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Is Oregon Next To Go 'Green'?

The General

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Oregon is know for being green, but this November voters will decide just how green they really want to be. That's because Oregonians get to choose whether they want to legalize recreational marijuana for people who are 21 or older. Measure 91 would allow a person to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana and to cultivate up to four plants. It would also give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission authority to oversee and regulate recreational sales, which would start in January 2016.

It would be similar to the way the commission regulates wine and beer rather than alcohol because the state wouldn't own or distribute marijuana products. Recreational marijuana would be taxed at $1.50 a gram or $35 an ounce, according to the initiative. That money would be used for schools, law enforcement, drug treatment programs and mental health programs. Mazen Malik, an economist with the Legislative Revenue Office, estimates recreational sales would generate about $16 million for the first fiscal year, and Oregon would earn a $9 million in profit. That number's expected to accelerate in the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, according to Malik's office. He anticipates the state will earn $40.9 during the 2017-19 biennium.

The state's revenue predictions assume the economists are correct in predicting that 11 percent, or 416,721, Oregonians would consume marijuana products. And it assumes they also correctly guessed how many people will convert immediately from the black market. Marijuana sells for about $177 ounce on Oregon's black market, but legal pot could sell for $330 an ounce. About 30 percent of users are expected to convert immediately, but the rest will wait for the price of legal marijuana to become more in line with black market prices.

That's proven to be the case in Colorado and Washington, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. Colorado also has seen less revenue from sales because medical marijuana users, who the state believes belong in the recreational market, aren't switching. Taxes collected from medical marijuana in Colorado are outpacing recreational revenue.

Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, but voters rejected legalizing cannabis 55 percent to 45 percent in 2012. That effort, lead by Paul Stanford, received little financial support from national marijuana advocacy organizations – which called the initiative poorly written.

The Yes on 91 campaign leaders say they've learned from those mistakes and call their initiative a "sober" approach to legalization. Their measure places limits on personal possession, sets the age at 21 rather than 18 and bans public consumption. Their approach appears to be working. The group has raised more than $2 million, according to online records from the Secretary of State.

And Measure 91 has earned the endorsement of several high profile Oregon officials like former U.S. Attorney Kris Olson and former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs. The No on 91 campaign also has its share of prominent supporters, including the Oregon Sheriff's Association – which donated $100,000.

Whether Measure 91 will pass in November remains too close to call. A Survey USA poll done for KATU-TV in September showed Measure 91 with a narrow lead of 44 to 40 percent. That's within the margin of error for the poll and it showed the ballot initiative only enjoying majority support among voters 18 to 34 – who have been the least likely to vote in midterm elections.


News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Statesmanjournal.com
Author: Anna Staver
Contact: Contact Us
Website: Is Oregon next to go 'green'?


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It's a tough row to hoe during a mid-term election year. But, the #MPP got Arizona's #MedMj petition passed in 2010, also a mid-term election year. It squeaked by with a smidgen of voters leaning to the 'Yes' column, to the putrid disgust of the right-wing wacko conservative ' Los elefantes ' that politically dominate the interior populace of the state (ie. Maricopa County). Whatever youse Oregonians have to do to coerce those kids to vote on November 4th, please do. One more state out of 50 that recognizes the legality of #RecMj and our God-given rights to grow our own medicine, for both food and fiber, and for fuel (Henry Ford, Sr. had a small hemp plantation in his backyard from which he distilled his own fuel to run his own personal fleet of automobiles) ... is one more nail in the coffin of the deleterious prohibition of the Cannabis plant that has plagued the United States and her visiting song bird populations for decades.
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