By Associated Press • 

Growing number of cities, counties ban pot

 

SALEM — At least a dozen Oregon cities and counties have taken steps to ban marijuana businesses from their boundaries as the state prepares to begin retail sales in October.

Four counties and eight cities have informed the Oregon Liquor Control Commission that they plan to ban marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers. In some jurisdictions, the ban must go before voters.

Oregon lawmakers gave local governments the ability to keep out marijuana businesses, which were authorized by voters under last year's Measure 91. In counties where at least 60 percent of voters opposed the measure, local governments can ban the marijuana businesses outright; elsewhere, a ban is temporary until voters weigh in.

Even in jurisdictions that opt out, adults can still grow and use marijuana subject to the same limits that apply in the rest of the state. But if they want to buy the drug from a retail store, they'll have to travel to somewhere that allows them.

The strongest opposition so far has come from far-eastern Oregon, where Malheur County and three of its five incorporated cities have adopted bans.

“I think some of our problem here really is our proximity to Idaho, where it's totally illegal,” said Larry Wilson, a Malheur County commissioner. “We even had testimony from police agencies on the other side of the river asking us to please opt out, or restrict it as much as we can, because that's a problem with people going back and forth across the river.”

Elsewhere, Douglas County opted out of allowing marijuana businesses, but its largest city, Roseburg, voted to allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to sell pot to recreational users.

The cities that have notified the Oregon Liquor Control Commission that they're opting out are: Ontario, Vale, Nyssa, Brownsville, Sandy, Island City, Sutherlin and Junction City. The counties are Douglas, Umatilla, Harney and Malheur.

Other city councils or county commissions may have voted to ban pot businesses but haven't formally notified the commission.

State law gives local governments until Dec. 27 to adopt a ban, said Mark Pettinger, a spokesman for the commission.

Marijuana possession and use became legal on July 1, but the state won't be ready to begin regulated sales until next year. As a temporary stop-gap, medical dispensaries are allowed to begin selling the drug in some forms on Oct. 1.

Comments

Mudstump

It is my understanding that cities and counties cannot ban medical marijuana dispensaries so, I assume that the article is talking about retail sales only? Also, if those jurisdictions opt out and ban retail sales will they forfeit any tax revenue collected from state-wide marijuana sales?

sbagwell

The answers are yes and yes. Counties where the vote on Measure 91 ran at least 60 percent no can ban recreational marijuana, but not medical marijuana, as can the cities lying within their boundaries, subject to voter ratification in the general election of November 2016. If they do, then they forfeit their share of the bite the OLCC will be exacting, along with the right to exact an additional local bite of up to 3 percent.
Steve

scooter

Steve,

What was YC numbers on measure 91? Were we more then 60% NO?

scooter

From what i found on http://gov.oregonlive.com/election/2014/general/maps/ i looks like YC was 258 votes away from a "yes" mark on Measure 91.

Thus bringing YC almost 3500 votes short of the needed for our county seats be able to strong arm refer madness upon everyone in favor of rec use....unless i am reading senate bill 3400 & Bill 460 incorrect

The only thing i see is 460 has a sunset and doesn't specifically state the 60% that 3400 does, is 460 independent of 3400 or is it piggybacking?

Mudstump

Thanks sbagwell. I would imagine that in those counties and cities that adopt a ban the voters will have to decide if the loss of tax revenue is something they are willing to do without. I read that it is estimated that Oregon could generate anywhere from 17 - 40 million in recreational marijuana taxes and another site projected from 50 million to almost 100 million. Who knows what the end number will be in the end, but once voters are presented with the numbers I doubt many will vote to ban.

Rotwang

Watch closely, or the Mac city council will sneak in another one under the radar.

kona

Wouldn't that be great if they did.

Trafik

Yamhill County Commissioners announce ban on marijuana

MCMINNVILLE -- Yamhill County commissioners announced a county-wide ban on sales of recreational marijuana today, following a contentious debate. Yamhill County Commissioner Mary Starrett announced the ban, stating her belief that the questionable morals of the Portland metro area were already encroaching on the pristine lands of the Yamhill Valley. “The only Mary Jane in my compound is me,” said Starrett, in an apparent reference to both the newly-legal drug and her Parrett Mountain residence.

Starrett said the fact that marijuana is accepted in Portland is reason enough for Yamhill County residents to reject it. “They ride their bikes naked up there,” she said. “That’s totally unsanitary.” She said the Portland City Council should focus on real issues like fighting Obamacare and arming the population.

Commissioner Starrett used the ban announcement to introduce her new political action committee, Marijuana Outlawed for Oregonians (MOFO). “MOFO will fight to keep this dangerous drug out of the hands of all the hippies at the farmers’ market,” said Starrett. “And it will help prevent the people at the brown bag concerts from wearing that ugly hemp clothing they seem to like,” she said.

The ban will only affect recreational marijuana. “They call it ‘medicine’ in Portland,” Starrett said, noting that marijuana will remain available for people with physicians’ prescriptions. “MOFO is working on that, too.”

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