Tacoma's ban on pot case ruling may affect Clarkston leaders decision

CLARKSTON, WA - Leaders from the state of Washington are saying the result of a lawsuit in the Tacoma area could have an effect on whether cities in the state decide to ban pot businesses.

Leaders from the city of Clarkston said they're also keeping a close eye on what happens with this case.

A Pierce County judge decided to uphold the city of Fife's ban on marijuana businesses Friday, saying the state law legalizing pot did not mandate cities to allow them.

City leaders in the Tacoma suburb of Fife want to keep marijuana businesses out of their community, but the man who sued the city because he wants to open a marijuana store there, now said he plans to appeal the judge's ruling.

State Attorney General, Bob Ferguson said he expects the case will wind up in the hands of the State Supreme Court, possibly early next year.

"I wish we had a year to do all of our research, including the safety of the issue by watching what's happening in Colorado, but so far we have don't have that luxury because our moratorium runs out in November, so we're going to need to make a choice about what we should do," said Council member Terry Beadles.

There are two key issues in the Fife case, whether the city and other municipalities are allowed to ban marijuana businesses under Initiative 502, and whether federal marijuana laws on pot trump the state's.

Beadles said he and his fellow council members will discuss this case further and talk to the city attorney about what their options are for mandating pot in Clarkston.