All hands on deck!
Do you consider yourself a member of the reality-based community? Do you value science-based policy? Do you think we need more liberty, not less? Do you object to needlessly enriching organized crime, putting otherwise law-abiding citizens in cages and wasting law enforcement resources on ‘crimes’ associated with ingestion of a plant that has never actually killed anyone?
If so, we need your help.
The movement to reform our marijuana laws is gaining steam, in spite of our timid elected leader’s continued attempts to water down new medical marijuana bills around the nation and to weaken existing laws.
Americans of goodwill in several states are either attempting to get re-legalization measures on the ballot this year or have already succeeded in getting such measures on the ballot. Passing these measures will be proverbial shots heard around the world and will force our government and elected leaders who have buried their heads in the sand to finally deal with this issue.
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
By Jennifer Alexander, Oregon NORML
Many Oregonians are proud to be citizens of one of the first states to have allowed the use of medical marijuana. For many years, the federal government has led us to believe that marijuana had “no medical value” by retaining it in Schedule I and by continuing to plague us with propaganda that insists that marijuana is “dangerous.” As of April 1, 2010, there are over 32,000 medical marijuana patients currently holding cards in Oregon that disprove the notion that marijuana has “no medical value.”[i] Marijuana remains among the safest drugs known to mankind.
Proven Medical Value
In recent years, our society is rediscovering the value of marijuana for a wide range of disorders, including AIDS, cancer, muscle spasms, chronic pain and many others. The ongoing research is astounding and could demonstrate tremendous breakthroughs in our health and overall well-being. Research continues to demonstrate that marijuana is not as dangerous as once believed, and far more beneficial than most ever thought it could be. However, this research is still very limited due to the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This needs to change; sound clinical studies need to be done to determine more about the potential benefits and possible risks of using cannabis.
By Bennett Hall, Gazette-Times reporter
A pair of pro-marijuana events are coming to Corvallis as advocates push to get a measure aimed at legalizing the drug on the November ballot.
Local pot promoters are planning a Corvallis Marijuana March on Saturday to coincide with marches in other cities organized by Cures Not Wars, a New York-based group that opposes the war on drugs.
Sponsored by the Corvallis Cannabis Movement and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, the local event will begin at 2 p.m. with a rally at the Benton County Courthouse. The march will start at 4:20 p.m., winding around the courthouse, the police station and City Hall before turning west on Monroe Avenue to Oregon State University and then heading back to Central Park.
In a news release announcing the event, the organizers said they’ll be looking for petition circulators to gather signatures for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.
The measure, which is being promoted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, would make it legal for adults to grow and use marijuana in Oregon. It would also regulate pot sales, with part of the proceeds going to promote industrial hemp use.
The petitioners hope to collect 125,000 signatures by July 2, the deadline to place the ballot measure before voters in the November general election.
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Hemp News
Oregon's marijuana legalization initiative, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), is kicking off its signature-gathering phase at the OR NORML meeting in Portland this Saturday, April 10.
Petitions have just been approved for circulation by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, and OCTA said it expects more than 300 attendees to be among the first to sign the petition for this historic ballot measure.
OCTA will generate revenue by taxing commercial cannabis sales, which will be permitted to adults 21 and older. More than $140 million a year would be generated by OCTA for the state's General Fund, according to projections, paying for education, roads, health care, and other public projects.
"OCTA will transform Oregon," said co-chief petitioner Madeleine Martinez, executive director of OR NORML. "Supporting OCTA is a no-brainer."
According to OCTA's other co-chief petitioner, Paul Stanford of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), the potential of industrial hemp for Oregon's economy is limitless, as it will turn the state into a national leader in ecological innovation and sustainable jobs.
"The entire hemp plant is useful, from its seeds which create a food source to its oil which can be made into bio-diesel to its stalks which can be woven into fabrics or turned into paper," Stanford said. "Hemp is the future, not just for Oregon, but for a sustainable planet."
By David Krough and AP
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Marijuana advocates are gearing up to legalize the drug for recreational use in Oregon with a new measure poised to go on the November ballot.
According to their website, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would "legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana." It would also set aside two percent of profits from cannabis sales for commissions that promote industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber, protein and oil.
Growers and sellers would need a state license and could only sell in cannabis-only stores.
Oregon became the second state to pass a marijuana law in 1998, following California. There are nearly 24,000 patients with medical marijuana cards in Oregon. Only state residents can obtain the card after registering as a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program with a qualifying debilitating medical condition diagnosed by a doctor.
Organizers will start collecting signatures Saturday.
Kyndall Mason with the DemocracyResources.com organization was working with the National Organization for Reform of Mairjuana Laws (NORML) and Oregon groups to gather signatures starting Saturday.
"Oregon has a long history of laws that conflict with federal law, that includes the Death with Dignity Act," Mason said. "The feds have (recently) given states more autonomy, specifically regarding medical marijuana laws," she said.
By Bryan Podwys, Portland Political Buzz Examiner
The Oregon Secretary of State has certified a petition that proposes legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana across the state. The measure, which bears resemblance to others Oregon voters have rejected over the past few decades, could be included on this year's ballot if enough signatures are gathered by July 2nd.
Over 35 years ago, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the use of cannabis products. Possession of one ounce or less became punishable by a simple fine followed by further changes with the passage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act in 1998. With an upcoming ballot measure in California that could go one step further and actually legalize and tax marijuana sales gaining national attention, some Oregonians are eager to keep their state at the forefront of progressive legislation.
United States: Two Oregon Marijuana Initiatives - Legalization and Medical -- Aim for November BallotSubmitted by restore on Fri, 03/26/2010 - 18:04
from Drug War Chronicle, Issue #625, 3/26/10
Oregon, the first state to decriminalize marijuana in the modern era and one of the first to approve a medical marijuana law, could become a battleground for marijuana reform again this year. Two separate initiatives, one aimed at improving the state's existing medical marijuana program, and one that seeks to legalize and regulate marijuana and hemp, are campaigning to be certified for the November ballot.
The medical marijuana initiative, I-28, would create a system of state-regulated dispensaries and state-licensed medical marijuana producers. Dispensaries would have to be Oregon nonprofits, and pay a $2,000 license fee and a 10% tax on gross sales. Licensed producers would have to pay a $1,000 license fee and the 10% tax. Patients registered under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program would be able to buy their supplies at any dispensary, and dispensaries would be able to buy from any licensed producer.
I-28 would not stop patients from growing their own, nor would it impede them from resorting to a caregiver, as they can do currently.