Citing federal law, Coos Bay bans pot shops

Citing federal law, Coos Bay bans pot shops »Play Video

COOS BAY, Ore. - Looking to set up a pot shop? Don't come to Coos Bay.

The City Council voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries - or any business - that doesn't meet state and federal law.

Key word: federal.

Marijuana remains illegal in the U.S. for both medicinal and recreational applications. And even though the Obama administration hasn't cracked down, the country will elect a new president in 2016.

"There was no guarantee that future administrations wouldn't do it differently," said Rodger Craddock, Coos Bay city manager. "The fact is that there could be jeopardy of federal funds as a penalty for violating law."

Critics contend the city is denying a business opportunity in an area that needs it.

"It's more about cause and effect, and right now we'd love to have all kinds of businesses," Craddock said. "We just need them to be lawful."

Nearby North Bend extended the city's moratorium for another six months. City officials said business might look outside but near Coos Bay, so North Bend needs more time to review its laws since it doesn't plan to ban dispensaries outright.

That is something North Bend resident John Chamberlin is happy about.

"If I have to go to let's say the street," said the medical marijuana card holder, "it's 3 times as expensive, and a lot of people - veterans like myself - we can't afford that."