by: Richard Thompson Updated:
WHITE SALMON, Wash. - Tucked in at the edge of the Columbia River, the small city of White Salmon is facing budget problems like most small towns in the state. To ease the financial burden on its 2500 residents, city leaders are considering opening and running their own retail marijuana store.
"The city could use the cash," says White Salmon Mayor David Poucher. The mayor told KIRO 7 now that pot is legal, there's little doubt a marijuana store will be coming to White Salmon so perhaps it should be on city property and run by the city.
Poucher told KIRO 7 the idea being discussed is simple: "Instead of just collecting the sales tax off it why not tax the total profit from it."
The city would use the pot profits to help fund police and fire departments along with public health. Poucher says "also public health because we don't really have anything for rehab and people who have addiction problems."
The first city council vote on the issue Monday was a two-two tie and a talking with residents of White Salmon KIRO 7 also found varying opinions.
Lynn Thomas said, "I think it's a fine idea. It's certainly legal in the state."
Sam Vance said it seems a bit odd a city selling pot but he's OK with it. "It's kind of a different outlook on it but if it pays the bills it pays thebills," he said.
Other residents told KIRO 7 the city selling marijuana is a bad idea and would send the wrong message to young people in the community.
The mayor said it is possible the issue could come up for another vote next week but he is doubtful it has the votes to move forward.