We've seen the robberies here in the Yakima Valley. Suspects robbing retail Marijuana stores, some at gunpoint. So could more prison time discourage pot store robberies in Washington State? State Senator Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside says yes.

Senator Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside is sponsor of Senate Bill 5927

He's the sponsor of Senate Bill 5927 which would add a year to the prison sentence of someone convicted of first- or second-degree robbery of a cannabis retail outlet. That's the current scenerio that applies when people are convicted of the robbery of pharmacy but now Honeyford wants suspects to face extra time in prison when they rob a retail marijuana store. The extended sentence would be applied to robberies of cannabis retailers when the crime is planned and carried out by two or more people.

Honeyford says pot shops are attractive because of the cash

“When people would ask the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton why he robbed banks, Sutton simply replied, ‘Because that's where the money is.’ Well, that’s why people rob marijuana retailers,” says Honeyford. “Due to federal banking rules, these businesses are almost entirely cash-only operations, making them a target for robberies and a magnet for criminals."

More than 30 robberies have been reported in the state

The Sunnyside republican says the number of robberies of cannabis stores is on the rise, and this bill would make improvements for not just the benefit of the retailers themselves, but for the public safety of the community as well.  A press release from Honeyford says "speaking to news media, Tom Bout, founder of the Cannabis Professionals Network, counted more than 30 cannabis-shop robberies in Washington just since November 2021. He noted that several of them have been armed robberies."
SB 5927 now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.

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