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Jackson, Josephine Counties Get Marijuana Task Force Funds

Picture of cannabis plant
Capital Public Radio / File

In an effort to keep illegal marijuana out of the black market, an Oregon state commission has assigned grant funds to help counties beef up patrols. Southern Oregon is getting most of those funds.

A good chunk of the illegal weed pouring out of Oregon is grown in rural areas with underfunded sheriff’s departments, including Josephine and Jackson counties. That’s why lawmakers passed a bill that would open up 1.5 million dollars to counties wanting extra law enforcement.

These funds are coming from the state’s marijuana tax dollars. Oregon Justice Commissioner Rob Bovett says the program will help Oregon crack down on illegal weed, and "show the feds we're really taking their concerns seriously."

"We could show the other 34 states that have had inundation of Oregon marijuana unlawfully that we're trying to be good partners, good neighbors," he said.

Jackson and Josephine counties got most of the grant money. They each got more than $500,000 to build new marijuana task forces. The rest is going to Deschutes and Klamath counties.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.