Marijuana Legalization Bill Moving in Oregon

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #779)

[image:1 align:left]An Oregon bill that would legalize marijuana was approved by the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday on a 6-3 vote after hearing testimony that same day. That marks the first time any Oregon marijuana legalization measure has won a committee vote. The bill now heads to the House Revenue Committee.

The bill, House Bill 3371, would legalize marijuana possession for adults 21 and over, provide for the cultivation of a small number of plants without regulation, and set up a system of taxation and regulation of marijuana commerce. It was sponsored by the Revenue Committee.

"Marijuana legalization is coming to Oregon sooner rather than later," said Anthony Johnson of New Approach Oregon, a group supporting legalization. "It makes sense to regulate marijuana like alcohol and for the legislature to take the lead on the issue and make sure sensible regulations are in place."

The only opposition to the bill at the Wednesday hearing came from the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association, which said it was concerned about drugged driving, underage use, and drug dependency.

"This act will not make the problems of marijuana abuse go away," said Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett, speaking on behalf of the association.

Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize marijuana in 1973. Last, the Measure 80 marijuana legalization initiative, poorly funded and hobbled by the mixed reputation of its proponent, Paul Stanford, managed to pull in nearly 47% of the popular vote. Activists have been discussing whether to go forward with another initiative in 2014, but if HB 3371 keeps moving, they may not have to wait that long.

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.


kickback (not verified)

I think that Sheriff Garrett should spend less time concerning himself with Cannabis users and more time focusing on the problem of Cops and Alcoholism . Look in the mirror . Maybe it`s all just about that Government $$$ .

Sat, 04/06/2013 - 5:57am Permalink
Uncle Bob (not verified)

I know they know what they're doing, but bringing this back so soon after voters struck it down sounds risky.  Well maybe it'll be for the best, who knows.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 2:44pm Permalink
N.T. Greene (not verified)

In reply to by Uncle Bob (not verified)

The Oregon initiative suffered from low funding. 47%, for the resources the pro-legalization movement there had, was remarkably successful. It takes time and money to disseminate information -- if you're low on funds it makes the fight far harder.

We are also seeing a shift in nationwide polls, and the crackdown everyone was expecting has not happened yet. Those two facts in particular make it an especially good time for legislature-based activities like this. The political climate is changing, and the pols are slowly-but-surely taking on bolder chances. 

Wait until the midterm vote comes up -- we're only going to see more action in the coming years, and unless the feds drop the giant banhammer on it all somehow... we're going to break through.

But to entertain your logic some: This is why CA did not have a 2012 initiative, basically. 

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 3:09pm Permalink
pete623 (not verified)

Sounds to me like the truth is finely coming out. Cannabis has NEVER killed anyone, point!

All the ignorance that has plagued the lawmakers and politicians even the people that have been told that cannabis is dangerous can no longer be a excuse. I mean come on, its a short cut to thinking that someone can compare a plant that doesn't kill, cures cancer, eases pain, makes life bearable for some, can fuel the world , build homes, cars and has many many other uses. If i had grown up with cannabis as a choice i would not have used cigarettes or alcohol which has killed so many people including many of my own family and friends. I pray that cannabis is legalized Worldwide! This useless war on drugs has got to end. Everyone has a voice, we have to use it and legalize. 

Mon, 04/08/2013 - 7:58am Permalink
Drew B (not verified)

I hears this bill contains a wrong-headed provision which should be expunged before passing or immediately after, preferably before.

Thu, 04/18/2013 - 2:01am Permalink

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