M80 -- Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), formerly Initiative 9.
Currently, marijuana cultivation, possession and delivery are
prohibited; regulated medical marijuana use is permitted. Measure
replaces state, local marijuana laws except medical marijuana and
driving under the influence laws; distinguishes "hemp" from "marijuana";
prohibits regulation of hemp. Creates commission to license marijuana
cultivation by qualified persons and to purchase entire crop. Commission
sells marijuana at cost to pharmacies, medical research facilities, and
to qualified adults for profit through state-licensed stores.
percent of net goes to state general fund, remainder to drug education,
treatment, hemp promotion. Bans sales to, possession by minors. Bans
public consumption except where signs permit, minors barred. Commission
regulates use, sets prices, other duties; Attorney General to defend
against federal challenges/prosecutions. Provides penalties. Effective
January 1, 2013; other provisions.
Recap Portland City Club Debate; 45 days left until Oregon votes on Measure 80
At the Portland City Club debate
on Friday, Paul Stanford and
Josh Marquis faced off over
Stanford is the Chief Petitioner for Measure 80 to legalize marijuana for
adults, which voters will decide on the November ballot,
while Marquis has been the District Attorney for Clatsop County since
1994 and an outspoken opponent of
medical marijuana law.
Marquis gave his opening statement first after winning a coin toss,
contrary to typical debate formats. In this opening statement, Marquis
declared that Measure 80 was
"a solution in search of a problem". He stated that people were not being
arrested for marijuana in Oregon - that possession of less than one ounce
of marijuana is only a ticketed offense. He also pointed to the recent raid in Southern Oregon
by the DEA as evidence that the federal government "will not tolerate"
Stanford opened up by describing Measure 80 as a "historic opportunity" for
Oregon to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and fix the
"long-standing failure" of prohibition. He reflected back on the earlier
prohibition of alcohol when Oregon "led the way" in ending alcohol
prohibition by overturning the prohibition of alcohol prior to the Volstead
Act being passed to repeal federal prohibition, and now Oregon's alcohol
industry is thriving and "employing thousands and bringing money to our
state." He reiterated that Measure 80 preserves DUI laws and prohibits
public consumption of marijuana. It also creates jobs and revenue with a
"sensible policy" for our state, he claimed. He concluded his opening
statement by saying, "The war on drugs is insanity, and Measure 80 is the
Marquis disputed the comparison between alcohol prohibition and marijuana
prohibition, because he said that alcohol prohibition attempted to outlaw
"all alcohol" and that "marijuana is already available for less than an
ounce" due to Oregon's decriminalization in the 70's. While this was not
addressed in the debate, that is not actually true; decriminalization does
not make marijuana "available", but instead simply reduces penalties for
the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana to a ticket ranging from
$500-1000 for each offense. However, sales of marijuana or cultivating
marijuana are still criminal; in fact, both are Class A felonies under
current law. This means that while the penalties are minimal for possession
of less than an ounce of marijuana, providing that ounce carries serious
penalties. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana is also a felony.
Marquis claimed that driving under the influence would be a concern with
legal marijuana: "Marijuana is radically different from other drugs,
because it is fat soluble." He says that this means in court, "all we can
tell you is that this person has consumed marijuana" but that there is no
technology to identify when it was consumed. He alluded that making
marijuana legal would result in people driving under the influence of
marijuana. Stanford rebutted by saying that people are not "waiting" for
legal marijuana to drive under the influence, and that Measure 80 will fund
further research for identifying impaired drivers to assist law enforcement
with enforcement of DUI laws.
Stanford was asked about the state-licensing structure built into Measure
80 to oversee marijuana licensing and distribution, the Oregon Cannabis
Commission. He explained that the measure was written to be "upheld in
federal court" and that the state regulatory structure is a part of that
argument. Marquis rebutted that 5 of the 7 commissioners will be elected by
growers and processors under Measure 80. He did not feel that marijuana
should be handled like "blueberries and filberts."
Marquis was then asked how Measure 80 would "affect communities of color in
Oregon" and Marquis said it would not affect people of color and he noted
the nearly all-white audience at the debate. He then said that since
possession of less than an ounce was not a crime, that officers could not
use marijuana possession as a "pretext for arrest" as they do elsewhere.
Stanford rebutted with the fact that "African Americans make up 2% of the
population but 9% of the prison population" here in Oregon. He noted that
many parole and probation violations are a result of failing a drug test
due to the use of marijuana, resulting in increased incarceration. He said
that this is why the NAACP supports Measure 80.
Marquis said that he did *not* feel that marijuana outlets or dispensaries
would create crime but instead his concern was that legalization would make
marijuana more available. He felt that marijuana was already readily
available in Oregon, and he was opposed to "throwing open the doors" on
making it further available. Stanford pointed out that by passing Measure
80, we can reallocate our resources to more serious crimes. He said he felt
that crime rates would go down because police could focus their resources
on robbery and other serious crimes.
Marquis felt that the lack of a possession limit in Measure 80 was
problematic, and that if Oregonians could possess any limit, they would
sell it. Stanford pointed out that there was no limit imposed because there
are variations in growing marijuana that would result in variations in
output and that there was no way to know what that amount should be.
Marquis felt that middle-ground between the opposing positions on marijuana
legalization could be obtained by rescheduling marijuana to Schedule II at
the federal level. Stanford felt that middle-ground would be obtained by
negotiating the terms of legalization after passage of Measure 80, as our
legislature can alter and modify the law even after passage.
The moderator quoted statistics indicating that 1 in 6 inmates in the
federal prison system were incarcerated primarily as a result of a
marijuana offense and asked if these statistics should be considered a
"measure of success" or an "indictment on the war on drugs." Marquis
deflected from answering the question, and reiterated earlier statistics he
quoted that claim that only 10 prisoners in Oregon are there as a result of
marijuana. He claimed that changing the law in Oregon would have no impact
on federal prohibition, but did admit that the federal laws were
"draconian." Stanford said that he feels that passage of Measure 80 would
impact the federal discussion and could result in reclassification of
marijuana at the federal level. He feels that there will be a federal
challenge against Measure 80, but that the Supreme Court will rule in favor
Stanford highlighted the economic importance of hemp products, and pointed
out that the hemp market is currently is a "multi-billion dollar industry
that the majority of it is imported from Canada." He feels that Oregon can
lead the way in being the first state to cultivate hemp for fuel, fiber and
food. He said that he feels hemp will be the main economic engine and will
"dwarf the drug market."
Marquis stated that hemp won't get you high, and that if the conversation
was only about hemp, "we wouldn't be having a debate, we wouldn't care."
Marquis said that the debate was not about hemp or agriculture, though, it
was about "legalizing a drug." He said that this conflicted with earlier
attempts to legalize medical marijuana, where advocates fought for the
right to get the "drug" to sick people in Oregon.
Marquis agreed that scheduling of marijuana obstructed research into the
potential benefits and detriments of setting marijuana policy. Stanford
pointed out that marijuana is one of the most heavily studied substances
known to man, and that research has consistently demonstrated that
marijuana is "fairly innocuous."
Marquis called Measure 80 a "bad idea" and urged a "no" vote:
The fact of the matter is that you're not going to jail in Oregon for
possession of marijuana. The police cannot arrest you for possession of
small amounts. If you get caught with felony possession of marijuana, your
odds are about, only slightly worse than winning the lottery that you might
actually go to prison. And, if you get a medical marijuana card that's
probably easier than getting a drivers license, you can possess a pound and
a half of marijuana. So, where's the problem? There just is no problem
Stanford concluded with noting that marijuana use is currently at an
all-time high, while alcohol and tobacco use are at all-time lows. He said,
"What we are doing has failed, and we need a new approach." He lamented the
reduced spending on education and the record high incarceration rate that
is "driven by the war on marijuana." He said it was "easier for kids to get
marijuana than it is liquor" and that it was a result of regulating
alcohol. He said "Oregonians have a history of tackling tough issues in our
own way", and now has an opportunity to be at the forefront of regulating
marijuana. He urged a "Yes" vote on Measure 80:
…for Oregon's sake, for the safety of our youth, for the prosperity of our
economy, for a model that will serve for the rest of our nation. Once again
Oregon can lead the way. We have been a pioneer state for 150 years and we
can continue to do that today.
The full audio of the debate is available from the Portland City Club website.
The full video of the debate is available on Youtube.
As I continue to countdown to Election Day, upcoming topics will include
the various uses for hemp, the controversy surrounding medical marijuana
and how the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 will impact Oregonians. I will
also focus on the conflicts with federal laws as well as the election
process itself, including * who can vote * and
how to register to vote.
Too many Oregonians aren't even aware that Oregon will be voting on this
crucial issue this November 6. This Election Day 2012 countdown will be
full of information that is important to voters all throughout Oregon.
* SOURCE = Recap Portland City Club Debate; 45 days left until Oregon votes on Measure 80
Group Forms In Support of Mesure 80
PORTLAND, Sept. 17 - A new group is campaigning for Measure 80, arguing
that the prohibition of marijuana has failed and that new directions like
that outlined in the measure must be pursued instead.
Sam Chapman, co-director of the new group, Oregonians for Law Reform, said,
"Ending prohibition is an idea whose time has come, again. We will urge
voters to rally behind Measure 80, not get bogged down in the typical pro
and con rhetoric around the details of an initiative. We must show our
support for this measure to help build momentum for victory, either in
November or some time soon."
With less than 60 days left until Election Day, advocates in three
states-Oregon, Colorado, and Washington-are facing crunch time for
fundraising and "getting out the vote" for the regulation of marijuana. OLR
will advocate for Measure 80 separately from the existing initiative
campaign, with a more focused message around ending prohibition, and with
tactics both to reach out to mainstream voters and pro-legalization
"Our strategy is centered around traditional media ad buy, campus voter
registration drives, massive social media presence, as well as coordinated
get out the vote efforts and earned media, such as holding town halls,
fundraisers, local TV and radio appearances. We are going to run a campaign
with a clear and concise message for the mainstream voters-who already
agree with us that it's time to end prohibition again in Oregon," says Sam
Chapman, Co-Director of the Oregonians for Law Reform.
OLR believes that the passage of Measure 80 is imperative. Measure 80 will:
· Free up law enforcement resources spent on marijuana prohibition
· Establish a regulated supply system that will take the profits
out of the hands of criminals
· Provide a much needed source of revenue and jobs for Oregonians
As recently as last year, Rasmussen polling showed that 56% of Americans
supported ending adult marijuana prohibition. With Measure 80 on the
ballot, Oregon is once again in the position to pioneer progressive public
policy with its passage.
Oregonians spend tens of millions of dollars per year to prosecute
marijuana crimes, while cutting funding for education and other programs
that are vital to our state. OLR supports all progressive law reform
efforts in Oregon that make sense from a public policy standpoint with the
ultimate goal of making our communities stronger and safer.
* for more info, Contact:
Oregonians for Law Reform
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
* or visit -
As expected, the opposition statements in the Voter Pamphlet consist of
Shirley Morgan, the associations for the Chief of Police, Sheriffs and
District Attorneys. Please read and be prepared to present an argument
against these concepts, which all Oregonians will have in their voter
here <- for more.
Oregon House Ways &
Means Co-Chair Buckley Endorses Measure 80
Salem, Ore. -- Continuing the momentum of local
and national support for common-sense cannabis policy in Oregon, Rep. Peter
Buckley (D-Ashland) has officially endorsed Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax
Act. Buckley joins an expanding list of political and community leaders around
Oregon and the nation calling for an end to Americaâ€™s catastrophic war
"It makes absolutely no sense to me that we continue to waste millions of
dollars every year to prohibit adults from making the choice of whether to
consume marijuana, especially when we could be regulating and taxing that
market and funding the programs we've been cutting session after session,"
said Rep. Buckley, co-chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Oregon
is a pioneer state, and I for one want us to make history this November by
ending prohibition and regulating marijuana just like we regulate
According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron,
Oregon has spent more than $60 million a year on marijuana-related offenses,
from local police enforcement costs to court-room costs to the millions spent
Measure 80 would replace a failed system of prohibition with an effective
taxation-and-regulation model. While adults 21 and older would be able to
purchase cannabis products only at state-licensed stores, Measure 80 also
introduces tough new criminal and civil penalties for selling or providing
cannabis to a minor.Â The measure also maintains Oregonâ€™s strict DUII
"Measure 80 will make it much harder for Oregon's youth to get access to marijuana, just like we've made it hard for youth to purchase alcohol thanks to well-known and enforced liquor laws,"ť said Yes on 80 chief petitioner Paul Stanford. "Tax-and-regulate legalization will work where prohibition has failed. Rep. Buckley's support is more proof that regulating marijuana isn't politics, it's just common-sense."
To learn more about Oregon Measure 80, visit www.vote80.org.
FOR more info CONTACT:
The text on this Bill can be found at:
and Please donate at:
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> Allows personal marijuana, hemp cultivation/use without license;
commission to regulate commercial marijuana cultivation/sale.
> Result of a "Yes" Vote:* "Yes" vote allows commercial marijuana
(cannabis) cultivation/sale to adults through state-licensed stores;
allows unlicensed adult personal cultivation/use; prohibits restrictions
on hemp (defined).
> Result of a "No" Vote:* "No" vote retains existing civil and criminal
laws prohibiting cultivation, possession and delivery of marijuana;
retains current statutes that permit regulated medical use of marijuana.
A copy of the Bill may be found online at:
LTL (Letters-To-yer-Legislator, Editor, Org Director, Biz Owner)
you can send identical emails to every oregon senator (which will show
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MAP's media resource center:
If you go to about the middle of the page you will find the "Style
Guide" with links to:
• MAP Letters to the Editor Archive
• Tips for Getting Letters to the Editor Published, by Platinum Letter
Writer, Robert Sharpe
• Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces, American College of Emergency
• MAP Three Tips for Letter Writers
• Powerful Paragraphs, ClearWriter's ClearTips
• How to Write Letters to the Editor, Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
• Grammar Bytes!, Grammar Instruction with Attitude
• How to Communicate with Journalists, Fairness and Accuracy in
• Letter Writer's Style Guide, by Chris Donald
• Writing Effective Letters to the Editor, 20/20 Vision
respectfully, we suggest two main rules-of-thumb for letter writing
to improve the liklihood of being published.
1. Write short declarative sentences as if you were speaking to a
child, a small animal or a judge.
2. Limit yourself to 150 words.
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