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In support of a Bend city declaration and resolution to legalize marijuana.

In these financially challenging times when Bend Residents are concerned that we cannot afford basic city services, we look to our fiscal conservatives and rational businesspeople on our Bend City Council for simple and decisive action.

Because of our tightening economy and already stretched budget, the plan to hire 25 new police has been shelved. That puts the burden on the men and women in uniform that already serve this city to a greater and unfair demand for their time and experience. Our police are clearly understaffed. And if we have concluded that we need to hire more but cannot, then we must reduce their workload.

We remember the two-year-old promise to end the war on marijuana made by our President and our U.S. attorney general to whom most of you swear an allegiance. In February 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder told us at a press conference that the Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana clubs that are established legally under state law. It is clear that those in federal government are finally recognizing the will of the people to end an unproductive war on a plant proven harmless and stop the waste that is the cost of that war.

In our last local election, almost half of Bend voted for a badly written dispensary bill just so we could have safe access to local, healthy medicine. However, our local government still allows local resources to be wasted on bringing violence and incarceration into the lives of otherwise peaceful people who are friends and neighbors and family members of the residents of Bend.

I vote for a Bend city declaration and resolution to legalize it, and to completely decriminalize it and to cease from using local resources to arrest, prosecute or otherwise hinder or molest any person who participates in the growing or consumption of marijuana on private property.

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