By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
“You can either sell it to a florist, a lavender farm, you can pick it up your equipment real quickly, like you put it down, and and move it to an industrial complex,” explained a woman named “Lillibet,” during her opening remarks at the Deschutes County Commissioners meeting on May 2, 2016.
The woman, apparently quite upset about the prospect of cannabis cultivation in the county, explained that the measure in 2014 had “surreptitious motives when it was voted on.” Showing that “reefer madness” is still alive and well in Oregon, this pissed-off resident of Tumalo went on to refer to Canadian geese, Nazis, Pelican Bay prison, owls, alpacas, enemas, and a lavender farm in her statement!
“This is also single-minded thinking like the ‘Let’s gas the Canadian geese’ [effort], because why? Our kids’ shoes get poop on them,” she explained condescendingly to the Board. “Forget all that logical stuff like water and sky and air pollution; imagine the alpacas, the owls, the horses, all those animals with scenting abilities far greater than humans’.”
“Why the hell would anyone want to move a grow into an area that would piss people off,” Lillibet added. “Do you not get it that Dachau and Auschwitz , that that’s what these places look like… Pelican Bay in Northern California, the security prison, with razor wire, big beam lights, ‘canine’ Corso Dogs to protect the crops.”
“If I were a cartel member, I’d bring my little weapon of whatever kind I had and I would ‘mow their grow.’ Why would I grow it myself?” she explained. “And, if you think that hasn’t been done, you’re wrong.”
It didn’t end there. The irate woman finished that gem-of-a-quote with, “No one gives two hoots if you smoke it, eat it, use it as an enema or stick it in your ear; it’s not about that.” Watch Clip here.
Other less offensive but equally uninformed people testified at the meeting in favor of an Opt-out ordinance that would prevent cannabis production in the county. Currently, Deschutes county has allowed the continued operation of medical grows and licensing of businesses, but they indicated last year they would be visiting the issue again. An advisory committee was employed to develop the rules last year after the county passed a temporary ban on recreational marijuana cultivation.
Another testifying in favor of the Opt-out ban was Jeff Glasberg. He has problems with the current rules, specifically the noise allowance, which allows 50 decibels at the property line.
decibels at the property line is just too loud,” Glasberg testified, explaining that some experts compare the levels to an “urban daytime environment, light traffic, or conversational speech.”
He took measurements himself and registered 46 decibels. He said the current situation is, “Intrusive, over-burdensome, and unrelenting.”
His big mistake came when he tried to employ science in his argument, stating, “Sound travels further at higher altitudes.”
That is simply wrong! In fact, the opposite is true. At high altitude, due to the lower air pressure and fewer molecules, sound waves travel more slowly, and when they arrive, they will actually be fainter, because there are fewer molecules to transmit the sound. Also, in colder air, sound travels more slowly.
Robert Peterson, a resident of rural Deschutes County, is concerned about the energy implications and the need to reduce carbon emissions and protect the planet. He referenced page 21 of the Marijuana Advisory Committee report which states, “Growing Outdoors in this climate is extremely difficult, if not impossible.”
“It makes more sense to grow marijuana in other regions where the temperature is milder and the water is available,” Peterson said further. “We need to unplug [marijuana production].”
But Peterson took the quote, which was verbatim from the County report, completely out of context. Here is what the quote said—in full—and with the preceding sentence to help put it in better context:
“An outright prohibition to farm a crop is unreasonable on its face, because especially on large parcels this would prevent even one plant from being grown at a location outdoors where it might not cause any disturbance to any neighbors. It was also discussed that growing outdoors in this climate is extremely difficult, if not impossible, so the number of situations this would pertain to is very limited.” – Deschutes County Marijuana Advisory Committee Report Dated April 20, 2016
One man testified about how pot can ruin your life, and explained his personal experience of how his life improved when he stopped smoking pot. One woman said she was “extremely allergic” to pot, and another wanted a ban on all medical grows, saying, “[The Board] should not allow grandfathering of existing sites to ensure they also are in compliance of land use ordinances.”
Thankfully, the supportive testimony was plentiful and substantial. There are a lot of good jobs in the area only because of cannabis. As with most areas, the business is booming in Central Oregon.
Christina Hadar, owner of Oregrown dispensary in Bend and a 84-acre farm in Tumalo testified. According to her testimony, they employ over Deschutes county residents. Her story completely contradicted the concentration camp image voiced by Lillibet earlier in the session.
“I have been enjoying a rural life in Tumalo for the past five years,” she explained in her testimony. “My husband and I chose Tumalo because we enjoy country living, including dark night skies, relative silence, and peaceful neighborhood feel of living responsibly among our fellow ranchers and farmers.”
After making a number of excellent arguments for the reasonable regulations, she explained that the rules would benefit the residents who are concerned, providing “Enforceable guidelines that will hinder black market activities and outline controls reducing environmental impact.”
Hadar envisions a reasonable cannabis regulatory structure allowing farmers and small businesses in the county to participate fully in the economic opportunity.
Lela Carter from Bend also spoke, and she blew any “stoner” stereotypes out of the water. She explained to the board, “I am a University of California Berkeley graduate, a mother of three, a successful entrepreneur, a philanthropist and a responsible and respected member of the community and I do not support this opt-out.”
“I am in favor of responsible rules and regulations that will provide job opportunities, money for our schools, our county, and the people of this community,” she explained in a reasonable tone and manner. Most of the people against the opt-out proposal presented very compelling arguments against the fear and canna-bigotry of the those favoring it.
“Stoner, criminal, lack of morality, unintelligent, money-hungry, uncaring… are these some of the adjectives that are used to describe those who want to be a part of this cannabis community? My experience is the complete opposite,” she explained to the Commissioners. “Highly intelligent; the highest sense of morality; overly concerned with the perception of the public; held to a higher standard than most businesses; and more than willing to abide by these standards.”
Brian Jones, a local business owner, thinks the opt-out will cost jobs.
“These are living wage jobs,” said Jones. “Potentially lifelong careers, and will come with all of the perks and benefits of any other industry. It is clear that if the committee chooses to opt out, then it is opting out on jobs.”
The County Commissioners will be deliberating over the issue for the next week, but do not have plans to make an immediate decision.
For the video with the statements above, go here (Part 1: May 2nd) For all the Commission videos, visit http://www.deschutes.org/bcc/page/board-meeting-videos:
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