A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

City wording would ban pot, period

Written January 19th, 2014 by Hasso Hering
The city council in session: Would they want to prohibit medical marijuana?

The city council in session: Would they want to prohibit medical marijuana?

It sounds as though the city of Albany wants to outlaw not just dispensaries when they become legal next spring but medical marijuana itself. At the behest of four members of the city council, the planning commission on Jan. 27 will consider an amendment to the Albany Development Code, the city’s land use law.
“No parcel of land or structure,” the amendment reads, “may be used for, or in conjunction with, an activity that violates any state or federal law prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, or possession of any controlled substance as that term is defined (in federal law).”

The language is intended to prohibit the opening of any medical marijuana dispensary, which is what the council majority apparently wants even though the legislature has authorized such businesses under very restrictive conditions. But the wording also appears to ban the mere possession — and thus the use — of medical marijuana at home by anybody living anywhere in Albany. Marijuana, after all, medical or otherwise, remains unlawful under federal law.

It’s not likely to happen, but if this language is adopted, the city theoretically could come after any resident or visitor who grows or uses medical marijuana as authorized by state law. So, if a marijuana patient gets crosswise with a neighbor, the neighbor could denounce him with the city’s planning department for violating the development code. I doubt that even the council’s most ardent opponents of medical weed want to go that far. (hh)

(Tune in as I talk about this and other issues with host Jeff McMahon on KGAL’s “Valley Talk” program from 11 a.m. to noon on Tuesday.)

4 responses to “City wording would ban pot, period”

  1. Ray Kopczynski says:

    I personally believe this proposal is simply a very blatant attempt to deny safe access to a legally prescribed medication…the result of which has potential for major costs to the city down the road…

  2. Jim Engel says:

    Even our President, in a rare moment of truth, is reported to have said recently that pot isn’t any worse than booze. JE

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    Why should we respect ANY city ordinance if the “City” refuses to respect STATE LAW?
    We may not agree with certain laws, but that doesn’t mean we get to pick & choose the ones that apply to us.

  4. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Bill –
    Exactly what “STATE LAW” is the “City” refusing to respect??


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