Oregon politicians pass legislation to combat illegal marijuana operations

SALEM, Ore. – Democrats and Republicans came together to address illegal cannabis operations in Oregon.

On Monday during a special session, the Oregon State Senate passed two proposals to help local law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations pay for the cost of combating illegal grows.

One of those bills, Senate Bill 893, passed unanimously with bipartisan support. The other, Senate Bill 5561, had only two dissenting votes.

“Illegal cannabis operations in Southern Oregon have been using our limited water supply, abusing local workers, threatening neighbors and negatively impacting businesses run by legal marijuana growers,” said Senator Jeff Golden (D-Ashland). “This is urgent funding we need right now to protect our agriculture industry, a pillar of Oregon’s economy and the Rogue Valley’s quality of life.”

Senator Golden added the state needs to respond to the underlying human rights issues so workers aren’t faced with unacceptable conditions.

Senate Republican Tim Knopp (R-Bend) said, “It is clear that law enforcement needs more help to stop these dangerous illegal operations. This package gives our county partners the resources they need to hire the law enforcement and water masters to oversee the huge task they have in front of them.  No matter how much we spend, we will continue to spin our wheels in this fight against the cartels if the southern border remains wide open. Human trafficking will continue, the violence against Oregonians will continue, and Oregon businesses will continue to pay the price until these illegal grow sites are completely eradicated from our state.”

Senate Bill 893 and Senate Bill 5561 will now go to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.

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