A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Update: Action due on pot bills

Written February 11th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
Marijuana seized by the state police. One pending bill would make weed legal.

Marijuana seized by the state police. One pending bill would make weed legal.

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)

2 responses to “Update: Action due on pot bills”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    And now 18 members of Congress (so far) chime in:


  2. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Apparently an ammendment being added to muddy the waters…

    “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday is expected to vote on an amended bill that now would allow local governments to regulate but not ban medical marijuana dispensaries…It sets the stage for a court battle between medical marijuana retailers and the growing number of local governments that don’t want them.

    ‘It will drive all these cities and counties into court,’ Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, said Wednesday. ”



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