By Jake Thomas The Inlander

Evan Verduin is running for Spokane City Council against incumbent Councilwoman Karen Stratton. He wants the council to get back to legislating on basic municipal services and avoid social issues that he says are needlessly divisive. Backed by Mayor David Condon, he says he’ll be independent and will bring a business perspective to the council, which he and Condon both say is needed. 

But what does he think about weed? The Inlander asked.

Inlander: What did you think about 502 when that was being considered?
Verduin: Honestly, I just let the voters decide. So, with my experience with pot, I've seen friends that have used it. Through college I was exposed to it in my fraternity at U-Dub (University of Washington). I'm still not 100 percent convinced that it doesn't lead to other types of drug use. I've had two friends who started out smoking pot and then went into prescription painkillers. Now, that it's legal, obviously some numbers came out recently showing a lot sales in the state, and maybe that revenue could be put to good use, but there should be some education on the topic. I personally would never use it.

Have you ever used it?
I have. In college.

When was the last time you used it?
Probably freshman year in college. Just being honest. Honestly, there’s probably three times I can think of in my life I’ve used it.

Was 502 a good idea or a bad idea?
[Pauses] 502 was an initiative. Again, the initiative process should run its course and the voters approved it. So I support it because the voters approved it. If it was a City Council item, I would probably be hesitant to approve it. Like, let’s say the question was, can we legalize it in the city of Spokane? I probably wouldn’t have jumped on board as a council member. But it's there, and people do it.

In other news, the big story last week was the Kettle Falls Five were sentenced.

The Spokesman-Review reports that "[federal Judge Thomas Rice gave] Rolland Gregg to 2 years and 9 months in prison. He gave Gregg’s wife, Michelle, and his mother, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 1 year and 1 day in federal custody. All will remain out of prison pending an appeal, a notice of which will be filed in the next two weeks, said lead defense attorney Phil Telfeyan."

Larry Harvey, the family’s patriarch, had his charges dismissed due to a terminal cancer diagnosis. He later died. Jason Zucker took a plea deal before trial and was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.

“Jail time for the Kettle Falls defendants is an embarrassment to the judicial system,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of the pro-medical marijuana group Americans for Safe Access, in a prepared statement. “We’re calling on President Obama to pardon all three defendants immediately.”

Marijuana is "infinitely worse" worse than tobacco says Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,

Don’t call the cops to tell them you’re too high.

Support for legalizing marijuana in Texas is gaining traction.

Spokane Valley has put a moratorium on all new marijuana businesses.