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Debra Smith | dsmith@heraldnet.com
Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 2:07 p.m.

Moratorium on medical marijuana gardens extended

The Everett City Council voted today to extend a moratorium on medical marijuana gardens until January 20.

The city needs more time to figure out how to effectively zone the gardens, assistant city attorney Ramsey Ramerman told the council before the vote. The city also hopes to have additional legal clarification on how to handle the conflicts between state and federal law, he said. He warned the council that allowing the gardens now could get city employees and the council in trouble with the federal government by making them “accomplices to federal drug crimes.”

A state law allowing cities to license, zone and impose health and safety requirements on collective medical marijuana gardens went into effect last year. The state law conflicts with federal law, which doesn't recognize marijuana for medical use. Just before the state law took effect, the council agreed to allow the gardens and then immediately put that law on hold. The original moratorium was set to expire July 20.

All five of the council members at the meeting voted for the moratorium: Ron Gipson, Jeff Moore, Shannon Affholter, Arlan Hatloe and Gigi Burke. Council members Brenda Stonecipher and Paul Roberts weren't present.
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