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Letters 4/27-5/4


Commissioners Should Opt Out on Recreational Marijuana

In 2014 the Oregon voting public approved Measure 91 legalizing recreational marijuana. Deschutes County voted 51.6 percent yes (rural County 54.1 percent No and City of Bend 57.4 percent Yes). The marijuana industry spent $5.4 million to convince the voters they were voting to decriminalize marijuana and allowing an individual to grow four plants. The industry's intent was to allow large industrial marijuana facilities to be built in Deschutes County rural residential neighborhoods that voted against Measure 91. 

The Oregon Legislature recognized that Measure 91 was about legalization of marijuana only. Subsequently they passed HB3400 allowing elected officials to give a better informed voting public the opportunity to reconsider recreational marijuana by "Opting Out" which would grant Deschutes County time to develop restrictions for both medical and recreational marijuana and send the question to a vote in November 2016. 

On December 21, 2015, the County Commissioners temporarily Opted Out fearing a law suit by the marijuana industry if the restrictions they developed did not support the industry. The Commissioners stated that they intended to Opt In on March 21, 2016, and have a Marijuana Advisory Committee they formed make recommendations on land use restrictions.

Now the County Commissioners face the decision:  Do they send the question of recreational marijuana to better informed voters in November by making the Opt Out permanent, or do they Opt In and disenfranchise the voters they represent. The County Commissioners should support the residents who elected them by opting out and let the voters decide.

~Sam Davis Marijuana Advisory Committee member

Protecting Nature and Native Creatures

Wilderness and public lands were never meant to become de facto carnivals for thrill-seekers and egocentric maniacs. They were envisioned and set aside primarily to preserve water, air and aesthetic quality for protection and well-being of the native species that are dependent on our wise and diligent stewardship. They are unable to defend these lands for themselves. What chance do the plants and creatures of our public lands stand against the increasing assault and mayhem proposed and practiced on most public lands?

Even though the government has set aside some public lands for recreationists, it has been proved beyond a doubt that as soon as additional public land is made available, devastating invasive species are spread faster and more widely by these many negligent, ill-informed "wreck-creationists" who are never satisfied with what they are allowed to destroy, but are daily assaulting the last remaining bastions of Nature and tranquility in the West. When these last natural lands and native creatures are gone they may well be lost forever.  

Do your part to help save our remaining public lands from this seemingly inevitable greed and destruction.  

~Bill Friday

Opt In: County Commissioners Encourage Black Market

As a third generation resident of Deschutes County, I am disappointed in the Commissioners' encouragement of a black market industry through a moratorium that prohibits legal, safe, regulated and tested cannabis cultivation. They vote on the opt out May 4. [A public hearing will be held May 2, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. in in the Barnes and Sawyers Rooms of the Deschutes Services Building, 1300 NW Wall St., Bend.]

~Tim Caine

Opt Out and Let the Voters Decide in November

I urge people in Deschutes County who care about keeping the rural character of the county intact to write to their County Commissioners this week before their May 2 hearing. I'm sure many have noticed the plethora of new greenhouses popping up around the area. They aren't there to grow tomatoes! 

They are now -or soon will be- growing marijuana. This new industry is taking over our farmland (and sometimes horse arenas) and turning them into large grow operations that require new electrical lines, ruin the night skies, use unmetered wells without water rights and block our mountain views. Many of these operations are financed by out of state investors who care little for the existing rural residents of this county.  

There are already over 1,700 marijuana grow sites in Deschutes County alone. There is currently enough pot production in this state to supply Oregon many times over with all the medical and recreational and marijuana use for the next several years. Why do we need any more? 

Let any increased production be grown in other counties in the state or, like in Colorado, in industrial areas, within this county where it can have the security it requires, sounds and odors can be controlled, lighting won't ruin the nighttime view of the stars for everyone else and we can retain the rural character of this beautiful county.

Encourage the Board of County Commissioners to continue their Opt Out and let the voters decide in November whether to allow any further pot production in Deschutes County.  

(Don't worry- everyone will continue to retain their right to personally grow, purchase and consume marijuana in all its forms in any case).

~Jim Petsche

Opt Out in Rural Deschutes County

The County Commissioners will soon rule on setting land use regulations for recreational marijuana. This fools' gold rush new industry allowing recreational grow operations does not belong in rural Deschutes County where quiet nights, dark skies, and friendly neighbors are what helps to make Bend such a great place to live. Oregon is the most beautiful state in the Union, and Deschutes County is the most beautiful county in the state.

The Commissioners must serve the community and vote to preserve our native beauty and deny this industry on farmland. The electrical grid cannot handle the loads, the water use issues will only continue to escalate in the future, and the increase in law enforcement costs will be borne by the citizens of this county. Makes no sense.  

~Dan Harrison

Water for Dogs on Pilot Butte

I wanted to write a gentle reminder to all of the hikers who take their dogs with them up Pilot Butte.

As of today, (4/19) there is still no water coming out of the water fountain at the top. (And when it is running, it tastes terrible.)

Please be kind to your animals and remember to bring water with you for them to drink. It gets awfully hot up there. 

Also, on these warm days it should go without saying to consider leaving your dog at home rather than making them wait in a hot car while you're out running errands.  

~Erin Bartels

Erin – Thank you for your letter. It's a very good reminder as the season gets warmer that there is not always water for dogs at the top of Pilot Butte. It's best to think ahead and carry water for the dogs when bringing them hiking. Please have a cup of coffee on us; pick up your Palate gift card at the Source Weekly office.

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