Sunnyside considering changes to marijuana ban within city limits
SUNNYSIDE, Wash.- In Yakima and Union Gap, marijuana shops aren't anything new for people living nearby.
But Sunnyside could be the first city in the lower valley to legalize pot sales in between Yakima and Prosser.
At this week’s council meeting, city leaders said medical uses and revenue from sales tax are some reasons for charge.
Mayor Julia Hart said the added money could be used to help keep people from abusing it.
“Intervention and prevention, because that's really where you make the most head way. You can't get ahead of it, if you're always behind it,” she said.
However, some people in Sunnyside are still not budging.
“I know there's already a pot shop over in Prosser and surrounding areas. So, I wouldn't be for it,” Jacob Miltenberger, who teaches in Sunnyside, said.
Others can see the gain but are a little apprehensive to jump on board.
Business owner Mark Davick owns Victoria Vapes in Sunnyside.
As someone who has to constantly ID people to make sure they can legally buy his product, he said the city has to be careful about how they go about bringing in marijuana stores.
“They are missing out on revenue of course. I do believe there is a place for it with restrictions. I get concerned about get kids getting into it,” Davick said.
In the state of Washington, you need to be 18 years old to buy a vape but Davick said he see kid’s younger than that get a hold of them.
He said if pot stores open up shop, that means it's going to be easier to access for people who shouldn't have it in the first place.
“There's going to things that fall through the cracks. You got to be ready for that. I think it should be kept away from schools and stuff like that of course,” Davick said.
Sunnyside voted on the ban of marijuana in 2014 and it came back with a 60-40 split in support of keeping pot out.
But the city council could change all of that in the near future.