's not clear how much money the city would expect.

Pasco says they should have the rules written by next summer, possibly sooner. The city manager wants everything in line before people begin to grow and sell to alleviate problems, such as with the federal government.

The new law was written to move forward with what the rest of the state has in place.

"They're supposed to represent us, and if the people decide that this is the way to go, then the fed government will come around, it will work it."

Franklin County is allowed to have five spots that would legally sell marijuana, with taxes regulated by the state. They would have to be a certain distance from schools, libraries or parks.