Klamath Falls, Ore. -- The city of Klamath Falls gives a cautious 'green light' to medical marijuana dispensaries...but the Klamath County commissioners are taking an even more cautious approach.
The debate before the Klamath Falls City Council Monday night on medical marijuana dispensaries was open, and spirited at times...
"This isn't about legalization." Noted Klamath Falls attorney Phil Studenberg. "It's not about giving it to kids. It's already here, the people of Oregon have approved it."
Debbie Vought of Citizens for Safe Schools urged caution...
"I'm urging you to take every opportunity to delay a decision on this issue."
"We can delay it a year." Countered council member Dan Tofell. "But we're going to be right back here in a year and be looking at the same choices."
In the end, council voted 3 to 2 in favor of allowing dispensaries...with a few strings attached.
Conditions will include expanded buffer zones around places kids frequent...bans on mobile facilities...and not allowing the use of marijuana at the dispensaries.
"And if there's any kind of a problem with this, there's going to be a reconsideration of what was passed last night." Warned city council member Bill Adams.
The debate continued before the Klamath County Commissioners Tuesday morning.
Carol Eberlein: "I think we need the leadership to stand up against something that will take our county down."
Dispensary applicant Edward Medina, Jr.: "How many chronically and terminally ill patients are we going to allow to suffer while we play politics with this?"
Commissioner Jim Bellet notes that the board hasn't set a date yet on adopting regulations for the county...
"I like the idea of maybe a committee for maybe the next year, see how things are going."
But the county has said they want to keep their policy in concert with the city's.
There are currently about 950 medical marijuana card holders in Klamath County.
The city has issued a business license to one dispensary applicant.