BEND, Ore. - Several Oregon officials, including the mayors of Redmond and Bend, have responded to word that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind current federal marijuana policy.
One of them was Gov. Kate Brown, who pointed out that over 19,000 jobs have been created since recreational marijuana was made legal in Oregon.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott said Friday the city has an ordinance that says it cannot give licenses to businesses that violate state or federal law. Therefore, he said, Redmond does not have marijuana dispensaries.
Bend, on the other hand, has quite a few dispensaries.
"We were responding to the will of the voters," Bend Mayor Casey Roats said Friday.
Roats said he wants to give the industry a chance before making sweeping decisions on it.
"I was disappointed to see the order, because I wanted to see the industry have a little more time to prove itself before something like that happened," the mayor said. "There is no data here in Bend at this point to show that we've actually had an uptick in actual problems."
Both mayors said they believe marijuana should be reclassified from a Schedule 1 drug to something less dangerous. Currently, it's viewed by the federal government on the same level as methamphetamine and heroin.
Those involved in the industry agree, and they don't seem very anxious about the prospects of federal agents shutting their businesses down.
"I think the government here in Oregon will protect us, and we have a really nice system going here," Substance "budtender" Hannah Sharp said.
Oregon is one of eight states to have legalized recreational marijuana, along with the District of Columbia. The original Obama administration memo Sessions rescinded urged the federal government to leave policing marijuana to the states unless it involved gangs, minors or sales across state lines.