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Local Roundup for Oregon Cannabis October 19, 2015

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Every week, we are trying to keep our membership up-to-date on what is happening around the state with local bans and regulation.

First: Exciting News!  We are also getting ready to kick off a new Portland NORML Legislative Committee, chaired by Leland Berger, to advocate for consumers both locally and at the state level. Come to our meeting this Saturday, October 24th at noon at the Analog Cafe and Theater to learn more about this exciting new opportunity to get involved!  A great opportunity to get your voice heard and represented in the ongoing dialogue surrounding marijuana law reform!

Lee has been a marijuana advocate for decades and was doing so before I was even born.  He has a long history of defending those charged with crimes and has been involved in nearly every bit of legislation that has been passed regarding marijuana law reform.  Lee proposed this idea to us this last week – and we LOVE it and LOVE that he is willing to get it going! Here is a quick summary of what this Legislative Committee will be about, from Leland Berger:

The point of legalizing marijuana is not to create a regulated market.  The point of creating a legalized market is to create a portal through which legalization becomes possible, and, through lawful commerce, to normalize consuming and consumers and end cannabigotry.

I often feel like I am alone in advocating for us consumers at legislative and rulemaking hearings, or in the more important meetings with legislators and bureaucrats. I can’t do it alone, and we need to unite to make the necessary changes a part of the law.

Portland NORML has agreed to create a Legislative Committee to advance a consumer’s agenda, both here in Portland, and statewide in Salem.  I’ll be at Portland NORML’s meeting this Saturday to discuss this further and hope to see you there.

We are looking forward to the evolution of this new Legislative Committee, where Portland NORML can be represented formally locally and at the state level.  Thank you Lee!

Here is this week’s local roundup:

Union County: Jack Howard, Union County Commissioner, reported back to me this past week that Union County has proposed a ban of all marijuana licensed activity.  Jack was the sole voice of opposition; the other two commissioners are supporting the ban.  While the ban hasn’t yet passed, it is expected to.  At least one of the Commissioners supported the ban because he believes that the OLCC hasn’t yet finished their rules, according to the La Grande Observer (although the OLCC released the temporary rules last week, updated on October 16, with the expectation that they will go into effect with only minor changes).  I shared some information with Jack to assist his efforts, but if you are in Union County, he could sure use some local voices reaching out to his fellow Commissioners to sway them to oppose any bans!

Chiloquin:  The Chiloquin City Council voted to allow medical marijuana dispensaries and expect to vote on recreational stores in the near future, according to the Herald News.  Currently, there is only one area where they will be allowed, but other areas may become available in the future due to changes in state law and local development.

North Bend:  According to The World, North Bend voted on Tuesday to rescind the taxes they previously implemented on both medical and recreational marijuana, but deadlocked over banning recreational sales. The council may reconsider banning recreational sales if there are public concerns raised by the community, but for now, recreational sales will remain a legal option.

Marion County: The Marion County Board of Commissioners passed two ordinances that will be on the ballot in 2016, according to the Statesman Journal.  The first ordinance will ban commercial marijuana operations in unincorporated Marion County; the second ordinance will implement a 3% tax if voters oppose the first.  Existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be grandfathered in and will not be affected by the proposed ordinances.

Eagle Point: The City Council in Eagle Point voted unanimously to refer a proposed ban to voters in the 2016 Election, according to the Oregonian.  They are also asking voters to decide whether or not to implement a 3% tax on marijuana sales.

Albany: The Albany City Council remains divided over the issue of marijuana, according to the Albany Democrat Herald.  Although they initially planned to vote on the issue last Wednesday, the large turnout for comments and the continuing divide among the Councilors postponed a vote.  Currently, they anticipate taking up the issue again at the next meeting on Monday, November 2 where they will have receive information from two of the Councilors to help inform the Council on how to proceed.

Portland: Portland City Councilor, Dan Saltzman, fought for a “green light district” for the city of Portland in the downtown and Lloyd Center areas, where marijuana stores would be allowed to be closer than 1000 feet to encourage more of the businesses to operate downtown and attract tourists, according to Willamette Week.  However, the council voted the idea down, according to KGW.  Mayor Charlie Hales said that the idea could be addressed again at a later time.

The OLCC has updated the list of banned counties and cities.  Those currently listed with the OLCC include:

Immediate bans
(>55% voted No on M91)
Moratorium with voter referral for ban
(<55% voted No on M91)

Counties:

Baker County

Crook County

Harney County

Klamath County

Malheur County

Morrow County

Umatilla County

Wheeler County

Cities:

Adrian

Baker City

Burns

Canyon City

Dayville

Elgin

Ione

Island City

John Day

Jordan Valley

Klamath Falls

Nyssa

Ontario

Richland

Umatilla

Vale

Counties:

Douglas County

Marion County

Cities:

Brownsville

Coburg

Creswell

Fairview

Grants Pass

Junction City

Lebanon

Manzanita

Myrtle Point

Sandy

Shaniko

Sutherlin

Sweet Home

 

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