Oregon Marijuana Legalization Bill Scheduled for April Hearing

Oregon Marijuana Legalization Bill Scheduled for April Hearing

SALEM, OR — April showers could bring legal cannabis flowers to Oregon if bill that would legalize marijuana possession and create a state-regulated system of legal marijuana commerce passes the State Legislature.

House Bill 3371, also known as the Control, Regulation and Taxation of Cannabis Act, was introduced earlier this month by the House Committee on Revenue and has been scheduled for a hearing April 2 at 1:00 pm by the House Judiciary Committee.

The bill would legalize the possession of up to six plants and 24 ounces of marijuana “on the premises” of non-commercial home grows, the same amounts allowed under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, for adults 21 or older. The bill does not otherwise set possession limits, but leaves them to the Oregon Health Authority to regulate.

House Bill 3371 would not prevent employers from prohibiting the manufacture, delivery, possession or use of marijuana in the workplace.

The bill would also legalize industrial hemp.

Under the bill, the Oregon Health Authority would be charged with licensing marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers and retailers, with the tax set at $35 an ounce. Marijuana commerce would include “edibles.”

The money would go to a “Cannabis Tax Account,” with 40 percent of proceeds going to schools and 20 percent each to Oregon State Police, the general fund, and services for mental health, alcoholism and drugs.

If passed, the bill would go into effect July 1, 2014.

“Soon, we may have our neighbor to the north collecting tax revenue from Oregon residents, when Oregon should be collecting that revenue,” said Anthony Johnson, director of New Approach Oregon, a new political action committee formed by a coalition of groups seeking legalization of marijuana and hemp in Oregon. “Marijuana is safer than alcohol, and it makes sense to regulate it like alcohol.”

Last year, a marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 80, was barely defeated at the polls, gaining 47% of the popular vote.

Oregon activists are currently debating whether to move forward with another initiative in 2014 or wait for the next presidential election in 2016.

But if the legislature acts on HB 3371, Oregonians may not have to wait even that long.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Malcolm-Kyle/100001700224506 Malcolm Kyle

    Prohibition has diverted police resources away from other law enforcement activities with the result that violent crime and crime against property is driven far higher than it would have been otherwise. To the extent that communities divert law enforcement resources from violent crimes to illegal drug offenses the risk of punishment for engaging in violent crime is reduced.

    The National Firearms Act of 1934 was actually a direct response to the acute rise in prohibition (1919-33) engendered gun violence.

    PROHIBITION EQUATES TO MORE VIOLENT CRIME WHICH LEADS TO MORE CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL

    The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada reviewed 15 studies that evaluated the association between violence and drug law enforcement. “Our findings suggest that increasing drug law enforcement is unlikely to reduce drug market violence. Instead, the existing evidence base suggests that gun violence and high homicide rates may be an inevitable consequence of drug prohibition and that disrupting drug markets can paradoxically increase violence.”

    During alcohol prohibition all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A vast fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally the economy collapsed! Sound familiar?

    Prohibitionists and their gun-control criminal friends who live in a crack-house called Congress are having a ball. And it’s all on our tab.

  • http://twitter.com/bleah3 Red Dotter

    Why is the suggested tax $35 per ounce? Isn’t regulation supposed to drop the cost of items under prohibition? Alcohol costs plummeted after it was regulated, I would expect the same from marijuana. The tax should be lower because the cost is going to be lower.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1446100968 Tiffiney Lee McClellan

    I pray this passes.

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