- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - City officials say an Oregon city’s marijuana odor ordinance is necessary, but some residents say the law is bound to bring trouble.

The Pendleton City Council in June passed an ordinance prohibiting “unreasonable” amounts of marijuana odors from leaving a property and entering another, The East Oregonian reported (https://is.gd/K46Vit).

Pendleton attorney Will Perkinson, who is a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ legal committee, said the ordinance is too vague and it doesn’t distinguish between medical and recreational marijuana or properly establish the level of odor a marijuana smell would need to reach to be considered harmful.

Perkinson said the law is unlike other nuisance ordinances such as excessive noise, which has years of case law and measurable metrics to provide guidance for enforcement.

Since the odor law went into effect, there have been two cases where it has been enforced, the most recent involving Citadel Studios, a yet-to-be-opened music studio and concert venue.

Citadel owner Jake Sierra said he had confrontations with the owners of neighboring Elite Guns & Bows, who ultimately signed the odor citation against Sierra. Sierra said neither he nor anyone in the studio has ever smoked, stored or grown marijuana there and suspected the smell might come from elsewhere. Ultimately a judge dropped the fine against Sierra after police found the smell had abated.

Sierra said the ordinance is flawed because he was threatened with a hefty fine despite being misidentified as the source of the smell.

The City Council has not reconsidered the ordinance, but the planning commission is set to consider zoning regulations for marijuana retailers at a meeting Thursday.


Information from: East Oregonian, https://www.eastoregonian.com

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