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Oregon Representative to Introduce Marijuana Legalization Bill

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #651)

Supporters of marijuana legalization in Oregon failed to get the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act(OCTA) on the ballot this year, but now another path appears to be opening. State Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland) has announced he will introduce a legalization bill. He said he expected a hearing in February.

Buckley told the Portland Medical Marijuana Examiner he was using OCTA as a starting point because it was "a good proposal." He said that with budget concerns and "the desire to make progress on this," the OCTA proposal was something for the legislature to consider.

Rep. Peter Buckley and family

OCTA would set up an Oregon Cannabis Commission to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana -- but not hemp, which would be legal and unregulated. The commission would license commercial growers and processors, which would sell their product to the commission, which in turn would retail it in commission stores. Cultivation and possession for non-commercial use by adults would not be regulated.

Whether Rep. Buckley actually introduces the bill remains to be seen, and its fate in the legislature is murky. But OCTA activists aren't just sitting around waiting for the politicians to set matters right; they are already gearing up for an effort to put OCTA on the ballot in 2012.

It looks like, one way or another, Oregon is vying to be one of the first states to cross the finish line in the decades-long marathon to end pot prohibition.

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.


Portland, OR - The Oregon affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Oregon NORML) is proud to announce that Representative Peter Buckley (D-Ashland, OR.), Co-Chair of the Ways & Means Committee, will introduce legislation to tax and regulate cannabis for adult consumption.

"After several years of talks and negotiation, Buckley specifically requested the legislative language he will introduce as what we call 'OCTA Light,'" reports Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of Oregon NORML.

The legislative language, written by Martinez and Melodie Silverwolf, does not include the hemp component of the original Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA). With the assistance of longtime activist and citizen lobbyist Laird Funk of Williams, Oregon NORML submitted language inspired by the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act written by Paul Stanford and many others. It provides a simple and concise starting point for Oregon to move forward and end cannabis prohibition for all adults while keeping the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program in place.

After a pre-session meeting on September 21, 2010, Representative Buckley has now agreed to introduce this legalization language to the legislature in next year's session. For more information, please contact Madeline Martinez through the Oregon NORML message line at 503-239-6110.

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 1:20am Permalink

Hemp is already legal in Oregon.

There is no need for hemp legalization language in any drug Cannabis legalization bill. The problem with OCTA and OCTA Light is commissioned retail (Both OCTA's) and whether or not prior Cannabis felons can participate in the production and distribution process (OCTA light). Commissioned retail isn't that bad, but it does stifle the quality and variation of what types of Cannabis distribution facilities may develop. Have you been top a liquor store? They are quite bland, and mostly all the same. The coffee shop model cannot be realized under this sort of paradigm nor can any other possible model be developed under Additionally, the banning of people who got popped for Cannabis felonies before the legalization measure from participating in the production and distribution market is not fair as Cannabis should never have been illegal in the first place. It doesn't make sense to ban one Cannabis expert from production and retail for getting caught before legalization while permitting another Cannabis expert for not getting caught. It is the Cannabis experts who rightfully should be producing and retailing the commodity. The amount of legal Cannabis experts is very low, and it is extremely difficult to attain experience necessary under current legal means. I do not believe there is a single person who has not knowingly broken the law. Speeding should be considered a greater violation compared any drug violation associated with consenting adults. We shouldn't penalize people under future laws simply for getting caught under past laws.

Anyways, it would be a great start. Despite its short fallings, it would be a great improvement from our current system.

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 6:43pm Permalink
Moonrider (not verified)

The war on drug(user)s has turned our country into a police state and our police into thugs who know they can break any law in pursuit of drug "offenders" (who the hell does one's personal drug use offend?  The sadomoralists), up to and including murder, with impunity.

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 2:15pm Permalink
Vivianne Mosca-Clark (not verified)

My question is:  Why do we have to go through all the mess to smoke?  No other herb or pharmaceutical has to be dealt with in the way marijuana has to be dealt with.  The pot cling-ons have been making money on the public for years.  I have been trying to make the cannabis plant legal for years.   Most of the Oregon people that are in the legalization movement have been making money at the cost of the people using it.  They got money to keep it 'medical'.  That makes the law have access to your home at any time they want to.  When I wanted to just go legal with this plant, I was patted ion the head, and told not to worry.  That was over 20 years ago, and those people have been making money and not going for legalization.  This herb was made illegal for the oil companies to make money. Yellow journalism was used to help make it illegal.  The Hurst papers has said that they had done this kind of  "news".  But cannabis is still under the yoke of the law. Nothing was changed.

The primary reason Marijuana is still illegal in Oregon is due to the professional activists.  One half of them are making their money keeping it illegal, and the other half are trying to pass laws that allow them to become the next round of the new wealthy.  It's simple.  Remove the prohibitions and tax any commercial interaction.  It's the American way.  No matter what, get rid of the professional activists.  They have failed to do any thing positive for over twenty years and they are still in charge?????

Sun, 10/03/2010 - 3:20pm Permalink

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