Center for Legal Cannabis

Legal Cannabis Week #3

New map: Seattle proposed cannabis zoning

After a trying week of map making and a desire for some personal accomplishment – or at least for something completely different – Center for Legal Cannabis has published an accurate visualization of the City of Seattle's proposed cannabis zoning restrictions.

Seattle Proposed Cannabizs Zoning

This is a more detailed, interactive visualization of the map produced by CDC last month. The city proposes to place limits (45 plants, 72 ounces, 10 patients) on the following zones: all single-family, all multi-family, Neighborhood Commercial 1, and Pike Place, Downtown Harborfront, Pioneer Square and International District. Other zones would have no statutory restriction on the number of "collective gardens" allowed per tax parcel.

This change will affect current medical cannabis businesses and future legal cannabis businesses. Anyone operating in a "one garden" zone will need to maintain protocols to ensure they do not exceed the limits. Anyone wishing to operate multiple collectives per tax parcel will likely seek real estate in the green area of the map.

Council members Nick Licata and Sally Clark are making the neighborhood meeting rounds to inform citizens about this legislation.

Everett zoning meeting tonight

The Everett City Council meets tonight at 6:30 and will hold a final reading on CB 1211-58 to declare certain cannabis uses as nuisances. "Certain cannabis uses" include future state-licensed legal cannabis businesses operating anywhere in the city. Protesters gathered yesterday afternoon to tell Everett to lay off the pot.

What: Everett Cannabis Ban Final Hearing
When: Wed, 12/19/12 @6:30
Where: 2930 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA 98201

The week in review

Seattle Police Department is easing up on pot restrictions for new recruits. Can you believe this place?

Vancouver police arrested a man for cannabis DUI after a fatality accident involving a pedestrian who stepped into traffic and a driver who admitted to smoking pot an hour earlier – a reminder to all of the sagacity of the tried-and-true "I wish to speak to an attorney." This may be the first fatality accident involving marijuana since pot became legal, though it is at least the second fatality accident since we voted to legalize pot.

A memorial for Ric Smith is planned for December 29, 2012 in South Park.

WSLCB budgets $2.49 million through 2013 for I-502 rulemaking.

Colorado's legalization task force commenced Monday. Some members appear to be anti-pot, immediately issuing demands that the feds preempt their work.

President Obama doesn't think we should focus on pot, whatever that means.

Some Washington residents think their localities should re-dub themselves to honor cannabis.

The City of Snoqualmie intends to vigorously enforce DUI laws, and to propose an ordinance to outlaw future state-licensed cannabis businesses.

The City of Spokane sees no need to ban future state-licensed cannabis sales, despite the cities of Cheney and Medical Lake doing just that.

Making maps may madden my meek mind

Making maps can be quite frustrating. With little formal or prior education on the subject, my self-directed lessons arrive fraught with hurdle and holdup. I started this mapping project about 18 months ago, and spent 12 of those months unable to get Google maps to show me any data whatsoever – to reach the very first "proof of concept" stage their many simple code examples teasingly promise me.

Last week I encountered a deep desire to visualize the I-502 election results. ACLU-WA published a per-county I-502 heatmap that is pretty enough, but I want maximum detail and granularity – I want precinct level results for the entire state. Is that too much to ask?

Quite simply, Center for Legal Cannabis is producing and aggregating business intelligence, and from my point of view, if one wishes to know the lay of their local land, every useful dataset one can visualize will help build intelligence, power and durability. When searching for business real estate, zoning is critical, but it is also good to grasp the political persuasions of potential neighborhoods.

I downloaded precinct-level results from the Secretary of State, and was extremely grateful to the democrats for maintaining a page of precinct shapefiles. After a headache of work extracting the could-be-better-named shapefiles, I populated a Google "Fusion Table" with precincts from Adams County, and verified that I could match the results to that shapefile using a particular unique field in the election results.

But "Fusion Tables" – which are spreadsheets that may contain easy-to-visualize map data – don't allow for copy-and-pasting, like one might expect in a spreadsheet. Every single row must be hand-updated – wicked impractical with tens of thousands of rows.

Two solutions lay before me: 1) massage all data before importing into Fusion Tables, or 2) use Google's library of code to create an application to allow me to run command line database queries. The latter option was preferred, as this is a problem we will repeatedly encounter, and a technical solution would save much time and future annoyance.

And so I set out to get any of this damned code to work, and despite clearing some of the first project milestones, ultimately failed at installing or creating any code that could allow me to "UPDATE" a table row. Several failed attempts and days later, I gave up for the moment, bested by Google's Fusion Tables API or perhaps the barely-understood OAuth 2.0 library.

Unfortunately, the path of massaging the data before import seemed a long and daunting task too, so rather than keep at the I-502 precinct-level results, I tried for a project less frustrating. Thus this week's accurate mapping of Seattle's proposed cannabis zoning, which had it's own headaches for sure, but was accomplished in about 8 hours. Hallelujah for forward progress.


Sean Cecil, Attorney Canna Law Group