An odd thing is occurring in Oregon. Medical marijuana dispensaries are now legal in the State of Oregon after the passage of HB 3460. Some cities such as Rogue River and Medford have voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries altogether. It sounds like Albany is considering doing the same. What I find odd is that many of these facilities have been operating for multiple years now, with little fanfare, and only after they became legal at the state level are we now seeing such outrage towards them.
That’s not to say that there haven’t been busts, because there have been. And that’s not to say there weren’t opponents before, because there were. However, there were medical marijuana dispensaries in Albany for years now with no problems. It’s only now, since opponents lost in the Legislature and dispensaries are officially legal, that there is this effort to ban them altogether. The battle has moved away from the Legislature and into city halls. Will there be less medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon after they became legal, than there were when they were illegal?
The first municipality I heard of in Oregon banning medical marijuana dispensaries was the City of Rogue River (not sure if it is still in place). It’s a very small town in Southern Oregon. In the absence of state enforcement the City decided to ban dispensaries, which I found interesting considering they were already illegal. The next city I heard of was Medford, which was sad, but really didn’t surprise me. Their law enforcement agencies are some of the biggest anti-marijuana opponents in the state, if not the nation. Now Albany’s City Council is considering it’s options, including an outright ban. Will more cities follow? Only time will tell.
I encourage all of our Oregon readers to contact their city leaders to let them know that you support safe access. Point out to them that these facilities have been operating for quite some time now and it hasn’t led to an increase in crime or problems. Encourage your leaders to pursue worthwhile public policy discussions instead of wasting their time trying to fix something that isn’t broken. Support safe access, not the unregulated black market!