Scenes from the medical marijuana rally in Tacoma

By Paul Schrag on October 19, 2010


The Tacoma City Council told medical marijuana proponents today that so-called dispensaries would be allowed to stay open as long as their owners filed an official appeal of the cease and desist orders distributed last Friday by the city's Tax and Licensing Department. A crowd numbering at least 200 people erupted into cheers as one dispensary operator stood on a planter outside City Hall and trumpeted the news.

"The Tacoma City Council is not opposed to safe and legal access to medical marijuana for patients with legitimate need," Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland told people gathered in Tacoma City Council Chambers.

City officials said they wouldn't set hearings on those appeals until March or April, presumably with hopes that lawmakers will clarify the state's confusing medical marijuana law during next year's legislative session.  

Activists from as far away as Olympia and Bellingham cheered the decision, and later called for continued diligence as this year's legislative session is sure to include discussions of how to clarify the state's convoluted medical marijuana law.