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Myrtle Point may vote to ban marijuana

MYRTLE POINT (AP) — Because a majority of them voted against legalizing marijuana in Oregon last year, Myrtle Point residents may get to vote in November 2016 on whether they want to ban the drug in their city.

City Manager Darin Nicholson will work with city attorney Mike Stebbins of North Bend to draft an ordinance.

Once the regulation is brought back to the council for its review and approval, then city officials could place a measure on the ballot.

The ordinance could ban marijuana production, processing and sales within the city limits, even for medical use.

A part of Measure 91, which Oregonians approved in November and which legalizes recreational marijuana use, means that cities can refer "to voters the question of whether or not to ban any or all types of facilities related to marijuana production, processing and sales within the city's jurisdiction," Nicholson said.

Most Myrtle Point residents didn't want Measure 91. Nicholson said 55.33 percent of voters said no to the measure while 44.67 voted yes for it.

"Based on these results, there is a reasonably good chance that they would also vote to ban marijuana production, processing and sales facilities within the city," the city manager said.

A key new bit of legislation is House Bill 3400.

According to the oregon.gov summary of the legislation, this "allows (a) city and county governing body to adopt ordinances prohibiting operation or establishment of medical marijuana processors, dispensaries as well as recreational growers, processors, wholesalers or retailers so long as that city or county had at least 55 percent of its electors vote against Measure 91."

"I expect to have an ordinance ready for the city council to consider by the Oct. 5 meeting," Nicholson said.