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If it moves

Considering Oregon's history, I'm surprised this idea didn't come up sooner.

The Oregon Legislature's latest idea for a tax? Medical marijuana.

The state would take over growing and distributing marijuana to patients in the medical-marijuana program under a bill introduced Wednesday.

Oregon approved marijuana use for medical purposes a decade ago. Around 20,000 residents are allowed to use it at present.

I'm for the legalization of marijuana, but also recall the Supreme Court decision of a few years ago. Are you telling me people in Oregon are using marijuana they are breaking federal laws? I know the decision applied to it being prescribed by a doctor but there's this more recent news about a raid on clinics that grow the stuff. Is the state of Oregon defying Federal law, or is just not being prosecuted? Someone feel free to educate me.

Sponsored by Rep. Ron Maurer, R-Grants Pass, House Bill 3274 imposes a $98-per-ounce tax, which would cover the state's cost of operating and securing the production center.

"I'm not a pot guy, but the water's under the bridge. That's not the issue," Maurer told The Oregonian newspaper. "Let's not even discuss that. Let's discuss is the program working? The answer is unequivocally no, that the program is not working."

If the growing of marijuana isn't working in a non-governmental way, how will it work with the state growing the pot? We all know how efficient government run enterprises are.(Cue the sarcastic laughter)

Maurer and three co-sponsors think the bill would improve public safety by eliminating private medical-marijuana grow sites. Some private growers have been accused of illegally selling marijuana to those who don't have cards; other sites have been targeted by burglaries and home invasions.
There's some crime related to any business enterprise, but that doesn't mean the government should be running it.

As for safety, just through the reports of drug busts in places like Pot St. Lucie*, I know that the grow houses do use a great deal of electricity and there are potential fire hazard problems. Instead of the state taking over the growing of pot, why not permit and inspect the sites that do and crack down on any illegal operators?

A bill co-sponsor, Rep. Chris Harker, D-Beaverton, told the Statesman Journal newspaper that the measure "takes medical marijuana off the streets and into a safer and more secure environment."

Current law allows registered patients to possess six mature cannabis plants, 18 immature seedlings and 24 ounces of usable cannabis. In 2004, voters rejected a measure that would create state distribution centers.

Since voters rejected what Hawker is proposing now, I think this legislation is a moot issue. The article clearly states it is a long shot.

*- Actually a South Florida community called Port St. Lucie. There have been many stories of grow house busts in that community, I gave it the nickname 'Pot St. Lucie'.


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Comments (7)

Bill, this bill is an effor... (Below threshold)
epador:

Bill, this bill is an effort by folks who oppose the medical marijuana program to shackle it. Since it offers a way to financially support the current program that is costing the State money to run, and put a damper on diversion of the "legally" grown stuff, it makes sense if you look carefully at it. The high and happy folks will whine about it, but it just might pass in this very revenue bare budget we're dealing with in Oregon this year.

The program itself is ludicrous and most of the patients I see who have medical marijuana cards have diagnoses that are contraindications to THC (depression, anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorders, COPD, asthma) and on careful questioning will admit wanting the card to avoid getting busted for their recreational use of the drug, or have no insight (and refuse to hear about the truth) into the deleterious effects the THC is causing them.

Also, once the State is the... (Below threshold)
epador:

Also, once the State is the only legal source, the Feds can shut down the single source and effectively end the program while the Oregon folks who have devised the current bill say "oh darn, what a shame!"

Epador,Very intere... (Below threshold)

Epador,

Very interesting and thanks for giving me your take on this news. You sound more cynical about politicians than I am.

Cheers,

Bill

Just legalize it already. ... (Below threshold)
Howcome:

Just legalize it already. As a police officer more time is wasted on people smoking pot than can be justified. I have a friend here in California who has a MM card and he tells me it is a scam for most of the people with it. He has no issues that would justify a prescription but he convinced someone to give him one. The absurdity of being able to buy booze but not pot is ridiculous. I have seen fellow officers lock people up for a couple of seeds and stems.

I'm sure the pot heads woul... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure the pot heads would WILLINGLY given up $98 in taxes for a guilt free high.

Hahahahahaha!! Yeah, and I own a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd be more than happy to sell you for investment purposes.

What a crock!

Obama is a supporter of med... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Obama is a supporter of medical marijuana. I guess I am as well when it comes to serious illnesses such as cancer. Anyway, I don't like the idea of something being expressly legalized in a state, yet people are being prosecuted under federal law.

Obama could easily put an end to such prosecutions, if by no other means than by an immediate and full presidential pardon for anyone convicted of under federal marijuana laws were there is no crime under state law. We'll see if he has the courage of his convictions or if it's just more talk.

"a $98-per-ounce tax, w... (Below threshold)
marc:

"a $98-per-ounce tax, which would cover the state's cost of operating and securing the production center.?

So... whose privately owned production center will be in line for emanate domain annexation?




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