Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 2015
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)
Copyright: 2015 Lee Enterprises
Author: Eric Thomas


On Wednesday night, I watched as Albany's City Council committed a 
democratic travesty. Despite statewide approval of the sale of 
recreational marijuana from licensed medical marijuana facilities, 
beginning Oct. 1, I watched as four council members usurped the will 
of Oregon voters. They decided they knew better. They decided they 
knew better than, not only the voters in this state, or in this town, 
but they decided they knew better than those individuals who gave 
impassioned testimonies of why they were against the ban on 
recreational marijuana sales from medical marijuana facilities.

Many of the witnesses, myself included, argued, and rightfully so, 
that the continued prohibition of the sale of recreational marijuana 
from medical marijuana dispensaries beginning Oct. 1 would accomplish 
nothing. It would accomplish nothing, except to continue to fuel the 
drug trade already in place on the streets of Albany.

Councilors Rich Kellum, Bessie Johnson, Ray Coburn, and Floyd Collins 
ultimately decided they would rather see money go into the hands of 
drug dealers instead of businesses that are already highly controlled 
and regulated by the state. Johnson and Kellum both argued it would 
give children more access to marijuana. They presented no actual 
findings of these suspicions.

As a former Marine, I believe in the power of democracy and in the 
power of a republic, and that the majority makes the rules, and not 
by uninformed individuals who listen to their own fears and hearsay 
when choosing to make such profound decisions regarding our community.

If you are a voter who chose to pass the sale of recreational 
marijuana, from state licensed facilities, to anyone over the age of 
21, I encourage you to write or call these four council members and 
urge them to reconsider last night's egregious error.

Eric Thomas

Albany (Sept. 24)
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom