By Dave Mason – February 24, 2018 –
As a candidate for the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors, I will re-state my position on Prop 64. It won’t be a surprise to anyone that has been following me on Facebook, or that heard my comments at the Cannabis Work Group meetings.
I believe that elected officials should follow the will of the voters and the intent of the law. My research showed that Prop 64 passed in all five districts by 60 to 65%. In my conversations with people that voted for Prop 64, the consensus was essentially: maintain the status quo. In other words, they didn’t want a massive expansion, but did want reasonable restrictions so that Prop 64 could be implemented without causing detriment to the community, neighbor disputes, or degrade the aesthetics of the Community. Most of the people that I talked to saw Prop 64 as a way to legalize what was already being done, AND a way to tax the sales of Cannabis. I fully support those goals/guidelines as the process continues to create and enact legislation consistent with the requirements of Prop 64.
My specific suggestions include:
Think of it like alcohol at the end of prohibition; there are many similarities.
The six plants per residence for personal use, needs reasonable restrictions to prevent it from becoming a nuisance to the neighbors, or degrading the quality of the housing stock. Things like setbacks based on the size of the canopy, secured areas consistent with the State regulations, etc.
Dispensaries and retail outlets, should be treated like Bars/liquor stores, with setbacks from schools, residential uses, and limits on the quantity of stores per population in the census tracts, etc.
The common complaints about cannabis in Oregon are the number of tall fences lining the Hwy 199 corridor. Commercial grows probably need to be farther from the main traffic corridors.
Much has been said about Prop 64 bringing in money to the County. There is a limit however, as the State takes a big bite up front. If the County overtaxes the product, people will continue to go to Oregon to buy it. Local taxes and fees must be fair and reasonable.
Just to be perfectly clear, I am not in favor of recreational use; but I recognize that people are going to do it anyway. I am not in favor of recreational alcohol use either, but people will do what they will. It is better to have reasonable regulations that help people use their particular vice in a way that lessens the impacts on others. The prior regulations were confusing and unenforceable, they clogged the courts and consumed way too much staff time of the enforcement agencies–just like prohibition of alcohol.
Regardless of my personal views on intoxicants, it is time for some common sense regarding Cannabis.