|Campaign For The Restoration and Regulation of Hemp|
Late Friday afternoon, the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office certified Initiative 9, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, which will appear as Measure 80 on the Oregon ballot in November.
“Today is an historic day for Oregon and for the national movement for common-sense marijuana policy,” said Paul Stanford, chief petitioner. “Oregon’s long had an independent streak and led the nation on policies that benefit the public good. Regulating marijuana and restoring the hemp industry is in that tradition of independent, pragmatic governance.”
Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, would regulate cannabis (marijuana) for adults 21 years of age and older, with commercial sales only through state-licensed stores. Ninety percent of tax revenue, estimated at more than $140 million annually, would go to the state’s battered general fund.
Seven percent of tax proceeds would go toward funding drug treatment programs, and much of the remaining revenue would be directed toward kick-starting and promoting Oregon’s hemp food, fiber and bio-fuel industries.
|Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: “[W]hen cops like me are no longer charged with chasing down marijuana users, we will be able to fully focus on stopping and solving serious crimes”|
Regulating marijuana is also a more rational approach to decreasing crime and improving youth and public safety.
“When the voters of Oregon pass this common-sense initiative, it will take money right out of the pockets of violent gangs and cartels and put it into the state’s tax coffers, where it can be spent on improving schools, roads and public safety,” said Neill Franklin, the national executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and a 34-year career law-enforcement officer and veteran of narcotics policing in Baltimore.
“Plus, when cops like me are no longer charged with chasing down marijuana users, we will be able to fully focus on stopping and solving serious crimes like murders, rapes and robberies,” Franklin said.
Taxing and regulating cannabis and hemp will create thousands of local jobs, from agricultural jobs in Oregon’s hardest-hit rural counties to manufacturing, engineering and professional services jobs around the state.
“We support Measure 80 because it’ll get middle-class Oregonians back to work, it’s as simple as that,” said Dan Clay, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555. “Whether it’s hemp biofuel refineries on the Columbia River or pulp and paper mills in central Oregon, hemp makes sense and fits Oregon’s renowned sustainability economy.”
“Whether you’re liberal or conservative, urban or rural, young or old, regulating and taxing marijuana and hemp makes sense for Oregon,” Stanford added.
To learn more about the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, visit www.octa2012.org.