By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Three Redmond city councilors want to discuss allowing marijuana dispensaries in the city, but Mayor George Endicott has been a vocal opponent of the idea.
Current city ordinance does not allow marijuana dispensaries in city limits.
He says there are three questions the council need to ask.
“Are we willing to change our components to defy federal law, is there a cost-benefit to doing it, is it good for the community or is it not?” Endicott said.
City councilors Clifford Evelyn, Jon Bullock and Ed Fitch are interested in changing that, to capture more tax revenue.
“I would rather do it this way than ask the taxpayers to increase their taxes,” Fitch said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me when there is a source of revenue that we can tap.”
Councilors planned to discuss the idea at a goal-setting meeting Tuesday night. They didn’t have a timeline for when a decision might be made.
Fitch says Redmond pot users are driving to Bend or Madras, spending money elsewhere.
“We don’t want 20 dispensaries in Redmond up and down the road or downtown, but I think two or three would be appropriate,” Fitch said.
Endicott says he believes the majority of people in Redmond don’t want pot business inside the city, citing concerns for children.
“The more of it you have in your community the more prevalent it is,” Endicott said.
Endicott says he is welcome to the conversation about potential benefits.