Harm of marijuana dispensaries outweighs potential benefits

I believe it’s important to communicate with truth and clarity about issues that impact public safety, even when in hotly debated circles.

Two documents have been published this month that affect medical marijuana dispensaries in our county. On Jan. 15, Oregon adopted temporary rules for the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program in Oregon. In addition, the Washington County Law Enforcement Council published a formal position statement on marijuana dispensaries. This council is comprised of the city police chiefs; myself, as your sheriff; and the district attorney of Washington County.

Further, as the Law Enforcement Council’s position statement conveys, I believe marijuana dispensaries are contrary to a safe, secure and healthy community. It’s not hard to imagine that increased availability will bring increased use, particularly among youth. The harms outweigh any possible benefits. Therefore, I support both of these efforts.

At a minimum, it is reasonable that local governments — state and county — should choose whether to permit marijuana dealers in their communities and, if authorized, establish business rules regarding their operations. The Oregon Legislative Counsel’s office recently concluded that past legislation (HB 3460) blocks most municipal laws on medical marijuana facilities.

For these reasons, I support Senate Bill 1531 this legislative session, which seeks to clarify that local governments may regulate medical marijuana establishments.

I urge you to review SB 1531 and to contact your legislators to share your views.

I’m proud law enforcement leaders in Washington County can join in one voice on this important issue.

Pat Garrett

Sheriff of Washington County

Hillsboro resident blasts condition of neighboring county’s roads

The road conditions around Yamhill County really suck. Maintenance on the gravel roads is very near a Third World experience, except it’s not dirt but mud. The county sends a grader through once in a great while, and the road looks nice for about half a day at best. Then it goes into a condition that was worse than before the grader.

It’s a mud slurry. You wash your car and drive down the hill and you can’t make out what color it is. We ask for gravel and the county sends up one truckload and calls it good. Not good. It’s lousy maintenance.

Other people must be complaining too, or maybe I’m just a complainer, or maybe other people are afraid to complain.

People need to speak when the government doesn’t do its job.

Ted Johnson


Isn’t the Chamber of Commerce supposed to support small businesses?

At the Hillsboro Planning Commission meeting Feb. 12, I about fell out of my chair when a representative of the Greater Hillsboro Area Chamber of Commerce got up and about gave the city of Hillsboro away to WalMart. I thought the chamber was for small businesses.

Most of you people have computers. Just type in the effect of WalMart on small businesses and read the article from Maggie Wood. Very interesting.

I think the chamber should rethink what was said, and apologize to the small businesses in Hillsboro for their thinking on this subject.

Joe Kosmalski


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