Marijuana in Josephine County

This is my thinking on the current marijuana issues in Josephine county.

I have nothing against the marijuana plant and it uses. What people do with or for their own bodies is none my business.

The problem as I see it is not with the plant but with the rapid influx of out-of-state people rushing in to buy or rent any available land to grow marijuana. This has created division and strife in our county, between some of the growers and their neighbors. Over production has caused prices to drop drastically, and large amounts of marijuana are being black-marketed out of state. This has cast a cloud of uncertainty over whether the whole industry is able to be a viable part of our local economic future.

I’m very sympathetic with those who have invested so much time, energy and money into this new industry. I do understand the hard feelings they have towards the county because of their ever-changing regulatory plans. The uncertainty of it all is not good for the people or for the county. Its rather unfortunate that so many have decided to jump headlong into this business in such a short amount of time, creating bad feelings on both sides of the fence.

This a no-win situation for anyone who gets in the middle of what’s coming. As a property rights advocate for over 30 years I could not win no matter what I said or which side I came down on these issues. The decision about this is just too big to leave up to two commissioners. It looks like the courts or the Land Use Appeals Board may decide the issues for everyone anyway!

I believe part of our freedom is allowing the market, not the state or government, to pick the winners and losers. Free enterprise shouldn’t include regulating or taxing an individual’s property or their businesses.


Economic Development

I will strive to maintain a business friendly environment for job growth, remove unnecessary bottle necks to improve economic development activity, and support our largest job-making businesses such as agriculture, timber, building materials and our rich mineral industry.

Over regulation of local business must not be allowed at county level.  The state and federal government already have more than enough business hindering regulations!  I will work to streamline the permitting process for business start-ups and economic development wherever possible reducing unnecessary and needless rules and regulations. Work to promote the county’s industrial and commercially zoned land for economic development in the county, outside of Grants Pass.

O&C Receipts vs County Taxes

History of the O & C Lands

The O & C Lands have a history unlike any other lands in the United States. The saga stretches back 150 years and encompasses the time of westward expansion and settlement, complete with railroad barons, a land grant of millions of acres, land fraud on a massive scale, and ultimately the reversal of the land grant. Peace and prosperity within the 18 O & C Counties has been periodically interrupted by economic strife and legal controversies at every level including more than one trip to the United States Supreme Court and multiple acts of Congress to solve problems traceable to the lands being returned to the federal government in 1916 after 40 years of private ownership.

More than fifty years of stability was achieved starting in 1937 with passage of the O & C Act, but that stability unraveled starting in the early 1990s. The courts and Congress have been unable to restore order to management of the O & C Lands over the last 25 years, but the legal issues are back in court and ripe for resolution as the O & C Lands enter the second half of their second century.