Portland’s Marijuana Enforcement Goes Too Far
Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), which regulates local marijuana businesses, has greatly exceeded the scope of what is needed by investigating events that allow adults to utilize cannabis. When over 56% of Oregonians voted for Measure 91, legalizing cannabis in the state, with overwhelming support from the Portland-area, we don’t believe voters intended for the City of Portland to have enforcement officers investigating peaceful events where cannabis was consumed by adults. From The Oregonian:
Three recent large-scale marijuana-themed events are under investigation by Portland officials who say such gatherings may violate clean air rules and other regulations prohibiting public pot consumption and sale.
Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, which oversees the city’s marijuana policy, has ramped up pot-related enforcement efforts with the addition of four compliance officers since March, Victor Salinas, the city’s marijuana policy coordinator, said Friday.
He said compliance officials, whose salaries are covered by city marijuana licensing fees, are keeping tabs on upcoming events that may violate the rules. Organizers or promoters of the events or owners of the property where they are held may face fines, he said. The city may fine violators as much as $5,000, he said.
The investigation of these events by the city follow on the heels of licensing fees that far exceed the fees of local liquor licenses and a permitting process that has been an expensive burden placed upon small business owners. Localities are allowed to make reasonable regulations on marijuana businesses, but it appears that Portland has gone above and beyond reasonable. We hope that ONI can be convinced to roll back some of these unnecessary regulations. If not, we will have to take the political battle to the city council and potentially the voters of Portland.
Portland’s Marijuana Policy Oversight Team meets every other month at Portland City Hall from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month, please make your voices heard.
• June 22, 2016
• Aug. 24, 2016
• Oct. 26, 2016
• Dec. XX, 2016 (TBD)
• Jan. 25, 2017