Pubdate: Fri, 22 Jan 2016
Source: Mail Tribune, The (Medford, OR)
Copyright: 2016 The Mail Tribune
Note: Only prints LTEs from within it's circulation area, 200 word count limit
Author: Damian Mann


The Medford City Council voted Thursday to send a potential ban on 
outdoor and indoor marijuana grows to voters in November.

In addition, voters will be asked whether they want to allow sales of 
recreational marijuana in the city limits and whether they want a 3 
percent tax on those sales.

Voters will decide four different ballot measures related to pot, 
which could cause some confusion.

"That question was raised," Councilor Michael Zarosinski said.

But the council thought it better to put the measure on the November 
election in a presidential election year when voter turnout is 
typically the highest, Zarosinski said.

In November 2014, almost 50 percent of Medford voters approved Ballot 
Measure 91, which legalized recreational use of marijuana for anyone 
21 or older and allowed for the personal cultivation of four plants. 
Measure 91 was approved statewide by voters.

Last November, the council received considerable criticism when it 
considered a ban on pot grows.

The council decided it would put the indoor and outdoor ban question 
on the ballot, but it hadn't determined a date until Thursday's vote.

Councilor Clay Bearnson was the only no vote.

"I questioned the legality of the ban," Bearnson said.

He also said enforcing a ban would be a strain on city staff.

But Bearnson said he thought November would be the best time to put 
the issue before voters.

Councilor Kevin Stine said he thought the ballot titles would be 
pretty clear, and voters shouldn't become confused.

He said the high turnout in a presidential election year will provide 
a fair representation of the sentiment among Medford voters on the 
various marijuana issues before them.

Stine said he prefers a ballot measure on these issues rather than 
the council making the decisions.

"We're going to allow the voters to vote," he said. "This is an issue 
that's not going to go away."

In other business, the council voted unanimously to repeal a series 
of taxes on cannabis production and sales that were enacted Oct. 30, 
2014. House Bill 3400, which was a legislative fix for provisions of 
Measure 91, precluded local jurisdictions from enacting taxes any 
higher than 3 percent.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom