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Public hearing on pot today

marijuanaPENDLETON, Ore. – The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners is holding a public hearing on a report from the county’s marijuana advisory committee at its meeting this morning at 9. The committee is recommending that the county continue its moratorium on both medical and recreational marijuana businesses and pursue opting out of the commercial aspects of pot completely.

In its report to the commissioners, the committee said that since more than 55 percent of the voters in the county voted against legalized marijuana, it recommends that the opt-out provided by the Oregon Legislature be exercised.

Chairwoman Tamra Mabbott says that a number of the committee’s members still support medical marijuana in principal, but don’t feel the county has the resources to effectively police such businesses and prevent marijuana from entering the black market. The Oregon Health Authority told the committee that it is currently rewriting its guidelines to better police medical marijuana dispensaries, and the committee wants to see what comes from that effort.

In the meantime, the committee has formed a subcommittee to explore medical marijuana’s social and prescriptive benefits. That group, chaired by Umatilla County Public Health Director Meghan DeBolt, will report on its findings in January.

The complete report from the committee is available on the county’s website.

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