Midway through July, Oregon joined two other states–Washington and Colorado–with a measure that would legalize cannabis use for those over the age of twenty-one.
Oregon takes it a step further than either other state, however, with unlimited possession and personal cultivation (with personal cultivation limited to six plants on the Colorado measure and strictly forbidden on Washington’s), as well as options to commercially cultivate and sell to the OCC (a regulatory agency that would be created; the Oregon Cannabis Commission). A table detailing the differences between the three measures up for voting is found here.
With medical legalization for the U.S. as a whole a possibility on October 16, the bold step by Oregon might be too soon.
But wait! Recreational use is not the only thing the initiative is trying to legalize. Also included is a measure to restore the hemp industry; the first few arguments on the initiative have nothing at all to do with the medicinal or intoxicating effects of the plant.
Whereas the people of the State of Oregon find that Cannabis hemp is an environmentally beneficial crop that:
(a) Yields several times more fiber, for paper and textiles, than any other plant;
(b) Yields cloth and paper of superior strength and durability without the application of pesticides during cultivation and without producing cancer-causing pollutants during processing;
(c) Yields more seed oil and protein, for prodigious and ecological biodiesel fuel, plastics and nutritious food, than any other plant;
(d) Yields more biomass than any other plant outside the tropics, though it grows well in the tropics too, and grows faster than any other plant on earth in the temperate and cooler climates.
The next few reasons for legalization all have their roots in American history, citing several interesting cases:
Whereas the people find that federal and corporate misinformation campaigns that economically benefit small groups of people have suppressed the information above and the fact that:
(a) George Washington grew cannabis for more than 30 years and, while he was President, said, “the artificial preparation of hemp is really a curiosity” and told his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, that he was, “suggesting the policy of encouraging the growth of Hemp”;
(b) Thomas Jefferson invented a device to process cannabis, and cannabis fiber was used for most clothing and paper production until the invention of the cotton gin;
(c) Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania, who spoke at the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787 more than any other delegate and of whom James Madison said, “the style and finish of the Constitution properly belongs to the pen of Gouverneur Morris,” wrote a paper he sent to Thomas Jefferson called, “Notes Respecting Tobacco” that compared cannabis and tobacco and concluded that cannabis “is to be preferred”; and,
The debunking of the plant’s reputation has a place too, however:
Whereas the people find that cannabis is Oregon’s largest cash crop, indicating that cannabis prohibition has failed; and,
Whereas the people find that, despite misinformation concocted to justify cannabis prohibition, the courts of Alaska, Hawaii and Michigan have noted presidential commission findings, scientific studies, and learned treatises which:
(a) Characterize cannabis as a relatively nonaddictive and comparatively harmless euphoriant used and cultivated for more than 10,000 years without a single lethal overdose;
(b) Demonstrate that moderate cannabis use causes very little impairment of psychomotor functions; reveal no significant physical, biochemical, or mental abnormalities attributable solely to cannabis use; and that long-term, heavy cannabis users do not deviate significantly from their social peers in terms of mental function;
(c) Disprove the “stepping stone” or “gateway drug” argument that cannabis use leads to other drugs; rather, that lies taught about cannabis, once discovered, destroy the credibility of valid educational messages about moderate and responsible use and valid warnings against other truly dangerous drugs;
(d) Indicate that cannabis users are less likely to commit violent acts than alcohol users, refute the argument that cannabis causes criminal behavior, and suggest that most users avoid aggressive behavior, even in the face of provocation; and
(e) Declare that cannabis use does not constitute a public health problem of any significant dimension; finds no rational basis for treating cannabis as more dangerous than alcohol.
The main aim of the measure is to regulate marijuana like alcohol and to bring the hemp industry back. The income from the legalization would be spent quite responsibly; the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act’s website gives the following information, “90% of the proceeds will go into the state general fund, 7% for drug treatment programs, 1% each for drug education in public schools, and two new state commissions to promote hemp biofuel and hemp fiber and food.”
If you support measure 80 (even if you don’t live in Oregon), please spread the information found above.
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