Russ Belville

I am the executive director of 420RADIO.org and host / producer of The Russ Belville Show - The Independent Voice of the Marijuana Nation at http://radicalruss.com - live from Portland, Oregon. I was the winner of The Search for the Next Great Progressive Talk Radio Star and a former host on XM Satellite Radio and Portland's AM 620 KPOJ. I was the Outreach Coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws from 2008-2012, which included lecturing all across America on marijuana legalization, writing political analysis for HIGH TIMES Magazine, and producing over 1,000 hours of video content for The NORML Network.

Aug 162014
 August 16, 2014
Oregon Sheriff's Association Launches Marijuana Prohibition PAC

As expected, the prison-industrial complex isn’t going to allow the repeal of cannabis prohibition without a fight as the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (likely backed by Oregon’s prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies) have formed a “No on 91″ PAC, aiming to defeat Measure 91, a measure that will sensibly legalize and regulate cannabis. It is a shame that tax dollars of Oregon citizens indirectly fund these efforts as state and local law enforcement officers are public officials that should carry out public policy and not try to direct it, especially [...]

Aug 082014
 August 8, 2014
Comparing Marijuana Legalization In 2014 To 2012

Now that Oregon and Washington DC have joined Alaska as the three states to vote in the 2014 election for marijuana reform, I thought it would be useful to compare and contrast the proposed legalization in these three states with the existing legalization passed in 2012 in Colorado and Washington.  I’ve created the info-graphic below to summarize the major features, but for complete text of the proposed initiatives and the previous ones, use the hyperlinks provided below: Colorado Amendment 64 (2012) Washington Initiative 502 (2012) Oregon Measure 91 (2014) Alaska [...]

Aug 062014
 August 6, 2014
9.1 Reasons Why Your Oregon Parents Should Vote Yes On Measure 91

Oregon’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana has now been formally named Measure 91 by the Secretary of State’s office.  It is well known that Millennials support marijuana legalization in greater numbers than do Baby Boomers.  To build awareness for Oregon’s M-91 among the generation that remembers what an encyclopedia is we present these 9.1 reasons M-91 will be a good thing for your parents. 1) M-91 recognizes the reality that marijuana cultivation, sales, and use are not going anywhere.  Your parents are old enough to remember President Nixon declaring “all-out war on [...]

Aug 022014
 August 2, 2014
Josh Marquis' Tired Arguments Against Oregon Cannabis Legalization

Now that Oregon’s legalization is officially Initiative 91 on the November ballot, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis has taken to the media to offer reasons to vote against ending adult marijuana prohibition. “There’s going to be a huge trickle down to youth,” Marquis told The Oregonian.  “Would you want your kids…while they are learning, to be affected by a powerful drug?” Youth have marijuana access now.  For three decades, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS) and the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) have found between 80% and 90% [...]

Jul 282014
 July 28, 2014
Oregon Marijuana Legalization Study Predicts $38.5 Million In Taxes On $145 Ounces

A new study compiled by ECONorthwest has predicted that Oregon will reap $38.5 million in marijuana tax revenue in the first fiscal year of legalization.  The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act promoted by New Approach Oregon has qualified for the November election ballot and will cap the taxation of marijuana at $35 per ounce for flowers, $10 per ounce for leaves, and $5 per immature marijuana seedling. The Act does not affect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, so researchers did not include the 64,000+ patients in [...]

Jul 172014
 July 17, 2014
Obama Administration - Marijuana Reform Is States' Rights Issue

The Obama Administration has pushed back hard against Congress’s attempt to gut the recently-passed marijuana decriminalization law in Washington, DC.  The Office of Management and Budget memo explains that Congressional meddling “undermines the principles of States’ rights and District home rule” Lawmakers in the District passed the law that treats possession of an ounce of marijuana as a non-arrestable civil infraction with a nation’s-lowest fine of just $25.  Congress has final say over all laws passed in the District, but let the deadline pass for the decrim law without comment, which takes [...]

Jul 162014
 July 16, 2014
Former Oregon District Attorneys Think Legalization Invents Marijuana

Two retired Multnomah County, Oregon, prosecutors have come out in our state’s largest newspaper against the legalization of marijuana proposed for the November ballot by New Approach Oregon. Norm Frink, former chief deputy district attorney, and Mark McDonnell, former chief of the drug unit at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, worked with members of New Approach Oregon at the legislature to create a legalization plan, but now call the initiative “deeply flawed.” McDonnell cites Washington’s legalization as a better model for its inclusion of a per se stoned driving standard and [...]

Jul 132014
 July 13, 2014
Why High Washington Marijuana Prices Are Not A Bad Thing

“Twenty dollars a gram?  Ain’t no way I’m spending five hundred and sixty dollars per ounce on weed!” My friend was reading the coverage of the opening of legal marijuana shops in Washington State, shocked at the high prices being paid for pot.  Sure, not as high a price as ten years in prison, but a steep price for my friend who’s getting pot from Oregon dispensaries at $180 per ounce. “Actually,” I reply, “the CBS affiliate in Portland says pot is thirty-three bucks a gram at Main Street Marijuana [...]

Colorado Pot Shop Sues IRS

 Posted by at 6:26 AM on July 7, 2014  Marijuana Business News
Jul 072014
 July 7, 2014
Colorado Pot Shop Sues IRS

The head of Colorado NORML, Rachel Gillette, is fighting mad about the way the federal government is discriminating against legal marijuana businesses, and now she’s suing the Internal Revenue Service. Gillette is representing Allgreens LLC, a Denver medical marijuana dispensary, in its lawsuit against the IRS.  At issue is an IRS lien against Allgreens for the payment of $20,000 in penalties from 2013.  Gillette believes that the penalty is an unfair discrimination against state-legal marijuana businesses and that the IRS’ proposed solution amounts to entrapment into committing the crime of [...]

Jul 062014
 July 6, 2014
Washington Faces Higher Legalization Hurdles Than Colorado

We are six months into Colorado’s rollout of legalized recreational marijuana markets and the results have been remarkable.  From over $27 million in marijuana tax revenue to law enforcement finding no pot shops selling to minors or increases in marijuana-impaired driving, every current indicator points to success in Colorado. But Washington State looms next week as Act II in the story of retail marijuana legalization.  Like the second act in any screenplay, this is where the tension begins. Colorado had the distinct advantage of merely attaching a recreational side to [...]