Supporters of i-502, the marijuana legalization initiative on this November’s ballot, are beginning to believe that the measure may actually pass. New Approach Washington has marshaled a well funded and professional campaign in support of the initiative and the measure is polling well across the state.
The political landscape in Seattle looks particularly favorable as legalization is supported by the Mayor and eight of nine city council members. But in the Central District, the physical landscape may not be so accommodating. Specifically, i-502 requires that marijuana only be available in stores that sell no other products and are located at least 1,000 feet from schools, playgrounds, and parks. This stipulation sounds reasonable, particularly in light of recent threats by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries within 1000 feet of Seattle schools and parks. But how much space does that really leave in the CD? Our neighborhood is fortunate to be served by a great number of parks and schools. In fact, it’s pretty hard to find property that falls outside of the 1000 foot radius stipulated in i-502. If daycare organizations are figured into the equation, there’s even less real-estate.
One commercial corner does appear to make the cut though- 23rd and Union. So as CD’ers envision the types of businesses we hope to see re-populate that corner, don’t forget to save a little space for the pot shop.