Pubdate: Fri, 13 May 2016
Source: Bulletin, The (Bend, OR)
Copyright: 2016 Western Communications Inc.


The Deschutes County Commission has agreed to repeal the ban 
prohibiting recreational and medical marijuana businesses from 
operating in unincorporated parts of the county.

It hasn't been an easy decision for the commissioners. It shouldn't 
be an easy decision given the complexities involved. But it was the 
right decision.

The commissioners put the ban in place after becoming concerned about 
having adequate rules in place to regulate the crop. It was a 
temporary opt-out of the state rules allowing marijuana businesses. 
It did not stop medical marijuana grows or recreational use of pot.

Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2014 with the 
passage of Measure 91. Remember voters in Deschutes County did 
support Measure 91. And voters in the unincorporated areas - outside 
the cities - did as well. But the state correctly gave counties 
options in how to regulate marijuana businesses.

Marijuana businesses in rural parts of the county have caused 
concerns. New greenhouses and fences have gone up. Pot plants are 
flowering. People are worried about property values, noise, traffic, 
smell, crime and more.

We know pot is a different sort of crop. It's not like growing hay. 
It's not like raising cattle. It remains illegal under federal law. 
It's used as a drug.

Deschutes commissioners, though, have taken their time to craft 
appropriate regulations for a legal business. They listened to 
testimony. Reasonable regulations - no matter how carefully they are 
written - won't erase everyone's concerns.

The regulations should enable Oregonians to have appropriate access 
to a legal source of pot, enable a new industry to be born and 
minimize conflicts. There is insufficient reason to justify banning 
the industry.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom