Selah City Council to vote on pot business ban

SELAH, Wash. -- Another domino is about to fall in the debate over legal pot businesses. Leaders in Selah will vote on Tuesday. Right now, the proposal in front of them calls to ban selling, growing and processing it. KIMA learned the reasoning behind Selah's possible ban is different from other communities we've seen.

It's Selah's turn to take a stand on recreational pot. The unanimous recommendation from planning commissioners to city council -- ban it.

Neighbors aren't quite so sure.

"I think they're moving in the right direction," said Steve Shotwell.

"I think that out of all the things available to people, including alcohol, marijuana is far less harmful, far less of a danger, than it's being made out to be," said Arne Opstad.

Arne thinks the will of the voters should be respected.

"I don't think it's right for us to rewrite the law just because certain aspects...factions of the community don't agree with it."

Steve sees things differently. He taught kids for 30 years. He worries about pot getting into the wrong hands.

"The problem with teenagers and young folks in general, is that no matter what laws we pass and tell them no, you can't, they always find a way to get what they're after."

Selah's leaders have their own concerns. Unlike other cities that banned pot businesses, Selah isn't talking about the local voting results. They worry about the banking regulations that limit the financial capacity of pot operations.

Planning commissioners argue businesses could be forced to hold onto too much cash. That could make themselves a target and put safety at risk.

The proposal to ban the businesses leaves room for Selah to reverse course if the federal government works out the banking issue.

Selah has instituted three pot moratoriums to provide time to work through the issue. A vote on the ban is expected Tuesday.