The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Alex Gorrod

Dark day for city


To the Editor:

The owners of Golden Dispensaries were seen on the news on Friday, Oct. 24, saying that they were not doing anything illegal by opening up on Saturday, Oct. 25.

Yet when we look at federal law, selling of marijuana is illegal. When we look at the city level, there is a moratorium on selling marijuana, and they do not possess the proper license to operate as a business in this city. They do have a state license but WAC 314-55-20 (11) makes it clear that a state license doesn’t matter if a city has a different rule. So at the federal, the state, and the local level they are doing something illegal. The federal government has decided to remain silent on the issue, the state government has decided it is left in the hands of the city to decide on this issue (as shown by the state AG and recent cases such as from the city of Fife). So that leaves it to the city (our mayor and our city council) to defend their laws.

Saturday, Oct. 25 will go down as the day that Goldendale (specifically the city council and mayor) lost its authority to stand up for itself and its laws. On this day we saw as one business was allowed to open, with no city business license and operate as a business with no consequences. We saw as a legal moratorium was ignored by both the business and ultimately the city that did nothing to stop them from disobeying the law. The city was warned ahead of time that the business was going to open and didn’t care what the city thought. The city’s response? Silence. They were bullied and refused to push back, afraid of the possibility of a lawsuit.

I learned a lesson: the next time I don’t like a law I just have to yell “I’ll sue” loud enough, and I can then do whatever I want.

Some have said the pot issue isn’t a big deal, that it has been decided and we should just move on. But consider this: the issue was resolved for better or for worse, not through a legal process, but because people broke the law and those we entrusted to protect us and uphold those laws did not have the courage to stand up for the laws and instead buried their heads and cowered before the bullies.


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