Spokane pot shop controversy may lead to legislative changes - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane pot shop controversy may lead to legislative changes

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

A pot shop controversy in Spokane could lead to legislative changes in the downtown Spokane area.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes does not like that Lucky Leaf Marijuana Retail is close by. Father Darrin Connall has been vocal about it.

“I think we've been dismissed as irrationally concerned about the dangers of selling drugs legally in the neighborhood,” he says.

Our Lady of Lourdes feels it's been the unlucky neighbor of a local pot shop for months. The shop opened in March. Parishioners have written letters to multiple government agencies. If the church were a school or a daycare, the shop would be too close because they have to be more than 1,000 feet away. But under state law, pot shops can be close to churches, even if parishioners use part of it for youth activities.

“It seems that this qualifies as a recreational facility and it's frustrating that no one seems to be recognizing that,” Father Connall says.

Father Connall says their youth recreation center falls under the state's definition, which says “a ‘recreation center of facility’ is defined as a ‘supervised center that provides a broad range of activities and events intended primarily for use by persons under twenty-one years of age, owned and/or managed by a charitable non-profit organization, city, county, state, or federal government.’”

The church’s recreational area is used various times through the week for things like youth choir, tutoring, and youth groups.

Father Connall is meeting with city council members and a state senator Thursday to discuss these issues he has.

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