Mid-October Message from Kevin

As a fellow voter I know many of us are not sure about all the measures and candidates on the ballot that we just received in our mail boxes. We all need to vote and encourage our family, friends and neighbors to vote as well.

There are three measures on your ballot that I want to ensure you are well informed of prior to voting. Below is an article by Commissioner Sam Brentano, explaining these measures from the perspective of your Commissioners. Before you vote, I would urge you to take the time to read this and know that your Commissioners are committed to providing a safe and healthy county for all residents. This vote provides the residents of Marion County the opportunity to either confirm their 2014 vote to not allow recreational marijuana or change direction.

Marijuana issues referred to November ballot
By Commissioner Sam Brentano

Measure 91, Oregon’s recreational marijuana initiative, was approved by Oregon voters in November 2014. A lot has happened since that time. The Oregon Legislature, Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and other state agencies have been working through how this new program will be administered.

While Measure 91 passed statewide, in Marion County the recreational marijuana initiative failed by 51.56 percent. State law allows the county to put to a vote the future expansion of recreational marijuana businesses outside of city limits. My fellow commissioners and I recently referred three measures related to marijuana to the November ballot.

My goal is not to convince you to vote one way or the another, rather to make sure county residents are informed about what they will see on the ballot. Although all voters in Marion County will have the opportunity to weigh in on this issue, the outcome will only affect the unincorporated areas of the county outside of city limits.

Voters will determine:

• Whether to allow the establishment of medical marijuana processing sites and dispensaries in unincorporated Marion County. This measure will not affect medical marijuana grow sites or existing permitted dispensaries.
• Whether to allow the establishment of recreational marijuana businesses including retailers, producers, processors, or wholesalers in unincorporated Marion County.
• Whether to establish a three percent local tax if the voters allow recreational marijuana businesses.

None of these measures encroach on an individual’s right to possess, grow or use marijuana under Measure 91. Again, these measures affect only the unincorporated areas of the county and do not affect the authority of incorporated cities to allow recreational marijuana businesses.

As a county, we are exploring provisions for either outcome.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments for either me or Commissioner Brentano we can be reached at 503.588.5212 or by email at commissioners@co.marion.or.us.