Considering the possible action at the legislature, Albany’s city council was wise this week in stepping back from its attempt to outlaw all marijuana, medical and otherwise, from within the city limits. Things may be happening in Salem, and it makes a lot of sense for any city to await the outcome before jumping into the various controversies about pot.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on two marijuana bills Tuesday and scheduled possible action on them this morning (Feb.12).
One of the bills is SB 1531, sought by Oregon counties and cities. It would give them the power to ban medical marijuana stores even though the legislature in 2013 authorized them.
The bill is opposed by, among others, the American Civil Liberties Union, which says the state has pre-empted the field of marijuana legislation and that’s how it should stay. On the other side, Police Chief Tim George of Medford submitted testimony in favor of the bill on the grounds of community safety. His statement suggested that Sourthern Oregon was awash in marijuana and this was causing many problems.
Also on this morning’s agenda for committee action was SB 1556, which would legalize marijuana use by adults subject to voter approval in the next general election. It would also direct the legislature to devise a system of marijuana regulation and taxation.
Depending on how things do with these measures, city or county action now would be either premature or pointless. So it’s best to wait and see. (hh)
The Senate Judiciary Committee did not act on the marijuana bills on Wednesday morning but instead carried them over until Thursday, when the committee again plans to meet at 8 a.m. Chairman Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said the panel may also meet later in the day on Thursday. (hh)