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November 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Judge: Liquor Board broke open-meetings law in work on pot rules

The Associated Press

A judge says the Washington Liquor Control Board broke the state’s open public-meetings law 17 times as it began working on rules for the recreational-marijuana industry.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller issued the ruling Friday in a case brought by Arthur West, a critic of the legal pot law. The judge said that although the board broke the law, it didn’t take any actions at the meetings that would warrant throwing out the marijuana rules it eventually adopted.

The meetings at issue came in early 2013, soon after voters approved Initiative 502. As the three board members traveled around the state holding public hearings about the legal marijuana rules, they also sometimes met quietly with local police, officials and prevention groups.

The judge said she would hold an additional hearing later this month about whether the board members broke the law knowingly — a finding that could make them each liable for penalties of $100 per violation.

Comments | More in General news, Government, The Blotter | Topics: legal marijuana; Washington State Liquor Control Board

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