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Oregon OCTA Marijuana Legalization Initiative Makes Ballot

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #743)
Politics & Advocacy

The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) initiative has qualified for the November ballot, the Oregon Secretary of State Election Division's official Twitter feed announced last Friday evening. That means voters in three Western states will vote on versions of marijuana legalization this year. The other two are Colorado and Washington.

The OCTA campaign and allies were quick to react.

"Today is an historic day for Oregon and for the national movement for common-sense marijuana policy," Paul Stanford, chief petitioner said in press release the same night. "Oregon's long had an independent streak and led the nation on policies that benefit the public good. Regulating marijuana and restoring the hemp industry is in that tradition of independent, pragmatic governance. Whether you're liberal or conservative, urban or rural, young or old, regulating and taxing marijuana and hemp makes sense for Oregon."

OCTA now becomes Measure 80 on the November Oregon ballot. It would regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over, with commercial sales only through state-licensed stores. The state's general fund would receive 90% of tax revenues, estimated at more than $140 million annually. Another 7% would go to drug treatment programs, and the remaining 3% would go toward promoting Oregon’s hemp food, fiber and bio-fuel industries.

Regulating marijuana is a more rational approach to decreasing crime and improving youth and public safety, said Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which supports the initiative.

"When the voters of Oregon pass this commonsense initiative, it will take money right out of the pockets of violent gangs and cartels and put it into the state's tax coffers, where it can be spent on improving schools, roads and public safety," said the 34-year career law-enforcement officer and veteran of narcotics policing in Baltimore. "Plus, when cops like me are no longer charged with chasing down marijuana users, we will be able to fully focus on stopping and solving serious crimes like murders, rapes and robberies."

Parts of organized labor are taking an interest in the job potential of a legal marijuana commerce.

"We support Measure 80 because it'll get middle-class Oregonians back to work, it’s as simple as that," said Dan Clay, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555. "Whether it's hemp biofuel refineries on the Columbia River or pulp and paper mills in central Oregon, hemp makes sense and fits Oregon's renowned sustainability economy."

A hundred days out from election day, it looks like we've got us a possible marijuana legalization trifecta.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


common sense (not verified)

Yeah let's legalize pot, I think that is just dumb next thing you know there gonna try and legalize crystal meth, heroin, why were at it let's just make all drugs legal to so the government can make more money
Sat, 07/14/2012 - 12:50pm Permalink
your mama (not verified)

In reply to by common sense (not verified)

ok so who ever wrote this is a joke you dont know what you are talking about people use this for pain and can you tell me one person that has died for over dosing on weed ummm hmmmm oh thats right you cant so why dont you practice falling down ill be there never haha why dont you keep your comments to your self.

Sat, 07/14/2012 - 1:19pm Permalink
GustavoP (not verified)

In reply to by common sense (not verified)

So you'd rather have the money go to Cartels and gangs that inject violence and crime into our streets?? Marijuana is a "soft" drug first of all compared to Meth and Heroin, so legalizing of those "hard" drugs will NEVER happen. Use your "common sense" and research things before you comment on them, it'll make you look like les of an idiot. 

Sat, 07/14/2012 - 2:03pm Permalink
Scooby (not verified)

In reply to by common sense (not verified)

Why  is someone like you posting on this site? There are plenty of anti-prohibition sites for you to spread misinformed stupidity !! Please go away and let the adults have an intelligent conversation !!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 12:00pm Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

In reply to by Gabor Neke (not verified)

was so childish, and devoid of content, that I was pleased to see it as an example of what the opposition is 'thinking', it didn't merit any response at all as far as I was concerned. If you want to make the best argument you can against the merit of cannabis legalization, I'll be happy to read it.

Wed, 07/18/2012 - 6:14pm Permalink
David Hart (not verified)

In reply to by common sense (not verified)

In case you didn't notice, while this particular article is about cannabis, the website as a whole is indeed about making all drugs legal (though 'legal' does not mean, as I suspect you think, 'no restrictions at all'; sensible regulation is the aim of most drug policy reformists, and what is a sensible policy regarding cannabis is likely to be very different from what is a sensible policy regarding heroin or methamphetamine) - and yes, the potential to raise taxes rather than squander them on policing people's private lives is one of the many arguments that are brought to the table, but not by any means the clincher - the fact that drug prohibition causes far more harm than it prevents, and that it is manifestly unjust, would be nearer the top of the list.

But if you think it is 'just dumb' to have the cannabis industry regulated by the state, rather than entirely controlled by criminals, you're going to need to produce real-world evidence in favour of that assertion. I say let's see it.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 8:45pm Permalink
biglittletiger (not verified)

In reply to by common sense (not verified)

WOW - omg  you sorry brained excuse for humanity- sorry, - your logic says "legalize pot, might as well legalize murder"   you watch "reefer madness" often?

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 2:24pm Permalink
Cara Elizabeth (not verified)

In reply to by common sense (not verified)

Your comment is absolutely rediculous. If you were educated about any drugs at all you would know that it is physically impossible to OD on Marijuana, it doesn't reorganize the chemistry of your brain, crumple your neurotransmitters and neuromodulators like other drugs such as cocaine and opiates do.. It helps with pain and is even safer than peanuts ...because people die from peanut allergies, NOT from smoking weed. Absolutely no recorded deaths due to marijuana. Plus you don't have to smoke it if u don't want to it can be baked into food and u can ingest it so there goes lung cancer out the door. I'm a counseling psychology major and chemical dependency minor and know a shit ton about drugs and what they do to your brain. Stop being so fucking brainwashed and actually go to school and get a damn education. And no... No one in their right mind would legalize heroin or meth.... Are you insane?
Wed, 09/12/2012 - 3:15pm Permalink
Anonymous Pat (not verified)


Government abuse of citizens must end!

The War on Drugs is a huge failure! 

The War on Drugs must end!

It only creates Mafias, Drug Lords, and Drug Militias.

End the whole thing now.

Sat, 07/14/2012 - 1:50pm Permalink
gypski (not verified)

A job well done goes out to Paul Stanford and Willie Nelson and all those who help make this possible.  Oregon will be blazing another trail into new territory and will be the first state to legalize marijuana and hemp.  May the feds be damned.

Sat, 07/14/2012 - 3:15pm Permalink
Paul Pot (not verified)

Fantastic news!!!

Congratulations and thanks to all those involved in getting this on the ballot.

Tremendous effort!!

We will be free!!!

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 2:59am Permalink
saynotohypocrisy (not verified)

The Washington and Colorado Democratic state parties have earned a place in history by supporting the legalization initiatives in their states. Here's hoping the Oregon Dems seize their chance to join them in saying no to alcohol supremacist bigotry.

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 6:07pm Permalink
ommppatient (not verified)

Cool beans, now spread the word and get everyone to the polls in November. mark your calendars, sharpie it to your forehead and be there.

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 8:58pm Permalink
John Q. Uber-D… (not verified)

its a step in the right direction but I think so many Americans have forgotten what Freedom is.  Cannabis being controlled by the government, sold from liquor stores and being taxed IS NOT FREEDOM.  Cannabis is a plant and should be available to anyone who wants to use it or grow it.  I am glad that people are waking up and realizing how stupid it is to fight a war over a plant, but don't mistake government control of cannabis as legalization or even a resemblance of freedom because it is not.  

Thu, 07/26/2012 - 1:42pm Permalink
preturnatul (not verified)

In reply to by John Q. Uber-D… (not verified)

So because its regulated by the government, that means it doesnt equate with freedom?? That is pretty stupid, because if you havnt noticed, you are Free- and yet you live in a society where almost everything is regulated by the government in some way. After the crisis of 2008, proved that there needs to be more regulation in the financial markets, does that mean the people have no Freedom with their money?? The answer is no. WE DO NOT NEED TO LIVE IN A STATE OF ANARCHY TO BE FREE!!!


Government regulation is a way of life, and as the events of 2008 proved, markets need to be regulated- same goes for the creation of a new market for marijuana. We live in a democratic society, and our ability to vote on this kind of issue shows our freedom, not the fact that it may have regulations. Everything in this country is regulated to some degree, that does not make you any less free.


I thank God that I dont live in an Anarchic society, especially when living in such as society would be a horrible society to live in..... especially in consideration of the anarchists, that all they can achieve or think to do to promote their ideals, is to break a bunch of windows. Just because there are laws, created by the many via democratic processes, does not mean you are not free.

Fri, 08/17/2012 - 11:12pm Permalink
AnnieIrene (not verified)

EVERY STATE COULD USE THE J O B S, T A X M O N E Y ,CREATED BY LEGALIZING MJ. MAYBE THE GOVERMENT COULD SAVE OUR COLLEGE GRADS FROM THE STUDENT LOANS....LIKE THEY BAILED OUT THE BANKS !!!! So they could afford to buy homes and get there families started....I have a 29 year old son graduated Rutgers U. Honors All 4 years.... 80,000 dollars. Then NYU he earned his Masters in 2 years Also honors $30, bill $110,000.00 after graduateting he could not Make payments so interest started....... Can you imagin the stress on this Young man !!??? I can only feel for this young generation .... So yes we NEED THE $$$$$$$ money legalizing the same as alcohol or cigarette s Come on AMERICA H E L P OUR OWN, THESE KIDS ARE GOOD KIDS DOING THE RIGHT THING....L E G A L I Z E AND CREATE WHAT OUR GREAT CONTRY NEEDS J O B S & $$$$$$$$$$$......why wait until we Go even lower.... Come on PRESADENT OBOMA YOU DO HAVE THE POWER..... I'm sorry FOR MY SPELLING IN ADVANCE but I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.... How do we get our message to the president ??? There is NOTHING WRONG WITH MJ,IT'S BETTER THEN ALCOHOL & CIGARETS..........
Fri, 08/24/2012 - 5:44am Permalink

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