By Steve Guntli
On September 22, Everson City Council unanimously approved a ban on growing, processing and selling marijuana for recreational use. The city also placed a permanent ban on medical marijuana collective gardens.
The city is now the first in Whatcom County to institute a permanent ban. The city has had a moratorium on pot businesses in place since October 2013. Lynden and Ferndale have also had moratoriums on pot businesses in place at various times since Initiative 502 was enacted. Ferndale dropped their moratorium last October, but Lynden officials are still considering enacting a permanent ban.
Last year, the state attorney general’s office ruled that individual cities have the right to ban recreational pot stories in their community if they see fit.
Voters in Everson rejected I-502, with 56 percent saying “no” to the legal pot measure.
According to the official documents, the council based their decision on the belief that “documented secondary effects associated with the production, processing and sale of marijuana have adverse effects on the community and are harmful to the public.” The city also cited a belief that the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 overrides state legislation like I-502.
City officials also said Everson’s small, isolated layout makes it difficult to enforce certain elements of the law, including the 1,000-foot buffer between recreational pot stores and schools or parks.