By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

High turnout expected at pot panel

Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree, County Commissioner Mary Stern and Dayton City Councilor Annette Frank will participate in the forum moderated by Compassionate Oregon Director and lobbyist Anthony Taylor.

The forum is being organized by Compassionate Oregon, a political action committee advocating for the rights of medical marijuana patients.

Crabtree is one of two panelists served on the state’s Rules Advisory Committee for House Bill 3460, which legalized medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon.

Panelists are expected to make statements on how the new law could impact their individual offices and jurisdictions as well as speaking to the potential impact on the economy and public safety.

Then, the moderator will ask panelists specific questions before opening the forum to questions from audience members.

The Oregon Health Authority plans to begin accepting applications for dispensaries on March 3. Multiple Yamhill County residents have already approached local boards to discuss plans to open local dispensaries.

Crabtree served on the 13-member committee established under the marijuana dispensary bill and said he was frustrated by the experience.

“When I was asked to serve on that panel, I thought it was a good opportunity to fix some things, but 3460 was already signed into law by the governor, so my concerns about it were moot points. We weren’t there to discuss the law, and the law is not good. There are way too many flaws in that law,” Crabtree said.

Crabtree said one of those flaws is Gov. John Kitzhaber calling for “extraordinary vigorous enforcement” of the new dispensaries, but the law allocates only $400,000 a year, enough to cover two office workers and two field inspectors for the whole state.

“Right there is a critical error in my opinion,” he said. “That is an absolute setup for failure. That was one of the many, many examples of frustrations I had. We came up with concerns to take back to the legislature for them to change the law.” But, he added, the February session is shorter and with everything else on the table, legislators are unlikely to take up these issues before the law goes into effect in March.

Though a high turnout is expected, Crabtree said he thinks most of those in attendance to be in support of medical marijuana dispensaries.

He said with all the testimony taken by the Rules Advisory Committee, none was in opposition. Crabtree said he thought that was because those who are against it don’t realize what exactly is happening, or how quickly it will happen.

Frank, another panelist and Compassionate Oregon boardmember, said the forum was designed to allow people to ask questions, vet concerns and to know what to expect from the new law.



It seems after last nights city council meeting, The council members feel they are more qualified to think for Oregonians then the senate, the house or the governor. They are going to ban marijuana dispensaries in McMinnville. They would of done it last night but from my point of view, they are giving a perfunctory public hearing in the interest who knows what. It was obvious that their minds were made up.
I can handle my own child. I don't need you to do it for me. It's pompous and a arrogant of any municipality to put up road blocks for cannabis users. The people in McMinnville and surrounding areas have paid money to the state to secure their right to use cannabis. Take care of the library and the streets and sewers. Don't regulate the morals of human beings. Your know better than anyone I know. Or me for that matter. We are not second class citizens. It's discrimination at this point. That's right, you are discriminating!
Maybe the council will just try and ordinance them out of the area by putting an extra 1000' around any park in McMinnville. Keeping them in the shadows instead of in the light where there is safe access. There are empty buildings with for rent sings all over town. money being lost because of what.
I see all kinds of people and talk to them about cannabis. They alleviate symptoms that range from a whole gamete of reasons. I will tell the gal with her cancer that comes to seek relief that, when she wakes up and is feeling nauseous, that she will need to travel outside the town or even outside the county (depending on what the county does) to get the relief she is looking for. Thanks to her local city council and county commissioners.


Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.

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