The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

pot license decision handed to city clerk


It’s in the hands of the city clerk.

That’s the best Grand Coulee’s city council could come up with last night (Tuesday) in regard to a controversial application for a marijuana retail business license.

About 30 people showed up to offer their view of the issue, and with a show of hands all but two were against it, the applicants.

Clerk Carol Boyce when asked after the meeting if she was going to issue the license, said, “I haven’t made up my mind yet.”

While members of the council repeatedly told the audience how important it was to come to the meetings and let their views be known, Councilmember Paul Townsend, who will be the city’s next mayor, said, “It is important for you to let us know what you want, because we are here to represent what you want.”

It was apparent that no one on the council wanted to step up and make a motion either way. It was pointed out that the council could always override any decision that the city clerk made.

Many of the people who showed up Tuesday night had also attended a planning commission meeting last Wednesday night.

At that meeting the business license issue was aired out and two planners voted yes and two voted no. Their recommendation was to go to the council for a decision last night.

Jean Comstock, who has one of the Grant County state permits, is interested in putting in a marijuana retail store in Grand Coulee, at a site on Burdin Boulevard, across the street from Coulee Medical Center.

She said last night that she didn’t know that the issue could be decided during the meeting and said she would like the opportunity to have the council also hear from people that were in favor of having a store here.

The speakers both nights pointed to all the usual fears of locating a store here, including what it could do to youth, crime, attracting the wrong kind of people to town.

Richard Black, who is athletic director in the schools here, said that “it would affect young people in a negative way.” He added, “This would add another negative to our community, and the answer should be absolutely not.”

The council batted around the idea that the city could wait until the state and federal governments got on the same page and deal with it then. Federal law is still against the possession of marijuana, but the U.S. Attorney General’s Office has promised not to pursue cases made legal by state voters in Colorado and in Washington, where the passage of Initiative 502 legalized recreational marijuana.

“This is going to affect the police, the ambulance crews, and if you bring another problem into the city you are going to have to deal with it,” stated Barry Peacock, whose address is in Grand Coulee, but outside the city limits.

City Clerk Boyce couldn’t say when she would make her decision on the business license issue.

You might be interested in:

Reader Comments

Rendered 01/21/2019 21:25