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Marijuana Legalization Under Attack In Alaska And Oregon

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Reefer MadnessLast time I checked, we live in a democracy. America is a country where some states have initiatives, and if those initiatives pass on Election Day, they become law. That applies to just about every public policy area, except marijuana policy. During the 2014 Election, voters in Alaska and Oregon passed marijuana legalization initiatives. If the initiatives were for anything else, they would become law with little to no changes, and no one would think twice about it.

However, elected officials in both states are trying to trample on the will of voters by proposing major changes to the initiatives. In Oregon there are several bills in the legislature right now, and with more on the way I’m sure, that will make marijuana legalization virtually unrecognizable compared to the version that voters approved. One bill wants to ban marijuana businesses from existing within 1 mile of a school, which if you looked at home many schools there are in cities and towns in Oregon you would see that it almost creates a ban on marijuana businesses. Another proposal in Oregon’s Legislature would eliminate the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, which is something that Oregon Measure 91 specifically stated shouldn’t happen. It also sounds like Oregon’s Governor wants to lower the possession limits that were approved by voters:

Gov. John Kitzhaber expressed concern Tuesday about how much marijuana Oregonians would be allowed to possess at home under the new legalization measure — and he indicated that he might ask legislators to seek lower limits.

The governor, saying he has “many concerns” about the initiative approved by voters, questioned the logic of allowing voters to possess up to a half-pound of marijuana at home but just 1 ounce in public.

“The amount you can actually grow in a home-grow operation seems to me to exceed the amount that you’re supposed to have legally,” Kitzhaber told reporters. “I don’t know how you enforce that.”

Kitzhaber’s thought process doesn’t even make sense. So he feels that the amount you can grow will result in there being more marijuana than the household can possess, so he wants to lower the amount the household can possess? Wouldn’t it be the other way around if his reefer madness logic was working right? How does he know how much marijuana will be produced by every recreational marijuana plant in the state? I, along with 56% of other Oregon voters, voted ‘yes’ on Oregon Measure 91 specifically because of how it was worded. I didn’t just passively see marijuana legalization was on the ballot so I voted ‘yes’ blindly, and am willing to live with whatever model Oregon politicians see fit. If that was the case Oregon Measure 80 would have passed in 2012 by a hefty margin, which it didn’t.

There are attack bills in Alaska’s Legislature too, which led to the Measure 2 campaign releasing the message below:

Dear Supporter:

The legislative session kicked off last week, and already a number of marijuana policy bills have been introduced. There will surely be more to come as lawmakers work to implement Measure 2. Please help us hold legislators accountable in fulfilling the will of the voters — to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

As an advocate for sensible marijuana policies in Alaska, we need you to reach out to your elected officials. You can follow these bills through the legislative process, and we’ll be notifying you of additional opportunities to call and email your legislators, to testify at committee hearings, and to submit comments as needed.

Here are the bills that have been introduced already:

SB 8: Regulation and production of industrial hemp (a positive development)
SB 30: Removal of full legal protections for possession, production, and sale of marijuana as mandated in Ballot Measure 2 and replacement with mere defenses (a very bad development, against which we are pushing back)
HB 59: Prohibition on the production, sale, and possession of marijuana concentrates until November 2016 (also a negative development, as we have let legislators know)
HB 75: Technical edits to the initiative language as it relates to municipalities

SB 30, in its current form, is particularly concerning. It strips the initiative of fundamental protections and replaces them with mere defenses that would still require time in court and costly law enforcement resources. Please call your legislator immediately and politely let them know that the current draft of SB 30 fundamentally undermines the will of the voters.

If you haven’t already, please ‘like’ the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on Facebook. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Tim Hinterberger
Chairman
Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

If Oregon’s and Alaska’s politicians wanted to impose their own versions of marijuana legalization on voters, they had more than enough time to do so prior to the 2014 Election. In the case of Oregon, we specifically brought a proposal to the Oregon Legislature and they scoffed and chose to do nothing with our proposal. We specifically told them that if they failed to act, we would take our proposal to the ballot via an initiative. That’s what we ended up doing, and we were successful, so why only now are they scrambling to make changes and basically are trying to throw the successful initiative in the garbage and re-write it as they see fit? Please contact your elected officials in both states and let them know that this is unacceptable, and to respect the will of the voters.

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71 Comments

  1. Sebastian Chase Pappas on

    You’re not the sharpest knife in the kitchen are you ? If Marijuana was completely legallized no one would have to get it from the cartel. No one would have to buy it off the streets. Why don’t you go look up some real statistics and see that legallization lowers crime rates. Anything that says otherwise is propoganda. Its just logic. If you had the choice to buy bud from walmart or a drug dealer would you ever go back to the street ( not that I want walmart selling bud – but hopefully smarty pants here can understand the example)? Im glad you arent an “attic” anymore, now go get a clue before you troll.

  2. Steve Brown on

    I wish tobacco was made illegal. Second and third hand smoke from tobacco is a horrible public health hazard that is making millions of people sick every year.

  3. 494 Alaska 537 PACIFIC REPORTER, 2d SERIES

    Irwin RAVIN, Petitioner, v. STATE of Alaska, Respondent.
    No. 2135. Supreme Court of Alaska.
    May 27, 1975. As Amended May 28, 1975.

    Proceeding was instituted on defendant’s motion to dismiss charge of violation of statute proscribing possession of marijuana. The District Court, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Dorothy P. Tyner, J., denied motion to dismiss and the superior court affirmed and petition for review from the superior courts affirmance was granted. The Supreme Court, Rabinowitz, C. J., held that need for control of drivers under influence of marijuana and existing doubts as to safety of marijuana demonstrate a sufficient justification for statutory proscription of possession of marijuana, and thus an individual’s right to possess or ingest marijuana while driving is subject to statute proscribing possession of marijuana; and that no adequate justification exists for State’s intrusion into citizen’s right of privacy by its prohibition of possession of marijuana by an adult for personal consumption in home, and thus possession of marijuana by adults at home for personal use is constitutionally protected.

    Alaska 537 P.2d 494

    Irwin RAVIN, Petitioner,
    v.
    STATE of Alaska, Respondent.
    No. 2135.
    May 27, 1975.
    As Amended May 28, 1975.

    5. Constitutional Law 82. Federal right to privacy arises only in connection with other fundamental rights, such as the grouping of rights which involve the home, and even in connection with penumbra of home-related rights, right of privacy in sense of immunity from prosecution is absolute only when private activity will not endanger or harm the general public. Const. art. 1, § 22; U.S.C.A. Const. Amends. 1, 3-5, 14.
    6. Constitutional Law 82. Right to privacy amendment to Alaska Constitution cannot be read so as to make the possession or ingestion of marijuana itself a fundamental right. Const. art. 1, § 22.
    8. Constitutional Law 82. Privacy in the home is a fundamental right. Const. art. 1, § 22; U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 4.
    9. Constitutional Law 8 Right of privacy in the home must yield when it interferes in a serious manner with the health, safety, rights and privileges of others or with the public welfare. Const. art. 1, § 22; U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 4.

    10. Constitutional Law 82 No one has an absolute right to do things in the privacy of his own home which will affect himself or others adversely. Const. art. 1, § 22; U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 4.

    11. Constitutional Law 82. Right of privacy in home is limited in that possession of substances is guaranteed only for purely private, noncommercial use in home. Const. art. 1, § 22; U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 4.

    13. Constitutional Law 82. State cannot impose its own notions of morality, propriety, or fashion on individuals when the public has no legitimate interest in the affairs of those individuals.

    14. Constitutional Law 82. The right of an individual to do as he pleases is not absolute and it can be made to yield when it begins to infringe on the rights and welfare of others.

    21. Drugs and Narcotics 43 No adequate justification exists for State’s intrusion into citizen’s right of privacy by its prohibition of possession of marijuana by an adult for personal consumption in home, and thus possession of marijuana by adults at home for personal use is constitutionally protected. AS 17.12.010, 17.12.l50; Const art. 1, § 22; U.S.C.A. Const. Amends. 1, 4, 14.

    22. Constitutional Law 82 Privacy of individual’s home cannot be breached absent a persuasive showing of a close and substantial relationship of the intrusion to a legitimate governmental interest.

  4. Every time I see another program about street gangs, they are selling weed. Yes, marijuana brings in that kind of money. Maybe not where you’re at. But everywhere else. The DEA claims that fully one-half of the revenues of the Mexican Cartels are from marijuana. They’re sending huge amounts of pot across the border. So somebody in the U.S. has to be selling it. The DEA has no reason to lie about that, because it helps to make the case for legalization. If people were allowed to grow their own excellent weed, they’d stop buying all that seedy Mexican. And enriching these cartels that are murder machines. They even attack drug rehabs and shoot everybody in sight because one of their members gets a drug problem and they’re afraid he’ll talk in re-hab.. Evil with a capital E. People around here call that Mexican pot “middies.” Slang for lower potency. I prefer my own gardening expertise.

  5. I would love to have legitimate measurables available on packaging or in informative brochures . I imagine OLCC is working on those issues as we speak.

  6. You have to provide some wiggle room for those who are not comfortable with additional freedoms when making a push to get something passed. The initiative did win by a reasonable margin, but not by enough to warrant adding things that would have make it a difficult sell to the majority.
    For instance, measure 80 which was a superior offering, lost by a similar margin to what 91 won by. There has to be some compromise when rewriting a legalization initiative that did not pass the first time. 91 covered a fair few items that needed to be covered while making it palatable enough for the gen public to say yes to it.
    There has to be give and take when it comes to measures that have already failed.

  7. Kitz has already served 4 terms, I believe, and is now in his 5th. I doubt he’ll seek another term, and even if he did, 5 are enough.

  8. I know how you feel people got more pisses of over Brian Williams lies (the network list 30% of it viewers Friday night.) Than any lie politicians spin.it’s because everyone is numb to political lies they know they can get away with most things. Unless the lie has something to do with sex than people get mad. Does this even make any sense? After all having sex is more natural than all of their other lies.

  9. Not to mention that they all think that they have medical degrees. This is all about control you have to wonder between now and Christmas 2014 how many of those self righteous picks and bitches have used illegal substancesince then I bet a good portion of everyone in our government has gotten high at least once sin Christmas.

  10. The AG’s opinions are irrelevant. They enforce the established law and have no authority over new law or what “should” be done. If the legislator or presidents office orders stand down on MJ, then the AG is legally required to do that or go to jail/be fined/fired.

  11. Really, voters don’t like lies? Shiza, I thought you couldn’t do anything political without lying because people are so unreasonable in general.

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