Sunnyside coalition works to promote safety on marijuana

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- We should know Monday night if pot stores will be allowed to open in Union Gap. The city plans to make a decision on the matter.

Sunnyside will also learn whether its planners think pot is a good idea for its community.

Voters may have signed off on legalizing pot, but cities don't have to. They can decide whether marijuana shops will be open in their town.

Cathy Kelley works to promote public safety when it comes to drugs and alcohol.

"What is your goal with the campaign? What message are you trying to get across?" KIMA asked.

"What we're trying to get across is obviously we want to keep our youth substance free," said Kelley.

The group Sunnyside United plans to address the issue soon and launch a media campaign. It will focus on educating parents about how to talk to kids about drugs and alcohol.

Sunnyside's planning commission is set to present its suggestions on marijuana sales to city leaders. They will include zoning regulations on where marijuana businesses can and cannot go.

"Marijuana exists whether it's legal or not, but we would like to have a little more control," said Sunnyside Planning Commission member Bernie Barker.

Sunnyside's city manager told KIMA it appears City Council is leaning towards legalizing pot businesses. KIMA asked Sunnyside United about that juxtaposition with its campaign.

"We're just trying to give them information to say, 'This is how the impact is to our youth and the community.' That's really our focus," said Kelley. "We're not pushing them to make the decision one way or another."

Sunnyside City Council didn't make any decisions on Monday evening. They expect to have a final decision before August.