Prejudice and narrow-mindedness are root of city's extra background checks for dispensary employees – Ontario Argus Observer

Dear Editor,

Perhaps we should ask the mayor and members of the Ontario City Council what evidence they have to show that people working in dispensaries are more inclined to criminal behavior than those working in any other business required to have background checks. Charging dispensary employees fees that more than double the cost of a criminal background check, and requiring more frequent background checks than are required by the state, is a blatant act of discrimination (lawsuit potential?) against the dispensaries and the people working there. Those on the council who were opposed to the dispensaries coming to Ontario are going out of their way, once again, to attempt to override the vote of the people by making it increasingly difficult for the dispensaries to do business.

If the city is going to increase the frequency and cost of background checks for one business, then the council needs to do so for all businesses that fall under the background check requirement based on Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR). Many of those businesses employ people who handle controlled and regulated drugs (including alcohol) almost hourly on a daily basis. Liquor stores, hospitals, clinics, soe TVCC programs, law enforcement and corrections, pharmacies, assisted living, foster care, nursing homes, home and hospice care, all require background checks. I’m sure have missed other businesses covered under the OAR. There are also local businesses that require background checks based, not on the OAAR, but on their company or organization policies.

How are marijuana dispensaries any different? They are different only because of the City Council’s prejudice and narrow-mindedness.

Marsha Armstrong,


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