Once upon a time, Oregon let cities ban sales of alcohol. In 2002, Monmouth stopped being Oregon’s last dry city, and the state later ended the local option.
So if the state plans to treat marijuana like alcohol, as Oregon’s voters seem to wish, the precedent is clear. As an Oregonian, you have the right to buy marijuana in whatever city you live.
This isn’t just a matter of cannabis consumer rights. It’s a matter of our all being Oregonians together.
The state has great expectations for the new marijuana tax revenue. It plans to spend its new money on things to benefit the entire state, maybe even some more state police. Cities should not be able to excuse themselves from the process.
We don’t yet know how the Oregon marijuana market is going to work; we have not yet heard from the legislature’s marijuana joint committee – and yes, that is technically what you’d call a legislative committee with members from both the senate and the house.
It’s not as if we’re going to have a state sinsemilla superstore in every city. But whatever the final arrangements are, we can’t have cities opting out of state policy.
And remember: Monmouth has survived, even if the city now lets you buy a six-pack.
NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 5/31/15.