Roseburg council: No pot shops in the city

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg city council has approved a one year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The temporary ban passed Monday night with a vote of 5-2 from city councilors.

It will be in effect starting from this May until May of next year.

That time may be shortened if the council chooses to end it early.

Several proponents of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the city of Roseburg spoke before the council voted.

Bob Cotterell, a Roseburg city council member, says the vote shouldn't hurt medical marijuana users in the short term. "The one year moratorium doesn't truly negatively impact the users because they still have prior methods available, to either growing their own or having their grower," he said.

During the second reading of the ordinance, Richard Chasm of Dillard was one of several medical marijuana users and growers who shared their stories in front of the council. "I thought there was some excellent testimony and I felt they really listened to us, but the real problem was the state legislature dropped the ball," Chasm said.

Cotterell says it gives the city time to get a good set of regulations in place. "It allows us time to do some land use management," he said. "We're going to have to do some zoning and set some regulations there, and it gives us time to consult with other cities because we're not the only city going through these quandaries."

After the vote, the council directed the city staff to put together a citizen advisory committee on the issue.

That group would be set to give input on how dispensaries should be regulated going forward.