All Politics is Local

Battle Ground, dazed and confused

You can’t blame Battle Ground for being a bit foggy-headed when it comes to marijuana. The stuff has that effect (or, so I’ve heard). But it’s becoming clear that the city council doesn’t know what it wants to do regarding pot shops and grow operations.

Take for example Friday’s chain of events: Following Thursday’s release of the attorney general’s opinion on pot, which said local government’s could restrict the location of grow operations and stores, Battle Ground found itself doing a bit of political hokey-pokey. First, the city said it would hold an EMERGENCY Friday meeting on whether to pass a moratorium. Then, the city cancelled the meeting, perhaps realizing that holding one at 7 p.m. on a Friday, while providing barely 24 hours of notice (which The Columbian didn’t even receive), didn’t add up to a well-attended event.

Now, readers of APIL are undoubtedly well aware that pot has been a hot topic among local governments for months. They have all taken measures to pass moratoriums — except Battle Ground. Oh, the city council has had opportunities to address the issue — at its last meeting, for one — but,in a classic stoner move, they just didn’t get around to it.

One councilor isn’t feeling so chill about that.

“All of a sudden it’s a priority,”Councilman Adrian Cortes said. “Once (the AG’s) opinion hits the paper, now we have to act?”

Cortes continued: “I felt this was rushed. And I felt it wasn’t going to be a very transparent process.”

Complicating things a bit for Battle Ground: There’s already a business license application from some folks who want to build an 18,000 square-foot facility to grow pot. Now, even if the city passed a moratorium, it would be too late for it to restrict that business.

Whoops.

Oh well. Pass the Cheetos.

UPDATE: City Manager John Williams points out the city did send the notice of the meeting. Apparently, as sometimes happens, the email got stuck in my spam filter. Still, the point remains, the city called a special meeting to discuss pot, then called it back in less than 24 hours.

Tyler Graf

I started working for The Columbian in 2012 and currently cover Clark County. I'm a 2007 graduate of The University of Oregon. Contact me at tyler.graf@columbian.com

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