peter buckley

Oregon: What Legalization? Police Want $5 Million For Marijuana Enforcement

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Legalization? What legalization? Advocates may rightly be asking this question after the Oregon State Police requested a $3.9 million budget increase to go after marijuana.

The OSP wants the money for 2015-20176 to pay for 11 full-time troopers and detectives to go after pot, reports Aaron Mesh at Willamette Week.

Since that's in addition to the $1.3 million the state police already requested for a legal marijuana enforcement budget earlier this year, one can't help asking oneself, where are the savings in marijuana enforcement that supposedly come with "legalization"?

The state police have declined comment.

The OSP request comes after a proposal by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission -- put in charge of implementing cannabis legalization -- to create "peace officers" to patrol legal cannabis, investigate black market sales, enforce weed taxes, and stop sales to minors.

The OLCC is aware of the state police's request, and expects the two agencies to "work together" on enforcing the state's marijuana laws, claimed Liquor Control spokesman Tom Towslee.

"We can see the need to have somebody from the state police here in the OLCC to handle to the dispatch," Towslee said, referring to an officer who could field calls from state troopers checking the licenses of people found with large quantities of marijuana.

Oregon: Legislature Fails On Marijuana Legalization; Initiative Campaigns Promise A Solution

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Activists Promise 'Big Announcement' Next Week

Paul Stanford: "These measures are going to be on the ballot"

In light of recent news that the Oregon Legislature has abandoned meaningful reforms, initiative activists are moving forward with a new phase in their campaign to end criminal penalties for marijuana.

"We salute the efforts of Representative Peter Buckley and other progressive-minded legislators," said chief petitioner Paul Stanford, "and we are ready to pick up where they fell and bring a pair of ballot initiatives restoring the progressive pioneer spirit that Oregon is well known for."

Oregon has lagged behind other Western states in bringing reform to marijuana law. Two initiative petitions, IP 21 and IP 22, would change that. "Prohibition doesn't work," Stanford said. "Filling our jails with nonviolent marijuana prisoners is a waste of public resources and people's future. We will end prohibition and end criminal penalties for marijuana."

Oregon's 2014 Initiative 21, a constitutional amendment to end prohibition and stop imposing criminal penalties for marijuana, has 38,000 signatures collected to date. It needs 116,284 valid registered Oregon voters' signatures by July 3rd to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.

Initiative 22, a proposed statute to regulate and tax marijuana, and allow farmers to grow hemp for fuel, fiber and food, has gathered 25,000 signatures. It needs 87,213 valid registered Oregon voters' signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Oregon: Bill To Refer Marijuana Legalization To Voters Stays Alive In Legislature

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A bill that would ask Oregon voters if they want to legalize marijuana while leaving the regulations up to the Legislature passed its first committee on Thursday.

Senate Bill 1556 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 3-2 vote, with all Democrats supporting it and all Republicans opposing, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian. The bill now goes to the Senate Rules Committee.

While Thursday was the legislative deadline for moving bills out of committee, that deadline doesn't apply to the Rules Committee.

It makes more sense for lawmakers to work out the details of regulating marijuana production and sales instead of leaving it up to activists who are working on their own legalization initiatives for the November general election ballot, according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene).

The measure was amended before passing to lower the amount of cannabis that adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess in private. The amount was lowered from eight ounces and four plants in the original bill to six ounces and three plants in the amended version.

The bill has a 50-50 chance of passing the Oregon Legislature, according to Rep. Peter Buckley, who cosponsors it with Prozanski. Several legislators "don't want to become attached to anything having to do with marijuana," Rep. Buckley said.

Oregon: Medford, Other Cities Trying To Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

OregonMarijuana

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Effective next year, Oregon will have legalized medical marijuana dispensaries, but some cities are already banning the shops.

The Medford City Council in September banned dispensaries; Gresham has a similar rule, and Grants Pass Mayor Darin Fowler said he wanted to ban the shops as well, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

"Because of our tourism and retirement population, we would rather not have that be on a downtown storefront," Mayor Fowler said, seemingly unaware that a "retirement population" will need medicinal cannabis dispensaries more than the general public (way to be concerned about your citizens, there, Mayor). Fowler hopes to put a dispensary ban before the city council before the end of the year.

Analysts see a likely legal battle looming over whether local municipalities have the right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon. The state first legalized medical marijuana 15 years ago, back in 1998, but only this year began the process of formally regulating dispensaries.

Oregon: Dispensaries Would Be State Licensed Under House Bill

(Illustration: Where's Weed?)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A statewide registry of medical marijuana dispensaries would be created under a bill taken up Monday by the Oregon House.

House Bill 3460, sponsored by Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), would require that dispensary owners pass criminal background checks, document the amount of cannabis coming into their businesses, and verify that the marijuana is from state-registered growers, reports Noelle Crombie at The Oregonian.

The bill would also require that marijuana sold by state-registered dispensaries would be tested for impurities.

The businesses would be allowed to set their own prices for medicinal cannabis, much as they do today. Unlike Colorado's complex system, the proposal would not generate revenue for Oregon besides the fees to cover the cost of administering the program.

Dispensaries would not be subject to routine inspection by the state under the bill.

Medical marijuana has been legal since Oregon voters approved it in 1998, but the dispensaries which distribute cannabis to patients have evolved in a legal gray area.

The state has a network of marijuana resource centers, collectives, cooperatives, clubs and cafes, but state officials don't know how much marijuana or cash moves through these businesses. Estimates of the number of dispensaries in the state run from 150 to 200.

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