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Chair Marc Boldt raises possibility of lifting ban on marijuana production, keeping retail moratorium

The Clark County Council is set to discuss the ongoing marijuana moratorium in a work session May 30

VANCOUVER — With a work session on the topic of Clark County’s 2014 marijuana moratorium scheduled for next week, Council Chair Marc Boldt on Tuesday offered the possibility of what could be a compromise between lifting the ban completely or keeping it in place.

Clark County Chair Marc Boldt is seen in this ClarkCountyToday.com file photo. Photo by Mike Schultz
Clark County Chair Marc Boldt is seen in this ClarkCountyToday.com file photo. Photo by Mike Schultz

Boldt said he’s still leaning toward keeping the ban in place, but separating the production of marijuana from retail sale in terms of what is allowed in unincorporated Clark County could be part of the discussion moving forward.

“I think we should look at lifting the ban for growing it,” Boldt told ClarkCountyToday.com. “It doesn’t have as much of an impact on really what we do, but we have to know who’s growing it out there, and you really don’t know, so you have to figure out who’s doing that.”

Sale of marijuana is currently allowed by law in Battle Ground and Vancouver. The state Attorney General’s office has repeatedly found that counties and cities are within their rights to ban or limit the sale of marijuana despite its legality at the state level.

Boldt said while he understands the stance of those who believe Clark County is missing out on tax revenue or should for other reasons lift the moratorium on retail sale of cannabis, he still thinks that runs counter to the county’s mission.

“I still think the county’s responsibility is to do drug and alcohol treatment, and it just goes against our responsibility,” he said.

Councilor Julie Olson said she is still undecided as the May 30 work session approaches. The meeting, which is open to the public, will feature comments from two opponents of the ban and two people who are in favor of it, Boldt said.

Members of the public will be given three minutes each to speak.

“I am not decided,” she said. “I voted against I-502 at the beginning. We’re six years into it at this point. I want to hear from the community. I want to make sure we keep the lines of information open. My only question throughout this process has been and will continue to be, what impact does our moratorium have? Does it have a real impact? When we have marijuana in Vancouver and in Battle Ground and in Clark County, what does the moratorium effectively do?”

Read more about the May 30 work session in our Monday story here:

Clark County Council poised to hold work session on marijuana

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About The Author

Eric Schwartz

Eric Schwartz arrives as a reporter at Clark County Today with nearly 15 years of experience as a journalist. He most recently served five years as editor of The Chronicle newspaper in Centralia. Prior to that, he was an assistant editor, reporter and intern at the newspaper. Schwartz graduated from Forks High School on the Olympic Peninsula before attending Centralia College and Eastern Washington University, where he was the editor-in-chief of the award-winning college newspaper, The Easterner, and received the Edmund J. Yarwood award as the top performer in his class. He covered sports through a fellowship at The Tri-City Herald before taking a full-time reporting job with The Chronicle in 2007. After three years as a reporter at The Chronicle, he traveled to Kalispell, MT, and worked as a crime, courts and emergency services reporter at The Daily Inter Lake, where he won two first-place awards for spot news coverage from the Montana Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2011, he returned to The Chronicle as the assistant editor before being promoted to editor in 2013. Under his leadership, The Chronicle was the recipient of several C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for Distinguished Reporting, and the newspaper was twice given the General Excellence Award as the top performer in its category by the Society of Professional Journalists. Schwartz has also been the recipient of two C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for his own reporting and has garnered additional individual awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. Most recently, he and his staff were honored with a Key Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government for The Chronicle’s editorials and news coverage focused on transparency in county government.

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