Measure 80 which would legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon is currently behind in the polling, according to the most recent Public Policy Polling survey showing 46% opposed and 43% in favor. But as history has shown us, polls leading up to voting day aren’t always an indication of success or failure. After all, despite having promising numbers throughout the year, California’s pot legislation failed with voters in November of last year.
Advocates of the Oregon measure point to the many benefits of legalization, including increased revenue for the state, decreased expenses on marijuana arrests and prosecution, and the ability for adults to determine for themselves if they will indulge in a completely natural, though mind-altering plant.
Unfortunately, the proposed law in Oregon isn’t getting support from donors either. According to the Associated Press, wealthy donors are sinking money by the millions into both the Washington and Colorado laws, but are skipping over Oregon. Why? Apparently the Oregon law isn’t as “politically attractive” to the wealthy donors.
If more of the Oregon people supported the measure, more donors would follow suit. Officials report that’s exactly why the proposals in Washington and Colorado are gaining such big financial backers—because the people support them. Fund raising continues at http://www.oregonlawreform.com/.
Still, if successful, the legislation could bring the state untold revenue. And that revenue is largely unknown because officials can’t seem to agree on numbers—how much would the legislation save vs. how much it would cost.
According to the Washington Post:
Oregon’s measure, known as the Cannabis Tax Act, would devote 90 percent of recreational marijuana profits to the state’s general fund. Oregon’s fiscal analysts haven’t even guessed at the total revenue, citing the many uncertainties inherent in a new marijuana market. They have projected prison savings between $1.4 million and $2.4 million a year if marijuana use was legal without a doctor’s recommendation.
In the worst case scenario, where the Oregon measure fails, all is not lost. Much can be learned from the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana and much of this knowledge can be applied to future attempts at legalization.
While marijuana legalization is not only the fiscally responsible thing to do, but also the right move in regards to civil liberties—it may take more than one attempt to convince the masses that the “pot is dangerous” rhetoric they’ve been fed is simply flawed.
Supports of sensible reform initiatives are encouraged to donate, register, and of course, Vote!
If you are charged with a marijuana offense or any drug-related crime, we may be able to help. Contact our offices to discuss your legal options.