The Port of Douglas County turned down the opportunity to lease land for a legal and licensed agricultural/industrial business that would employ 26 people and produce $1 million in tax revenue for Douglas County. On its face this seems out of character. What are port districts for, if not to encourage job-creating industry and incubate fledgling enterprise?
But, like it or not this was not an ordinary offer. The business in question would be a cooperative facility to manufacture marijuana, and so our culture, lifelong obedience to law and preference for general sobriety surely play on the decision. As we should expect, the port’s neighbors were adamantly opposed, citing all the fears we associate with intoxicating drugs — crime, corruption, temptation and disorder. The port commissioners voted 2-1 to turn down the offer, and you cannot blame them. Elected officials rarely are comfortable voting counter to public opinion, especially when the public so opposed live next door.