Oregon Legislature Approves Money To Start Implementing Marijuana Legalization
Oregon voters approved marijuana legalization on Election Day 2014. Measure 91 gave the task of implementing marijuana legalization and overseeing regulation to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). In order to start laying the ground work for implementation, the OLCC went to the Oregon Legislature to get emergency funds. That request was approved yesterday. Per the Statesman Journal:
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission can begin implementing Measure 91, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state, thanks to a vote Wednesday by the Emergency Board.
The board, which is comprised of state House and Senate members, approved a $583,000 loan for the OLCC so it can hire staff, pay for legal advice and begin its outreach efforts.
The money is coming from the state’s liquor dollars with the promise that the OLCC will pay it back by the end of the 2015-17 budget cycle using revenue generated by marijuana sales.
There has been talk at the Oregon Legislature about changing some of the provisions of the initiative’s language, and even a call from at least on Senator to gut the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program now that marijuana legalization is on its way to Oregon. Contact your legislator and let them know that either move is unacceptable. The Oregon Legislature had their chance the last legislative session to pass their version of marijuana legalization, and they refused to do so. The voters approved Oregon Measure 91, which had specific provisions and made it clear that the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program should remain as is. The Oregon Legislature needs to respect the will of the voters.