I-502 Required Report Released

MJWashington’s first official, Initiative-502-ordered report on the impact of recreational marijuana was released this week. Since retail sales began last summer, Thurston County’s eight pot stores have sold a combined $5.9 million; Kitsap County, $4.9 million in sales at six retailers; and Jefferson County, 1.5 million at two stores, each averaging three-quarters of a million dollars in sales. Mason County has three marijuana outlets, with $365,000 in sales. Grays Harbor sold over $978,000, with three stores and Lewis County comes in at $208,000 in sales with one pot store.  Table Below (IMAGE: Exhibit 12)

The first report is about the WSIPP’s research plan for an overall study and some preliminary data on how the law has been implemented up to June 30, 2015.  The next report is due by September 2017.

Link to Report (PDF)

IMAGE: Exhibit 12 - Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Sales by County: July 2014 through June 2015

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Judge Dismisses Challenge To Navy's Land Deal With State

piertopierTACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to a Hood Canal land deal between the Navy and Washington state.

The challenge was brought by a sand and gravel company, Thorndyke Resources, which hopes to build a pier for loading barges about three miles south of the Hood Canal bridge.

Last year, the Navy bought a 50-year marine conservation easement from the state Department of Natural Resources. The deal, covering 4,800 acres of land below the low-tide mark, was designed to prevent further commercial development along the shoreline and protect the Navy's ability to operate in the area.

Thorndyke sued on a variety of legal grounds, saying the Navy exceeded its land acquisition authority and discriminated against the company by barring commercial development while allowing residential uses. In a ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle rejected those arguments.

The DNR and a citizen group called the Hood Canal Coalition praised the ruling in a news release Thursday, saying it will preserve the area's ecosystem.

September 4, 2015

New Indictment Adds Charges Against Washington State Auditor

kelly2SEATTLE (AP) — A federal grand jury has returned a new indictment against Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley, adding charges of money laundering and tax evasion to the long list of charges he already faces.

Kelley, a Democrat elected in 2012, has been on a leave of absence as he fights charges first brought in April, alleging he stole money from clients of his former business, a real estate services firm. The new charges cover actions Kelley allegedly took from 2011 to this year, while he was in office, and say that Kelley laundered money by withdrawing $245,000 annually from the pool of ill-gotten gains.

In the new indictment prosecutors also dropped one charge — an allegation that Kelley attempted to obstruct a civil lawsuit.

Kelley's attorney, Angelo Calfo, said Thursday afternoon that his client will plead not guilty.

September 4, 2015

Medical Examiner: Couple Died After Inhaling Generator Fumes

EVERSON, Wash. (AP) - The Whatcom County medical examiner says two people died in their home near Everson after inhaling gas fumes from a generator during last weekend's power outage.

The Bellingham Herald says (http://is.gd/m2u3Kf) 82-year-old Anthony Vermeulen and 71-year-old Marilyn Vermeulen were found dead Wednesday evening.

Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel says autopsies Thursday revealed the couple inhaled gas fumes, most likely carbon monoxide, from a portable generator. The time of death is unclear.

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office says the family had not heard from them since Sunday or Monday. A relative who checked on the house Wednesday found their bodies. The generator was running outside a cellar door, which was opened slightly.

A windstorm knocked out power to thousands in Western Washington on Saturday. It wasn't immediately clear when the couple's power went out or when it was restored.

September 4, 2015

Information from: The Bellingham Herald, http://www.bellinghamherald.com

Family Of Unarmed Man Shot By Police In Washington Sues

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The wife and children of a Mexican man shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington, after he threw rocks have filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the three officers involved.

Antonio Zambrano-Montes was unarmed when he was shot to death on a busy street in downtown Pasco on Feb. 10. Videos of the shooting went viral, and the incident sparked weeks of protests in the Eastern Washington city.

Attorney George Trejo Jr., of Yakima, filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Teresa DeJesus Meraz and her two young daughters.

The lawsuit names the city, the Pasco Police Department, the police chief and the three officers involved, among others. It seeks in excess of $25 million in damages.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Sant did not immediately respond to the lawsuit.

NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press  - September 4, 2015

Officer Shot, Wounded In Yakima; Suspect Surrenders

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A female Department of Corrections officer serving on a violent crimes task force has been shot while searching for a suspect in a Yakima drive-by shooting, and police say a 25-year-old man has been arrested.

Yakima Police spokesman Mike Bastinelli says the officer was treated and released at a local hospital after she was injured in the leg.

The shooting happened around 1:15 p.m. Thursday as members of the task force was searching for a suspect in a drive-by shooting earlier in the morning. No one was injured in that incident.

Bastinelli says three people inside the home came out prior to the shooting; they were detained for questioning. The suspect remained inside and fired several shots at officers as they surrounded the home.

He says officers did not fire their weapons.

The man surrendered after a standoff. He is being held in the Yakima County Jail and faces possible charges, including attempted murder.

September 4, 2015

The Latest: Inslee Says He Hopes For Resolution On Strikes

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) —Speaking to reporters during a conference call from a trade mission stop in Japan, Gov. Jay Inslee noted that one of his grandchildren had just started first grade and the governor said he was appreciative of teacher's work, but hoped for a resolution.

"Obviously like any governor, and any grandfather, we are hopeful that agreements are reached so we can continue the education of our kids," he said.

Inslee said that while there's more work to do on education funding, he noted money that the Legislature put into the system this year. But he also said that teachers have long faced an "unprecedented level of pressure, demands and constraints."

"It's not, in my mind, surprising that teachers have a very passionate view that we need to make some changes," he said.

September 4, 2015