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Measure 18-112 Explained: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Klamath Falls

Here are arguments for and against the measure.

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 6:44 PM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 6:47 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- Klamath Falls residents are voting whether to allow recreational marijuana sales within city limits.

Edward Medina, Jr. is the owner and person responsible for distribution at A Better Way Medicinal Alternatives LLC in Klamath Falls, one of the few remaining medical marijuana retailers licensed by the state.

If Measure 18-112 passes, it would do three things:
• Remove a 2015 ban on recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers within city limits,
• Impose a 3 percent tax on the sale of marijuana items by recreational marijuana retailers in the city, and,
• Establish an advisory committee to the Klamath Falls City Council to advise on policies and regulations about the marijuana industry.

“The options that the state has left us is to go recreational, or go home,” Medina said.

He supports the passage of Measure 18-112, which would allow him to get a license from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to sell recreational and medicinal marijuana.

For him, it’s necessary to keep his business alive, as the number of state-licenses processors are decreasing, as they move from medicinal to recreational cannabis. This means the product available for him to sell is disappearing.

If the measure passes, it would do three things:
• Remove a 2015 ban on recreational marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers within city limits,
• Impose a 3 percent tax on the sale of marijuana items by recreational marijuana retailers in the city, and,
• Establish an advisory committee to the Klamath Falls City Council to advise on policies and regulations about the marijuana industry.

Medina worries if the measure fails, he’ll have to close up shop, which will limit product access for his patients. He says he worries they’ll either have to travel several hours to get it, or get it illegally.

“So the hope is, if this measure passes, we’re able to provide products so we can reduce the black market and establish some new businesses in Klamath County,” Medina said.

Klamath County Sheriff Chris Kaber sees it a little differently. He believes it’ll be harder to find illegal marijuana grows if the legal stuff is allowed in.

“"The black market is much larger in Klamath County than people realize,” Kaber said. “Wherever you're trying to mix legal with illegal -- it does happen; it’s happening right now -- it makes the illegal harder to identify."

Other organizations are opposed to the measure, saying it’ll harm graduation rates, increase emergency room visits, and harm property value.

CLICK HERE to read arguments against the measure.

CLICK HERE to read arguments for the measure.

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