September 16, 2013
Just when we thought the state’s recreational marijuana industry was beginning to nail things down, the U.S. justice department said not so fast. The DOJ’s decision to allow Washington and Colorado to move forward still remains, however, the department has begun to pinpoint specific enforcement priorities it wants the state to concentrate on.
This has caused a slight disruption for the Washington State Liquor Control Board as they work to finalize the industry’s governing laws.
Now Washington state is changing its plans for where marijuana businesses can be located, after the Justice Department reiterated that enforcing federal drug laws near schools and playgrounds remains a priority.
Federal law doubles the criminal penalty for producing or distributing controlled substances within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or public housing.
In response, the state Liquor Control Board announced last week it would change the rules on measuring that distance. Instead of that thousand feet following a path of most common travel, it will now be measured as the crow flies. In other words, a straight line.
Spokesman with the liquor control board Mikhail Carpenter said the rule will take effect along with all the others Oct. 16.