Medical marijuana decisions coming soon

County Commission, City of Cascade Locks to consider moratoriums

Local governments will be voting in the next couple weeks on whether to adopt ordinances that would place up to one-year moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries that are now legally allowed to operate in the state of Oregon.

The Hood River County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing during its regular meeting Monday, April 21, at 6 p.m. to consider whether the board should adopt a six-month moratorium that would ban dispensaries from operating in the unincorporated areas of Hood River County. Commissioners chose the six-month ban, in part, because an initiative proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana will likely be on the ballot for the November election, rendering the need for a moratorium moot if the initiative passes. The board plans to deliberate and likely vote on the ordinance after receiving public testimony.

The Cascade Locks City Council will also be voting on an ordinance during its regular meeting Monday, April 28 at 7 p.m. that would place a year-long moratorium on dispensaries within city limits. The city is not holding a de facto public hearing on the matter, but City Administrator Gordon Zimmerman said the public will be allowed to speak about dispensaries or other subjects as they can at every council meeting. The council had the first reading of the ordinance at its meeting on April 14 and Zimmerman said nobody in the audience offered public comment.

The City of Hood River will not be moving forward with a moratorium after councilors failed to make a motion directing staff to draft such an ordinance. Councilors, as well as Mayor Arthur Babitz, indicated they were not in favor of a moratorium due to their desire to not impede patient access to medical marijuana, as well as their belief that the state already has adequate controls in place to regulate dispensaries without the city adding its own.

Local governments are scrambling to get the moratoriums in place before the May 1 deadline set in the bill passed by the Oregon State Legislature earlier last month that allows municipalities to enact the moratoriums. The bill was designed to give governments extra time to craft additional rules that would place “reasonable restrictions” on the “time, place, and manner” in which dispensaries operate.

According to the most recent information released by the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, two dispensaries have applied to operate in Hood River County out of the 313 applications received by the state. One dispensary, The Gorge Green Cross, has received a provisional license from the OHA to operate on Oak Street within the city of Hood River, and dispensary owner Mike Rachford, hopes to be open “within the next month or so.”

The proposed location of the other dispensary in Hood River County is unknown at this time. The OHA is legally prohibited from disclosing the location of dispensaries to the public unless dispensary owners elect to waive their right to confidentiality.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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