I think most people will agree that apart from the climate and relative proximity in the world (and strangely, the disproportionately large number of people wearing Ducks gear), Eugene, Ore., and Vancouver are very different places.
Or are they?
On Monday night, I wasn’t so sure. This Eugene native tucked into the back of a packed city council meeting, where a moratorium on collective medical marijuana gardens and a resolution of concern about coal trains were on the agenda.
A couple of medical marijuana advocates joined a flock of Sierra Club members. I saw Birkenstocks, for goodness sakes.
And after one of the pro-pot guys got done having his say and left the council chambers, a guy in his mid-to-late 50s gave him a peace sign. Yes. A peace sign.
I began to think I had warped to another place (and time?) altogether.
This feeling of spatial displacement got even more pronounced when Jeanne Stewart, one of the council’s more conservative members, began questioning why we just don’t legalize it.
Stewart — who has told me before she more of a fiscal than social conservative — asked City Attorney Ted Gathe: “Where is the federal government and pharmaceutical companies on this?”
She added cannabis provides a benefit for people with certain illnesses, so why not test it and get quality control?
“Citizens need to participate in some way pressing for federal legislation that can clean this issue up,” Stewart said.
Gathe (whose wife is Rep. Sharon Wylie — of those “I inhaled” Democrats), said that medical (and not-so-medical) marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug and it has a “tortured” history with the feds.
Still, he said that federal reform “would be the logical outcome.”
I guess, like the Goonies, hippies never say die.