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Our view: Keep it simple in developing marijuana rules

There are many moving parts to Oregon's new, and still developing, law legalizing recreational marijuana. That's led to confusion, knee-jerk reactions and a general overthinking of what the role of local government should be in dealing with pot.

It seems to us that the first thing local governments — city councils and boards of commissioners — should do is to take a deep breath and practice an art that has become an all-too-rare commodity: patience.

The state Legislature and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission have been working hard to sort the wheat from the chaff — buds from the stems? — of the new law. Meanwhile, cities and counties across the state are coming up with their own ideas, mostly curtailments, of how to deal with the law.

Much of the conversation seems to be off-the-top-of-the-head thinking, as evidenced by a recent Medford City Council meeting in which councilors seem to be going multiple ways at once on everything from whether to try to limit the smell of outdoor plants to how tall the fence should be around plants. Medford is also considering imposing a $100 building fee on the marijuana enclosures it may require homeowners to build.

The Ashland council has engaged in variations on the same topic, although thankfully with less of an eye toward strict restrictions on homeowners. The outdoor grows are one area that's fairly straight-forward: People are allowed to have four plants per household. 

Simple enough. Local officials should strive for the same simplicity.