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New Law Would Legalize Marijuana in OregonTim King Salem-News.com
Can an antiquated law from 1937 called the "Marihuana Tax Act" finally be turned around? Those guiding the passage of this new Oregon law will put the credibility and effectiveness of the 1937 legislation to the test.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A proposed law for Oregon would radically alter the availability of marijuana for adults, by allowing the herb to be purchased in liquor stores. The Oregonians For Cannabis Reform 2010, say the Oregonian Cannabis Tax Act would make cannabis products legal and available in a retail environment. Proponents say it will mean millions and millions of dollars for Oregon's state coffers and many predict that the move would literally salvage the state's unstable economy.
Backers of this Initiative say their plan would send 90 percent of the proceeds from the state's sale of marijuana to Oregon's General Fund, which could lower the state tax burden significantly. Portions of the revenue would be used to fund drug abuse education and treatment programs.
But right now, the people bringing this opportunity for Oregon voters forward, says their effort needs money, equipment, and, most of all, volunteers.
But they say the payoff will be enormous, as the Cannabis Tax Act (CTA) will take the lucrative marijuana market out of the black market, where children and substance abusers often control it today, and place it in state liquor stores, where the age limit of 21 and older is strictly enforced.
Advocates also say it will be like a rebirth of the Oregon farmer. Farmers will be licensed to cultivate cannabis for both medicinal and adult private use. Farmers will be able to grow industrial hemp without a license, for paper, fabric, protein and oil, under the new proposed law.
While the overall law as it is proposed addresses all marijuana use for adults, there are specific allowances to aid the ongoing battle for the rights of medical marijuana users. The CTA will allow doctors to prescribe untaxed cannabis through pharmacies, so patients won’t have to grow their own or buy medicine illegally.
The law would modify Oregon's program and ultimately, see it appear more similar to California, where dispensaries are already available for people using marijuana legally.
They say that while accomplishing so many things, the law would also raise millions of dollars in new public revenue, lowering the tax burden on all and saving taxpayers money by taking the profit out of crime.
More than marijuana, the CTA will restore industrial hemp, the most productive agricultural source of fiber protein and oil, and a huge aspect of American heritage. Hemp seed oil is diesel fuel. The first cordage, cloth and paper were invented from hemp fiber.
Advocates say the laws would virtually wipe out the black-market. "The CTA allows police and the courts to concentrate on real criminals that hurt others, not arrest, prosecute and jail harmless, productive adult cannabis users. Stop our government from tearing families apart. Let’s show real family values and end cannabis prohibition."
The OCTA will wage its campaign to help stop the War on Cannabis by challenging the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act- it's credibility and effectiveness. This is the law that was precededd by mass hype and hysteria fed to the American public by Harry Anslinger, (see: Harry Anslinger page on Wikipedia) a dubious U.S. politician who worked with Dow Chemicals and Dupont in the 1920's and 30's, to demonize marijuana and place it in an illegal category, in order to get their new "synthetic rope" on the market. In truth, the natural hemp fiber is to this day, superior in strength, quality and durability.
It would appear that Anslinger was a conservative who truly believed marijuana to be a threat to the future of American civilization, yet his biographer maintained that he was an astute government bureaucrat who viewed the marijuana issue as a means for elevating himself to national prominence.
Paul Stanford of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, told KATU that the measure would also put a dent in illegal dealing of the weed.
"We want to take marijuana out of the hands of children and substance abusers, who control the market today, and put it in the hands of the state's liquor control commission and the age limit of 21 will be strictly enforced," Stanford said.
Others say it is simply the time to do this, and the next presidential administration will almost certainly live up to statements that they will be supportive of state's legal rights to pass marijuana laws, and redirect federal agents and protocols. This clears the path for very large steps as medical marijuana tests and research continues to yield one new medical application after another.
Dr. Phillip Leveque of Molalla, Oregon, first became familiar with the positive health-related aspects of marijuana in the early 1950's, while studying at the Oregon Medical School in Corvallis. That was a bottle of marijuana cough medicine from before Harry Anslinger's time. Leveque is a WWII combat veteran. As a physician, toxicologist and pharmacologist, Dr Leveque offers sound reasoning. "I would be far more surprised to see someone come up with something it is not helpful for, as a medical property." He says little time is passing now between large developments that show marijuana's potential role in society as a legal product.
Supporters have two years to collect nearly 83,000 signatures to get the measure on the November ballot in 2010. They say you can learn more about this proposed new law for Oregon, by visiting this page: CannabisTaxAct.org/oregon/
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