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Aug-27-2010 01:26printcomments

Opinion: I am in Favor of Ballot Measure 74

The best thing is to legalize it like California will do in November. The problem will cure itself.

Marijuana dispensary

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - I was recently asked by a state committee board member whose voice has impact in the future of Oregon's medical marijuana laws, what my opinion was on Oregon's Ballot Measure 74, regarding the Oregon Marijuana Dispensary System.

In explaining that I support the passage of Measure 74, I cited a few statistics:

  1. U.S. Government estimates 300,000 Marijuana users in Oregon. This is probably close.
  2. At least 80% are in Willamette Valley, no more than 20% east of the Cascades.
  3. Even this legalization will not slow the black market. People outside large cities cannot take advantage of Dispensaries.

Now to evaluate and make some recommendations:

Of the 300,000 users the average use is atbout 1/2 ounce per week, this is 150,000 ounces or about 10,000 pounds per week. One pound is worth about $3000 dollars (10,000 times 3000 is $30,000,000). My figures could be somewhat off. Some have estimated the value of Marijuana in Oregon at $1,000,000,000 that's one billion per year. California is estimated at $20 billion per year.

It must be taxed at the WHOLESALE level. Retail sales are usually about $50 and the tax and paper would would be monstrous.

It should be taxed at the wholesale level as are cigarettes at about 20%. This should bring in about $200,000,000 per year (again an estimate).

Licenses should be on the three levels, (1) $10,000 per year for distributors, (2) $5,000 per year for wholesalers and (3) $1,000 per year for retailers. If persons don't have license -- Jail. If any violate the License -- Jail and NO MORE LICENSE.

The licenses are really State Granted Franchises. I think the Liquor Stores run on these principles.

A few final statements. You cannot stop the black market but this will greatly help most of the legal card holders.

Another point is that the liquor stores or their warehouse don't want to handle this. A handful of Marijuana is worth about $300. The Drug warehouses WON'T handle it for the same reason.

The best thing is to legalize it like California will do in November. The problem will cure itself.

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Dez September 2, 2010 1:11 am (Pacific time)

As long as there are too many middle men, expensive licenses and fees, the cost to the consumer will be equal to the current black market rate. I say cut the price for legal cannabis to 1/4 the current rate so no one would want to buy Cartel product. It would not be profitable to the Mexican cartel to compete and Americans will make huge $$$$$ from volume sales.

Robert Magarulian August 27, 2010 11:13 pm (Pacific time)

"My figures could be somewhat off." Somewhat? The good doctor is confusing the total number of MJ users in the state with those who have OMMP cards. As of 7/1/10, the number of patients holding cards is 36,380 - a far cry from 300,000. Dr. Leveque's figure of 1/2 oz. per week would also become quite expensive for the 'average' user.

Forget Measure 74. Its supporters claim this measure will benefit patients, but how much will it actually cost us (dollar-wise) to receive our medicine? More taxes from Oregon's suffering patients is not what we need. If you're looking for ways to help Oregon's budget crisis, raise the tax on billion-dollar corporations and the billionaires that benefit from corporate welfare.

We've been talking about the prohibition of a naturally growing plant for decades now. It's time to stop taking sides on these half measures (pun intended) and band-aid solutions that give even more power and create even more bureauracy in our state government.

Like the doctor says: "The best thing is to legalize it like California will do in November. The problem will cure itself."

Editor: Thanks for your comment Robert, I do believe the Doctor meant the total user population, because he considers all marijuana use to be medically related.  He may want to add to this, thanks.

Anthony Johnson August 27, 2010 10:39 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for your support of Measure 74, Dr. Leveque. Measure 74 will provide patients safe access to a safe medicine while creating jobs and generating revenue for medical research, a program to assist low-income patients and other Oregon health programs.

ProfessorWit August 27, 2010 7:51 am (Pacific time)

Thank you Doctor! Measure 74 would give Oregon the most sophisticated, regulated and advanced medical marijuana supply system in the United States, if not the world. But please look at the opposition. Stormy Ray does not speak for all OMMP Patients.

Douglas Benson August 27, 2010 7:30 am (Pacific time)

I cant believe the Dr just said jail for marijuana ! WTF? Peace

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