Shortly before last Tuesday’s election, Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland said that, if Prop 19 passed in California, he would introduce the Oregon Cannabis Revenue Act. I have to assume that this is a more-accurately-named Oregon Cannabis Tax Act or OCTA, as that measure would not actually tax marijuana, but would give the state revenue by selling it. I searched for Buckley’s measure on the web, and found nothing but an article about his plan to introduce it.
Assuming that these are the same measure, Representative Buckley should introduce it anyway; we in Oregon should not predicate our actions on the actions of Californians on a very different measure. Prop 19 would have allowed sales only where local governments allow, regulate and tax it.
California didn’t need a patchwork of legal sales and local black markets. OCTA would have the state licensing growers and processors and all adults would be able to buy it locally in state cannabis stores, similar to liquor regulation.
I ran into a couple of older, respectable gentlemen who were sad that Prop 19 and Measure 74 did not pass; I pointed out that Prop 19 had problems, and Measure 74 would only entrench our problematic medical privilege that maintains a black market for those of us who are healthy and makes sick people rich.
They said that we should legalize it completely. I said that they should tell their legislators to pass the Oregon Cannabis Revenue Act, or Tax Act, as the case may be. They said that they didn’t want them to think that they were that concerned. They were afraid of what their public servants would think of them.
People, your public servants should be afraid of you, not the reverse. Paranoia paralyzes. If I can tell this Board, with the Sheriff in the room, that I spend up to $300 per month on black market weed, and not get arrested, then you are in no danger from telling your legislators that they should end the unnecessary evil of pot prohibition and replace it with more reasonable regulations.
There are plenty of reasons that you should do so, regardless of whether you use cannabis. If you want to stop teenagers from becoming pot dealers instead of getting real jobs; if you want to stop theft of pot from gardens; if you want money now spent on weed to go to other goods and services; if you want cops to go after thieves instead of gardeners; you should talk to your legislators. And this Board should pass a resolution to support the renamed Oregon Cannabis Tax Act as the Oregon Cannabis Revenue Act.