By Tad Sooter
Copyright 2014 Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash. (MCT)
SOUTH KITSAP — Kathy, a South Kitsap resident, saw once-in-a-lifetime potential in the newly legalized marijuana industry.
She spent months last fall combing through the state’s Liquor Control Board rules, lining up investors and nailing down locations for three retail stores. After filing applications with the state, she had one more thing to do: tell her husband.
Kathy’s spouse is an active duty military service member. He happened to be deployed and out of contact during the months she was making her plans. Kathy broke the news of her planned business venture when he returned this month. He was surprised but supportive.
“He said ‘it sounds like a great opportunity, let’s do it,’” said Kathy, 29, who asked her last name and details of her husband’s service be withheld.
The question now is whether her husband’s military employers will be so understanding.
Initiative 502 legalized limited possession and consumption of recreational marijuana in Washington. It also allows production, processing and sales of marijuana through licensed businesses — the kind Kathy applied for.
The state law is in direct conflict with federal law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which criminalize possession and distribution of pot. A service member who is found carrying drugs, or tests positive for them, may face administrative separation or worse. Security clearances can also be jeopardized.