By Patti Jay
As a veteran of the Oregon Air National Guard, I have been trained to manage dangerous and challenging situations without fear. As a mother of three successful children, I also know how to care for my family and my home. As a former aide to Oregon State Senator Rod Monroe, I developed the skills to manage the high-stress and fast-paced political process. And yet the fear and desperation of a no-cause eviction last year almost brought me and my family to our knees. My landlord treated me unfairly, in a way that destroyed my family’s stability. Our state’s no-cause eviction laws are a loophole that allows bad behavior to go unchecked. I write to stand up for all those who are afraid to speak about their experiences for fear of retaliation. In this market, with high prices and non-existent vacancy rates, most people can’t afford to speak up. In the early spring of last year, I was recovering from surgery. One day during my recovery, I went to get the mail and noticed a piece of paper tacked to the wall outside my door. It was a 60-day notice to vacate my home. There was no cause listed. I had never heard any concerns from my landlord or my neighbors. This notice arrived completely out of the blue.
The notice threw me into desperation. I am a hardworking mother and my sons and I are responsible tenants. The only reason for this notice I could think of was that I received it the day after the contractor completed repairs I had requested to remediate black mold in the bathroom. I immediately began the frantic attempt to find new housing and gather the funds to pay for moving expenses and the deposit on a new place. I am thankful to the Clackamas County Veterans Services Division for their financial and emotional assistance during that terrible time. It was difficult to find alternate housing. It was the middle of my son’s freshman year at Milwaukie High School, and we wanted to stay within the school district. While we finally found an apartment, the monthly rent was $400 more than we were paying before.
Nearly a year later, I have a wonderful new job and we are stable again. But the fear that this could happen again, at any time and with no warning or reason, remains with my family. We are good tenants who pay our rent on time and follow the rules. We deserve stability and fairness. Share your opinion
Submit your essay of 500 words or less to [email protected] Please include your email and phone number for verification. When I told my son I planned to speak up, he asked me to share his words: “For me, eviction, especially without cause, has had an alienating effect. Without the security of a house, there is no home. Without the security of a neighborhood, there is no community. And without the need for justification before an eviction, there is no justice.”
The legislature has an opportunity to ensure stability for Oregon families. I urge our legislators to stand up for fairness and justice, and pass House Bill 2004.
Patti Jay lives in Milwaukie.
Nevada’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens in Reno on July 31, 2015. Andy Barron
The legalized marijuana industry is growing more than pot. Analysts say it could create over a quarter of a million jobs while other industries decline.(Photo: USA TODAY video still)
Now that Nevada has the green light to move forward with its early start recreational marijuana program, it could set the national record for the fastest turnaround of retail reefer. In a rush for kush, the state is attempting to power forward with recreational marijuana sales in a mere eight months since voters approved Question 2 in November. That’s faster than any other state so far.
The ballot question made it kosher for anyone over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of weed and up to an eighth-ounce of concentrate, but the actual sale and purchase of recreational marijuana will not be legal until July 1. Under the recently approved early start program, existing medical marijuana dispensaries that are in “good standing” will be eligible to sell recreational marijuana.
“We have so many people coming in every day and calling in every day asking when we’ll have (recreational marijuana),” said Bobbie Macfarlane, assistant manager of Sierra Wellness Connection, a dispensary in Reno.
Nevada, first in line
California, Maine and Massachusetts also voted in November to legalize recreational marijuana, but the Silver State will be the first of the pool to take the plunge into legal sales. California is expected to be about six months behind Nevada, starting its sales in January 2018, same as Maine. Sales in Massachusetts, where adults can have more than double the Nevada limit, won’t begin until mid-2018.
A main incentive for the early start program indeed stems from Gov. Brian Sandoval s proposed budget request, which includes $70 million from recreational marijuana taxes over the next two years to support education. Officials also want to squash the thriving black market, since possessing recreational pot has been legal since January.
“Nevada’s (system) is much more advanced than smaller states. You already have rigorous testing and security, two of the biggest challenges,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Denver-based Marijuana Policy Project. The push for recreational sales to happen sooner than later also has its critics.
“We re trying to truncate the process. I mean, where did this early start program even begin?” said Jim Hartman, a staunch opponent of marijuana legalization. Hartman, a retired lawyer in Carson City, often appears at the Nevada Legislature to voice his qualms with the state’s swift pace with legalization. He has noted on several accounts that Nevada is moving far quicker than he is comfortable with.
“To me it s a backroom agreement to get tax receipts,” Hartman said.
The Marijuana Policy Project is nonpartisan but has been behind many of the lobbying efforts in states moving towards the emerald glow of legalization. The first states that legalized recreational marijuana Colorado and Washington state waited more than a year after they voted in 2012 to approve legal sales, but they were the pioneers of the movement. Following their footsteps, Oregon and Alaska voted and waited about a year (even though marijuana has technically been legal in Alaska since 1975, according to its state constitution).
“Of the states that have legalized marijuana, two of them had kind of a unique situations: Washington and Alaska, they were starting from scratch. There were no testing rules, there were no licensing rules,” O’Keefe said. Those living in Washington, D.C., which voted in 2014, can possess, cultivate and donate weed, but sales are still couched.
Ready, set, go
As Nevada prepares for full-throttle legalization, the Nevada Department of Taxation, which is tasked with overseeing the recreational marijuana industry, is working hand-in-hand with the Department of Health and Human Services, which has overseen the state’s medical marijuana program. Although Nevada legalized medical marijuana in 2000, the state did not approve regulations until 2013, and the industry did not get off the ground until 2015. Since then, green has gone wild.
The state’s medical marijuana program had 60 medical marijuana dispensaries, 88 cultivation facilities, 57 production companies and 11 testing laboratories in Nevada as of May 10, the most recent survey of medical marijuana establishments by the state health department. Nearly 28,000 in-state cardholders are enlisted as of May, and Nevada’s dispensaries also serve cardholders from out-of-state thanks to the in-state reciprocity laws. One of the concerns that dispensaries have is how they will separate medical and recreational product since much of it is the same product, but taxed differently. Their greatest concern is that they could run out of supply for medical cardholders.
Several legislative bills could change the marijuana tax structure, but, for the time being, recreational marijuana will be sold with a 15 percent wholesale tax.
Since Nevada legalized recreational marijuana, anyone 21 and over can possess up to 1 ounce in-state. How many people actually could look at an ounce and identify it, though? We’re here to help educate you. (Photo: Jenny Kane/RGJ)
Medical marijuana will be sold with a 2 percent wholesale tax. Medical marijuana also carries a 2 percent tax applied at production and another 2 percent tax applied at sale.
“It’s tough because we’re still trying to figure out the laws,” said Macfarlane, from Sierra Wellness Connection. Current bills being considered by the Nevada Legislature address everything from packaging requirements to municipality taxes and fees to research guidelines, and even the industry regulations could change when the temporary ones switch over to the permanent ones in January. It doesn’t help that, since marijuana is illegal on a federal level, businesses have to deal entirely in cash. Sierra Wellness is hiring a security guard for their location before July.
While there are certainly some stresses that come with the line of work, she still is on board with the state’s momentum.
“(The state is) jumping on the opportunity. Any new industry is stressful. You have to fail a few times, but that’s how you figure it out,” Macfarlane said.
Read or Share this story: http://www.rgj.com/story/news/marijuana/2017/05/26/nevada-races-get-recreational-marijuana-shelves-record-time/339774001/
- ^ Recreational marijuana ‘early start’ program to debut in July (www.rgj.com)
- ^ Nevada marijuana sales could reach $550M annually (www.rgj.com)
- ^ Can I smoke marijuana on my front porch, and other common pot questions (www.rgj.com)
- ^ even though marijuana has technically been legal in Alaska since 1975, according to its state constitution (www.washingtonpost.com)
Lawyers for a man charged in a Eugene murder say their client is unfit to stand trial and needs treatment at a state-run psychiatric hospital the same type of facility that he was sent to 11 years ago after being found guilty but insane in a Springfield assault case. A pair of public defenders representing Joshua Paul Jaschke, 37, said in declarations filed Wednesday in Lane County Circuit Court that their client has appeared disoriented and been mostly uncommunicative with them during recent meetings at the Lane County Jail. They re asking a judge to find that Jaschke is unfit to proceed in court and order authorities to transfer him from jail to an Oregon State Hospital facility.
(Jaschke) is unable to tell me whether he wants to enter a plea or go to trial, whether to request a jury or a judge trial, or whether he would want to testify at trial, attorney Brook Reinhard wrote, I do not believe he is presently able to aid and assist in his defense.
Police arrested Jaschke on March 27 after he allegedly stabbed 51-year-old Spiros Ghenatos to death, tried to break into another man s apartment and then attempted to carjack South Eugene High School Principal Andy Day near the school s campus. Jaschke has been held in jail since his arrest, but he apparently remains under the supervision of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board. He was sentenced to up to 20 years of supervision in 2006 after being found guilty but insane of a first-degree assault charge stemming from the stabbing of a man in Springfield. A judge in the assault case committed him to the state s mental hospital system after reviewing a psychologist s report and finding that Jaschke suffered from schizoaffective disorder with bipolar characteristics at the time of the stabbing, court records show.
Court records list Jaschke s current address as the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. He previously lived in Creswell. Springfield police in April released a set of partially redacted emails and a police report relating to their contacts with Jaschke and security review board officials. They indicate that a counselor who has worked with Jaschke directed him in December to turn himself in to a police station or an emergency room, ostensibly so that he could be returned to the state hospital. But Jaschke failed to return to the hospital on his own, the documents show. State officials have declined to discuss Jaschke s status or to say if he had been released from the mental hospital on a furlough before police in Springfield contacted him Dec. 30 while investigating a reported dispute.
On the day of his arrest in the murder case, police took Jaschke into custody after finding him in Amazon Creek. Jaschke began removing his clothing and laid face-down in the water before officers got to him, police said. Noting Jaschke s documented history of mental illness, defense attorney Allison Knight wrote in a declaration filed Wednesday that Jaschke appeared dazed during her initial meeting with him at the jail and displayed similar behavior in a subsequent meeting with lawyers. A psychologist at the jail reported that Jaschke s presentation is consistent over time and across settings, Knight wrote. She, like Reinhard, concluded that Jaschke is unable to participate in his defense.
Bob Lane, a Lane County deputy district attorney who is prosecuting the case, opposes the defense motion and wants a judge to schedule a hearing at which the state may seek testimony from expert witnesses, according to court records.