Langley to pass on medical marijuana proposal

Unwilling to adopt rules themselves that would pave the way for a medical marijuana distribution center in Langley, the city council is now looking to pass the bowl to Washington’s congressional delegation.

On Monday, the council will consider a resolution that would cast its support for the reclassification of marijuana as a schedule 2 drug, which would put it in the same category as cocaine, methadone, oxycodone and morphine.

The reclassification would allow more latitude for testing of the medical effects of marijuana. Cannabis is currently listed as a schedule 1 drug, ranking it right along with heroin, ecstasy and LSD.

The proposed resolution also asks the state’s federal representatives to begin working toward the passage of legislation that would grant states the legal right to adopt their own medical cannabis laws.

“It’s a legal issue that needs to be solved,” Mayor Larry Kwarsick said.

“Our congressional delegation needs to address this quickly,” he added.

The resolution comes in the wake of Freeland resident Lucas Jushinski’s request for a business license to open Island Alternative Medicine behind the All Washed-Up Laundromat on Second Street.

The business was to operate as a nonprofit access point, providing medical marijuana to patients who are legally authorized to use the drug.

While the idea did seem to meet with receptivity from the public and the council, at a March workshop the policy makers informally decided that a distribution center could not open in Langley without violating federal law.

Despite murky state rules, the council’s consensus meant the city would not adopt land-use laws to regulate such businesses and Kwarsick said Jushinski’s business license application would be denied.

The council also agreed that it should make a formal and public explanation at its next meeting, though, that was tabled earlier this month due to two absent members. Kwarsick said he did not expect any flip-flop by the council.

“I think Langley has a compassionate council but I believe they will hold the course,” he said.