Oregon Ballot Measure 91: Will Third Time Be The Charm?

  • by Keith Stroup, NORML Legal Counsel October 6, 2014

    As we approach the midterm elections on November 4th, I want to focus on the two statewide voter initiatives that seek to fully legalize marijuana in Alaska and Oregon. This week I will examine the proposal in Oregon, known as Measure 91.

    Will the Third Time Be the Charm?

    This will be the third time – and, hopefully, the charm time – that Oregon voters have voted on a marijuana legalization proposal. The first initiative, Measure 5 in 1986, the Oregon Marijuana Legalization for Personal Use Act, would have legalized the personal possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use; it won the support of only 26 percent of the voters. More recently, Measure 80 in 2012, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, would have allowed the personal cultivation of marijuana and established a licensing system for the commercial production and sale of marijuana; it came close, with the support of 46.5 percent of the voters.

    The latest Oregon initiative, Measure 91, proposed by New Approach Oregon, would legalize the use of marijuana by those 21 and older, and establish a system of licensing, taxing and regulating marijuana under the auspices of the Oregon Liquor Control Board.

    Specifically, under this proposal adults would be permitted to possess up to eight ounces of “dried” marijuana and cultivate up to four plants. And they would be allowed to give up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana products in solid form or 72 ounces of marijuana products in liquid form, to other individuals 21 and older; they could not be compensated or reimbursed for these transactions. Adults would be allowed to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana products in solid form, or 72 ounces of marijuana products in liquid form from properly registered businesses. These limits are more permissive than those previously approved in Washington and Colorado, and may provide a test of how restrictive a legalization system must be to win the approval of a majority of the voters.

    Go to Marijuana.com for the rest of the column.

    25 responses to “Oregon Ballot Measure 91: Will Third Time Be The Charm?”

    1. TheOracle says:

      HuffPost has an article on The New York Times whatever number of the six pro-legalization editorials in a series.

      NYT excerpt below http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/opinion/alaska-oregon-and-the-district-of-columbia-should-legalize-pot.html?_r=1

      Ideally, the federal government would repeal the ban on marijuana, so states could set their own policies without worrying about the possibility of a crackdown on citizens violating federal law. Even though a majority of Americans favor legalization, Congress shows no sign of budging. So it’s better for the states to take the lead than to wait for an epiphany on Capitol Hill that may never come.

      End of excerpt

      I hope the NYT convinces more undecided voters than prohibitionist organizations such as SAM and the Gang persuade voters to vote against legalization.

      Are the prohibitionists running several different kinds of anti-cannabis ads, and often? What kind of a dent are their ads making? Any more polling? Where are the pockets of prohibition? Gotta be something in the online Oregon papers.

      I’m thinking if NYT editorial board is pro-legalization, what kind of an effect is this having on Cuomo? I don’t know why he’s being such a limp dick about it.

    2. Bob Constantine says:

      Dear Nanny State,

      If I’m really good and clean my room will you please let me have a little pot and a few plants
      in the back yard?

      Thank you nanny state, I know that you know how to run my life better than I can.

      Yours truly,

      The Duped Sheep

    3. Just An Observer says:

      Since Oregon is a Democratic state for the most part, the 2012 rejection must be laid at the hands of liberals who aren’t in favor of personal freedom. We already know which way the cultural conservatives are going to vote but they’re not a majority here by any means.

      A nannystater from either the left or right is still a nannystater.

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      Perhaps we could encourage Congress to move on this issue by repeatedly emphasizing Harry J. Anslinger’s testimony before Congress:

      “When a darkie smokes marijuana, he thinks he’s just as good as a white man.”

      The blatant, keep-them-down racism may have sold in the Congress at the time, but it is vile anathema to modern America.

    5. Dave Evans says:

      Galileo Galilei, “The blatant, keep-them-down racism may have sold in the Congress at the time, but it is vile anathema to modern America.”

      Dude, that is modern America. Why do you think marijuana is still illegal? It is so innocence people can keep being arrested. Why you think there so many asshats trying to keep their neighbors from voting? We’re trying to legalize weed, while they are working on keeping their neighbors from voting in 2014… Who on this short list is working toward a less racist and better future? Hint: not the people trying to prevent voting… …And most of time marijuana is made legal by The People Voting, not thanks to the “leadership” of the parties.

    6. Patrick says:

      Galileo, don’t be stupid. Seriously, your comment was from a different realm

    7. Bob Constantine says:

      If this law passes, it will be the equivalent of the plantation owners giving “the good darkies” a travel pass. It should not be confused with real freedom.

      The state has no business telling free people what they can consume or how much of it they can possess.

      [Editor’s note: Your equating the current ballot initiative in Oregon to end cannabis prohibition as being the political and moral equivalent to slavery being allowed to continue is as hyperbolic as it is inaccurate.

      In espousing a purely libertarian viewpoint you’re deluding yourself from the substantive and positive policy outcomes when citizens vote to end cannabis prohibition.

      Guns, alcohol products, pharmaceuticals, autos, cell phones are all legal, but with clear (and usually obvious) prohibitions and regulations that don’t render the citizen ‘not free’.

      Rather than denigrate the hard work of advocates who raise the money and employ the talent to end cannabis prohibition laws because they don’t comport to libertarian fantasy (even strident libertarians should be actively supporting the base work of actually ending the prohibition…most especially since libertarians are not actually changing any cannabis laws at any level in the US), after prohibition has ended, politically organize effectively to more ideally shape the law to the wants and needs of citizen cannabis consumers.]

    8. Bob Constantine says:

      Dear Editor,

      No I am equating a permission based privilege to a permission based privilege. In both instances another entity controls a peaceful person, which is not consistent with freedom….and you know it.

      Recognition of who owns you and who doesn’t comes easier to some of us. As far as the hard work of others, sure I appreciate it and have done a good bit myself. That doesn’t change the fact that free people do not require permission to control their own property or body.


      [Editor’s note: Unless one chooses to live in a cave and off the land…no person on earth is genuinely ‘free’. However, that is a far larger philosophical discussion beyond ending cannabis prohibition and replacing the failed policy with constitutional and free market-friendly alternatives that are supported by citizens and their elected policy makers.

      Philosophy is great. Political science more applicable when changing public policy.]

    9. Dave Evans says:

      Bob, the only part I don’t like is, “they could not be compensated or reimbursed for these transactions.”

      Freed people do pay taxes and are regulated, by laws they write, not have written for them by crooks.

      Look, having a Marijuana Business is different from have extra bud on hand that you can distribute to friends. There is no reason to prohibit low level sales between friends. However, I can see how people would try to make the excuse that their Marijuana Business isn’t one and they don’t have to pay taxes or follow regulations, which would be bullshit.

      However, the State does have the Right to Prohibit you from using money to purchase marijuana because Federal Law already Prohibits it. When State and Federal Law say the same thing, the state can say to the Feds, “Look we are trying to respect the Federal Guidelines on Marijuana; it is right there is in black and white.”

      Once legal Federally, the States will not have as much legal standing to ban the selling of marijuana, not at a licensed distributor. Unless they crave out a Federal Exception. Sure cigarettes are completely controlled by the State Laws on them, but that system is a complete mess with different taxes rates in each state and cigarettes are dangerous use to require a national policy, unlike marijuana which is only dangerous if you try really, really hard to make it dangerous.

    10. Dave Evans says:

      The State Laws on Cigarettes are designed to raise revenue and create crime by having different tax rates in each state for the same exact thing. Why, exactly? Does cancer cost more or less in Alabama then it does in California?

      I would hate to see the logic applied to cigarettes continue to be applied to marijuana and marijuana products. We do need to low ball the regulations and the taxes on marijuana or we will still be supporting disordered laws which don’t fit the subject they are trying to address.

      Governor Hickenlooper cracks me up. He said legalizing marijuana was a mistake, but it isn’t their job to re-illegalize it. Double talk? What I heard was, “Don’t legalize in 2014 in your state, keep the money flowing to Colorado for a couple more years”.