LETTER: Resident concerned about density of pot stores in White Center


[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The White Center Blog nor its staff:]

III King marijuana store's parking lot is also used as a school bus stop

The parking lot for this state-licensed marijuana store in Skyway is also used as an elementary school bus stop.

As a result of the passage of Initiative 502 by voters statewide in 2012 and the incorporation of medical marijuana into the state-licensed system by the legislature in 2015 there are now 7 state-licensed marijuana stores in White Center. In Skyway there are 5 licensed marijuana stores, including one whose parking lot is used as a school bus stop. Meanwhile, right across the street, Seattle has been limited to 44 stores by the same state regulators. It would take 221 stores for Seattle to have the same density of stores as the state has licensed already in White Center and Skyway. Similarly across the street in Burien, the regulatory limit is only 2 stores. Burien’s population is estimated to be just over 49,000, versus approximately 35,000 in White Center and Skyway combined.

This is our government at work, but why is it so insistent on installing this new poverty industry so pervasively in these communities of color? One difference is that these are unincorporated communities directly governed by King County rather than a city government.

Let there be no mistake, local marijuana advertising at this level of intensity will have a desensitizing effect on children and youth to this adult drug. The negative effects of this ill-considered “regulation” of the industry will be felt in these communities for years to come.

I am deeply disappointed in the failure of King County government to act to impose a reasonable limit on the number of stores in its small communities in response to this issue. Community members have been reaching out to our local government since the Washington Liquor Control Board (its name at the time) selected 4 retail marijuana store sites between White Center and Skyway when 1 site for both would have been more in line with its regulation for a city with the same population. It seems in retrospect that when the number of voters affected is limited (the two unincorporated areas combined had less than 16,000 registered voters as of the 2012 general election) the small constituency involved faces an extremely uphill battle to sway the status quo in their government. It’s even more disappointing that this cluster of stores is being accomplished in 2016 in two of the most diverse communities in a county which has proudly named itself after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and that has with great fanfare adopted an equity and social justice mandate.

Sincerely,
Mark Johnston
Unincorporated King County resident

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Comments

10 Responses to “LETTER: Resident concerned about density of pot stores in White Center”
  1. Jimmy says:

    Interesting since most of customers that I have seen shopping at these locations had been 80% white Caucasian Americans. Also how many are open and operating in white center you state 7 are licensed but how many are actually up and running. Also have you looked at the tax revenue from these locations and what that money is doing to help the state and the county.

    Now you state there a location of a pot shop in skyway that is also bus stop for elementary school kids then this is a issue with that school district and is a failure of double checking these locations. This issue can be a simply fix.

    Also in the white center area has had issues with some of the younger African American community members illegally reselling medical marijuana in white center right out side some of the medical location’s to anyone not just people above 21 years old. I have seen no activities like this with the recreational locations so far.

    • Mark J says:

      Not sure what the simple fix you have in mind for the school bus stop. The pot shop moved in to the location of the bus stop, not the other way around. Turns out the Liquor and Cannabis Board won’t deny a license at a school bus stop or ask the applicant to seek a different location.

      Re: not all of the stores in White Center are open. Well, yeah, the most recent license in White Center was issued last Wednesday. Are you seriously suggesting that some of the 7 licensees in White Center went to all the trouble to assemble an ownership partnership, select a location and put themselves through the required background checks and then not open a store? That’s not how I’ve seen it play out for any applicant so far.

      By law this is a regulated industry. The simple fact is that regulation is being done differently in White Center than across the street in Seattle, or Burien, or Tukwila. If White Center had the same density of stores as Seattle it would have one single store.

      The policy to put the initial 11 license slots for recreational stores and later 11 more to fold medical marijuana into the state-licensed system was on the basis of 300,000+ residents in unincorporated King County and its 22 smallest cities and towns. More than 1/3 of unincorporated residents (85,000 or more) live north of I-90. That’s more than double the combined population of White Center and Skyway. Yet only one store is being licensed north of I-90 in the unincorporated area. Within a month there will likely be 14 to 16 licensed stores in White Center and Skyway. No community anywhere else in the state will be so confronted by these stores as densely as in these two communities.

      Of course, the political benefit is that these stores *aren’t* being imposed on self-respecting communities elsewhere.

      • DrForrester says:

        Alcohol has been sold at the adjacent store for as long as I know, the store was not new when I moved to the area in 1967

      • Jimmy says:

        a simple fix to the bus stop issue is calling the sky way school district and asking if they can move the location 100 feet or so and informing of the business there since it seems tobe new. Anyways as I stated in another post that is waiting for moderation over in boulevard park next to the library has been a liqueur store and during the mid day hours sometimes there is a school bus parked over there no one seems to have a problem with that. With marijuana I think it’s a good idea to explain the rights and wrongs with your kids and make sure to be honest. Kids today can find the newest and latest information quicker than they ever could before so if you try to tell them old information from 1960’s they will know. I also found that you have this argument with some people in a google forum back in july of last year . Going over this situation why if your so concern about this bus stop situation you haven’t contacted the school district in that area your self.

        • Mark J says:

          @Jimmy, I’m not sure why you think I haven’t contacted the local school district. (By the way there is no “sky way school district.”) I guess we happen to disagree about what the appropriate number of pot stores ought to be right now. Doesn’t mean I won’t keep speaking up about issues that are important to my community …

          • Jimmy says:

            yeah and doing some research on that area I found there to be a pretty good spot in front of vue mobile home park right next door to that location for a bus stop. But I see and found a google forum where you have been going back and forth with people about this issue.
            You seem to thinks it’s only local people shopping at these places but what you fail realize is there a lot people from outside the state and the county even the country that come to these stores. Like when Tommy Chong release his brand of marijuana the nimbin pot shop was one the first stores to have it on there shelves and Tommy Chong also tweeted and posted the nimbin pot shops address to the world.

            Now there also people going on what’s called a marijuana road trip where they drive to a state like ares that has legal pot and travel around the state buying and smoking pot buying foods and supply’s and staying at campgrounds hotels motels and b&b’s . Providing more revenue for these areas and the state.

            Now I am not for kids smoking pot but I rather have a kid get pot from a pot shop over getting off the street where could be filled with pesticides and other compounds that are not safe or healthy. Unlike the pot sold in the stores witch is tested and regulated to have very strict safety levels of these compounds.

  2. DAISY ADRIACO says:

    MARK, I AGREE WITH YOUR VIEW. IT’S SAD THAT PEOPLE NEED THIS NARCOTIC AND THE LONG TERM DAMAGE IT DOES TO THE BRAIN.

    JIMMY; YOU SEEM TO HAVE TIME TO WATCH SPECIFIC RACES AT THESE PLACES AS WELL AS ILLEGAL SELLING AND DRAW A CONCLUSION. WHY NOT MAKE IMPORTANT PRIORITY OF YOU TIME AND DOUBLE CHECK THE SKYWAY LOCATION WHERE SCHOOL KIDS CONGREGATE, KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE AND THEY DON’T NEED THIS NARCOTIC TO DAMAGE THEIR PRECISION MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH

    • Jimmy says:

      Daisy I have seen your posts on other blogs you are very misinformed on cannabis. What’s with the caps lock that’s rather annoying. Anyways I don’t just spend time watching what race shop at these stores it’s just what I have notice when shopping my self. Now for your misinformed views on cannabis here is a couple links to help you get a better clue on cannabis

      https://www.leafly.com/news/lifestyle/5-frustrating-misconceptions-about-cannabis

      https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/threatening-truths-or-misleading-myths-uncovering-5-cannabis-misc

      As for the illegal selling in front of the medical locations in white center it has been explain and talk about on different blogs and sites in the area. I also witness some of it while riding the 128th bus through white center and also walking through white center. If I remember correctly one the African American males said something like “Hey yo dog I got that medical weed” now this is a lot different then what the trained bud tender’s in the stores say when you walk in they say ” Hi can I see your ID and what can I get for you” Then there is also the tax revenue that is going to the schools and health care and different programs in the state.

      Now the school bus stop situation a simply call to the school district in that area informing them that’s a recreational pot shop there and they can move the bus down 100 feet 200 feet boom problem solved no big deal not the end of world. Also have you been to the boulevard park library it’s right next door is a liqueur store been there for years I even seen a school bus park between the two buildings hmm any problems there. There also a bar across the street.

      • DAISY ADRIACO says:

        HI JIMMY –PLEASE REREAD THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF MY RESPONSE, ALSO, MY KEYBOARD CAN ONLY DO CAPS BECAUSE IT IS OLD. SAD ABOUT PEOPLE WHO NEED TO SMOKE THIS FOR RELAXATION, THE LONG TERM EFFECTS TO MENTAL HEALTH HAVE BEEN PROVEN, AS WITH ANY DRUG ADDICTION, DENIAL IS DIFFICULT TO OVERCOME. PEACE TO YOU

        • Jimmy says:

          Actually Daisy A simple guideline when it comes to using cannabis is to consume responsibly and within moderation. Anything can be considered harmful if it’s done or used in excess. People can be addicted to food, exercise, and even sleep when that’s all they do, all of which are perfectly legal activities.

          The National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us that 9% of users become dependent on cannabis, which is unfortunate, but less overwhelming than cannabis opponents would have you believe. The organization describes the symptoms of marijuana addiction as “linked to a mild withdrawal syndrome”:

          “Frequent marijuana users often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks.”

          Addiction is an issue with all substances, which is why both awareness and mindset are crucial when using cannabis. The potential harm, no matter how minimal, should be combated through education and proper protocol, not fear and misinformation.

          if you need a new keyboard http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-920-002478-Keyboard-K120/dp/B003ELVLKU/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1461641624&sr=8-11&keywords=logitech+keyboard or check goodwill sometimes you might find a good one I understand a broken keyboard it just looks as if your yelling in online way this can be taken as anger or some one trying to get attention.

          Long term mental effects not unless your smoking something laced or has tons bad pesticides in it. But the state cannabis and liqueur board control the pesticides the legal growers in Washington use.

          There are tons of great educated people out in the world that responsibly use cannabis. Now if you choose not to daisy that is fine but you really need to look in to your facts.Unfortunately there has been a lot bad press on cannabis over the years but now with the actually facts are coming out people can understand your brain is not a egg in a frying pan if you smoke pot. Your dog is not going start talking to you telling it does not like way you act when your high. Also your not going try to eat your friends face off just cause you got high.

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