This bill comes fast on the coat-tails of Oregon’s near victory for legalization at the polls in November.
According to Anthony Johnson from the National Cannabis Coalition:
“The bill takes good parts from both the Washington and Colorado models and crafts a proposal that will regulate and tax cannabis like alcohol, implementing safeguards to better keep marijuana out of the hands of children while also generating millions of dollars in revenue for education, public safety, substance abuse treatment and mental health services. Unlike, Washington’s I-502, HB 3371 doesn’t establish a per se DUII law as it leaves the current DUII law alone. Employment and landlord-tenant law are also left alone. Like Colorado Amendment 64, the measure allows for small, personal cannabis gardens. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will handle inspections and enforcement, tasked with ensuring that cannabis retail outlets are checking IDs and keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors.”
With legal Washington just minutes away, it would appear that Oregon’s legislature has finally realized the potential loss of revenue that faces the state if prohibition continues. Neither of the legal states appear to be waiting for the federal government to change before they implement their new laws. Both have already taken steps to move forward quickly. This could also happen in Oregon. Part of the current language of the bill declares it “effective on passage.”
Oregon’s industrial hemp bill was passed in 2009, but languishes as the federal government maintains its current stance against industrial hemp in the united States. House Bill 3371 includes industrial hemp, which could create an additional boon to Oregon’s flailing economy.
The bill has just been introduced and has not been assigned to a committee as yet. The fact that the Revenue Committee is b-partisan with members from across the state bodes well. It will take a lot of letters and phone calls from constituents – that’s all of us – to make this a reality.
Oregonians can find their legislators here. Please contact them in every way possible and ask them to support HB 3371 and end cannabis prohibition. Oregonians, you can do this easily by clicking on this link provided by NORML for a pre-composed email or letter.