Legal Recreational Pot

The goal was to ensure legal marijuana businesses, like growers and sellers of legal recreational pot could operate in the City of Bend, Oregon for years to come. Substance founder — or “Person Responsible for the Facility” if you want to get technical — Jeremy Kwit has spent months in meetings as part of the City of Bend Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee.

The nine-member panel included a diverse representation of Bend’s cannabis industry, community activists and concerned citizens. The City of Bend Marijuana Committee crafted a set of very balanced planning code changes, municipal regulations, and an operating license program for the entire marijuana industry — producers (growers), processors (hash and edible makers), wholesalers, retail pot stores, analytical labs —  with the city limits.

Commercial marijuana cultivation will be licensed in Industrial Zones. The processing of marijuana concentrates into butane hash oil or CO2 vape pen cartridges can be dangerous because of flammable solvents or high pressure extraction machines involved. Such potentially dangerous processors will also have to locate in an Industrial Zone. Recreational pot shops and edible makers can operate in Commercial Zones, but not in Residential or Industrial Zones. The Planning Department approved the Marijuana Committee’s zoning suggestions and so did the City Council.

For cannabis retail establishments (which sounds way fancier than recreational pot shop, doesn’t it?) the Technical Advisory Committee proposed a 150 ft buffer from daycare facilities. The Marijuana Committee researched and considered park buffers, but ultimately did not feel a buffer was necessary from parks since Bend law enforcement hasn’t seen any increase in marijuana activity in parks, and our parks already have police coverage.

The Committee did not propose any buffers between retail facilities, falling in line with Measure 91 and 3400. Personally, Jeremy Kwit, along with many others, thinks buffers are unnecessary, and feels (based on empirical research and data) that open, honest dialogue with our youth about alcohol and drugs is the best mechanism to keep them safe and sober. It seemed rather hypocritical to keep an legal marijuana stores many blocks away from a park when alcohol is sold INSIDE our parks in Bend. In fact, the Bend Parks and Recreational District applied for and attained an OLCC license to sell alcohol at the Simpson Ice Pavilion — get drunk, place metal blades on your feet, zoom around ice, then drive kids home.

Every issue was discussed thoroughly and debated aggressively by the Bend Marijuana Committee. There was no unanimity, and Marijuana Committee’s internal votes about every detail were frequently 5:4 or 4:5, in nearly every instance. All members of the Marijuana Committee were concerned about youth access to alcohol, tobacco and other harmful drugs; they disagreed on the best method to educate and create a culture of trust and communication about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. 

The City Council reviewed and discussed the City of Bend Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee’s findings in a work session until 11pm one night, and then during a City Council meeting that lasted until 1am another night. The two members of the technical committee who claimed that retail density leads to increased youth access and drug abuse presented spurious alcohol and tobacco research to the Council, striking fear into the hearts of our elected officials.

When all was said and done, the City Council added a 150 ft park buffer and a 1000 ft buffer between individual cannabis retailers. It’s a pretty good set of regulations overall, although nobody was really pleased. Opt-outs and egregious over-regulation are just prohibition in disguise. Amendments to our Planning Code and a marijuana business Operations License ensures that the entire cannabis industry will legally operate in Bend for the long term.

Get Involved in Marijuana Legislation

It’s an exciting time in Central Oregon!

Please show your support for allowing recreational marijuana businesses in Deschutes County by attending one of these local meetings. These meetings are open to the public.  Attendees are expected to be professional and respectful in behavior and appearance.

Public Hearings on Marijuana Land Use Regulations:

Wednesday Dec 2nd

1:30pm – Deschutes County Commission (1300 NW Wall St. in Bend)

6:00pm – Deschutes County Commission (1300 NW Wall St. in Bend)

7:00pm – City of Bend (710 Wall St. in Bend)

Come to a hearing and see what’s up with the recreational marijuana legislation in Deschutes County.

Online Petition to Reschedule Marijuana

A recent petition has surfaced on WhiteHouse.gov calling for the rescheduling of marijuana. Currently, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no medicinal merit.

As a Schedule I Drug, marijuana joins the ranks of Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. In comparison, cocaine, meth and OxyContin are all labeled as Schedule II drugs with less potential for abuse then Schedule I drugs. With empirical evidence showing that marijuana has efficacy in the treatment of a variety of epileptic conditions, it is shameful that our government believes that the drug has less medical value than cocaine and methamphetamine.

The reclassification of marijuana would likely be dictated by the DEA who have received numerous petitions in the past. As recently as 2011, Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee petitioned to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug.

The petition on WhiteHouse.gov need 100,000 signatures by December 6 in order to provoke an official response from the White House. As of today, the petition has collected just over 900 signatures. With only 20 days left, the petition is in strong need of attention in order to get a reply from the Obama Administration. However, acting Attorney General Eric Holder has said publicly that he would gladly reexamine how the drug is scheduled. Holder said:

“It is something that ultimately Congress would have to change, and I think that our administration would be glad to work with Congress if such a proposal were made.”

The timing is right for the Obama administration to make changes to marijuana’s classification, even though AG Eric Holder is on his way out of office. Marijuana support is at an all-time high in the United States and Washington D.C. just voted to legalize recreational marijuana. When President Obama appoints his new Attorney General, there is a strong chance that he will appoint someone who shares many views with Holder.

What does Congress think? Back in February, 18 congress members wrote a letter to Obama asking him to delist marijuana or “at the very least,” reclassify it to a Schedule II Drug. The newly elected Republican majority may prove to be detrimental to forward progress for the rescheduling, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The tides of change are sweeping across the nation and whether it happens state-by-state or through federal action, marijuana policy will be changed. If you would like to make a difference you can sign the petition by clicking the banner below.


For more posts like this, travel to Whaxy’s website right here. 

Know Your Rights – Search and Seizure Laws

Your Constitutional Rights Include (Among Others):

  • Not to have your personal property searched without a search warrant;
  • To refuse to answer police questions or make any statements;
  • To refuse to open your door to your home unless there is an emergency or a search warrant;
  • Not to be detained without your consent or questioned (even at airports)

Invocation of Rights

  • “I invoke and refuse to waive my 6th Amendment right to an attorney of my choice. I respectfully request you do not ask me any questions without my attorney present.”
  • “I do not consent to any search or seizure of myself, my home or of any property in my possession or under my control. I respectfully request you do not ask me about my ownership interest in any property. Please do not make any comment or ask any questions about this decision.”

Probable Cause: “Probable Cause” must exist, otherwise the seized evidence can’t be used against the defendant in court, there must be a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is about to be committed (i.e. that there is contraband present.) Search of homes requires warrants. Automobiles can be searched without a warrant.

The Smell of Marijuana: the smell of marijuana (burnt or fresh) by police or their trained dogs is probable cause to search the suspect’s person and car without a warrant, and is the basis to obtain a search warrant for a home or other place.

Reasonable Expectation of Privacy is Required for “Standing” to Suppress Evidence: In many states and under federal law, the defendant must have a reasonable expectation of privacy, called “standing” in the location of the search in order to challenge the admissibility of illegally seized evidence and have it suppressed.

Car Passengers: People who have their possessions, such as backpacks, in someone else’s car have no standing to challenge an illegal search. There is no recognized right of privacy in someone else’s car unless you are the driver at the time of search. However, all persons have reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the clothing they are wearing and anything on their person. Passengers can challenge the reason for the stop.

House Guests: Overnight guests have the same rights as the occupants to object to the illegal search of the host’s home. Campsites and motel & hotel rooms are also protected.

Backyard Fences: Renters’ and homeowners’ enclosed yards (i.e. a yard with a 6-foot fence, even with small cracks) are protected from police peeping close up through the fence but not from aerial observation.

In Jail: There is no right of privacy while in police cars, jail (including telephone calls) or in visiting rooms, except in-person meetings with lawyers or clergy.

Telephone Conversations: on hard wire, cell phones and in telephone booths are protected, unless one party agrees to police listening in. Cordless phone users do not have an expectation of privacy because conversations can be heard by neighbors with some frequency.

Police May Not Enter a Home Based On Seeing Occupants Smoking Marijuana: [People v HUA 1.4.08 158 Cal. App. 4th 1022)] Police entry without warrant into defendant’s apartment was not justified under the exigent circumstances exception to the warrant requirement.


For more information on your rights and a menagerie of other useful information, visit the Flex Your Rights website here