Officials listen to public input about marijuana laws in Asotin County

ASOTIN, WA - A town hall meeting in Asotin County Tuesday night was open for any topic of discussion.

But as KLEW News learned the masses that gathered only wanted to talk about marijuana.

"If kids want the drug, they'll have the drug period," said concerned resident. "You and I are not going to stop that."

There were strong and passionate opinions on both sides of the fence at a town hall meeting Tuesday.

"This is not the marijuana of the seventies necessarily," said Sherry Greenup. "They're stronger brands. More THC in it."

More than 70 people attended the event to talk about marijuana laws in the county. Since the passage of Initiative-502, Asotin County leaders have been working to listen to locals. While the issue passed statewide, the majority of voters in Asotin County said no to the initiative.

"If you move ahead with allowing it and creating regulations for it and stuff, I think you've gone against the vote of the citizens already on the issue," said resident Rick Rogers.

"The damage that alcohol does to our families and our communities and to individual people is so much more extreme than marijuana could ever was or will be," said resident Rob Dunn.

"I don't think myself or anyone is interested in generating revenue on the potential future of our children and what this drug can do to them," said Exec. Dir. of Boys and Girls Club, Jon Evans.

"If someone has a choice to play in the road, that road is always going to be there," said resident Cody Matney. "However it is the gentle guidance of the people around you that would prevent a travesty from happening."

Commissioner Brian Shinn said he voted against the law. But even if they ban the sale and distribution of marijuana in the county they can't make the drug illegal in the state.

"So far, even though I agree with you, I haven't heard anything that's going to remove marijuana from our county," said Shinn.

"If they think there's not drugs out there, then they haven't talked to any high schoolers," said concerned citizen. "They can get the drugs anytime they want. The problem with it is, if you do it this way, you can control it. Right now it's out there in the street."

The Planning and Zoning Commission is in the process of creating zoning suggestions. Once they've figured out where they believe people should grow, process and sell marijuana in the county, they'll send their recommendations to the county commissioners for approval.