After the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Oregon, the state will now host one of the seven yearly Cannabis Cups produced by High Times Magazine.
Editor in Chief of High Times, Dan Skye told KGW News, “It’s a chance for the public to see all these new businesses and check out some of the cannabis merchandise.” Along with the transparency that the event gives to the industry, the event also presents a tremendous economic opportunity for the city of 600,000. Last year, Denver’s newly recreationalized Cannabis Cup drew 500 vendors and 40,000 attendees.
The Cup will undoubtedly take strict precautions in order to maintain safety and legality. Skye said “We follow the rules rigorously. We are very up-front about what we are doing here. The fact is, it is legal. Everybody should get used to that. If you look at the evidence in Colorado there is no damage to the so-called social fabric.”
Portland’s Cannabis Cup will take place in July of 2015 and will feature educational seminars and big-time musical talent. Event details including location have yet to be released. We’ll post updates as more information becomes available.
Photo Credit: stokes rx
A Washington Sheriff is giving Oregon voter’s some important information regarding the legalization of marijuana: it’s working. The King County (Seattle) Sheriff spoke out in a video for the “Yes on 91” campaign released this Monday. In the video, Sheriff John Urquhart tells Oregonians, “The evidence keeps coming in, our new approach is working. Month by month, tax dollars are going to schools and police, not the drug cartels.” Urquhart also sites that wasteful arrests are down, along with the number of DUIs.
Sheriff Urquhart isn’t just blowing smoke either. He is a veteran with a career of 36 years in law enforcment including time as a patrol officer and a street-level narcotics detective. He first issued his support for legalization back in 2012 while running for King County Sheriff.
His support ranges from his home state all the way to the nation’s capitol in 2013 where he told Congress, “My experience shows me that the war on drugs has been a failure. We have not significantly reduced demand over time but we have incarcerated generations of individuals with the highest incarceration rate around the world.”
Urquhart went on to tell Congress “We, the government have failed the people and now they want to try something else. Too often the attitude of the police is, We’re the cops, you’re not. Don’t try to tell us how to do our jobs. Thats the wrong attitude.”
It’s refreshing to see this type of rhetoric being used to educate the United States Senate as well as voters who struggle to find accurate and trustworthy information about the legalization of cannabis. It’s clear that Urquhart’s intentions are pure and who better to speak out on the issue than a man who has spent most of his life locking up citizens for the opposing team. Now it’s up to Oregon voters to decide as ballots are cast this fall.
Image Source: seattlepi.com
Cash is flowing into Oregon in an effort to legalize marijuana and voters seem to be reacting positively. Portland’s Fox 12 News conducted a poll last week in which Portland voters ranked marijuana legislation as the second most important issue this November, only losing out to Jobs & Economy. The poll was conducted October 8 through October 11 with over 500 likely voters.
Just two years ago, a separate measure to legalize marijuana failed 53 to 47 percent. Although the numbers were close, the failure to pass the ballot measure boiled down to one thing: lack of funding. While Oregonians struggled to pass the measure back in 2012, out-of-state cash flowed into both Colorado and Washington helping each state secure a victory for the legalization team. The defeat is still fresh in the minds of Oregonian legalization proponents while their neighbors to the north are enjoying a renewed sense of personal freedom. Perhaps that’s why Oregon has gotten serious with their campaign this fall and taken on serous funding.
Although earlier polls pegged the number of supporters as much lower (44% supporting and 40% opposing) it looks like there is growing support for legalization. According to Fox 12’s more recent poll, it looks like legalization is leading by several percentage points for November’s vote.
The state’s legalization campaign, New Approach Oregon has now raised over $3 million in cash and contributions to support the campaigns efforts with education and a wave of statewide ads. Among top contributors to the cause are George Soros who gave over half a million through Drug Policy Action (the political arm of Drug Policy Alliance) and the late billionaire Peter Lewis who gave $300,000 just last week.
Opponents of the measure have not faired as well in their efforts to halt legalization. The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association was the largest contributor to the Vote No on 91 campaign which has raised just $168,337 with $145,000 of that coming from the State Sheriffs’ Association. If funding is the biggest indicator of ballot results, it looks like the pro-legalization team has this one in the bag. Read below for some of the top donors to each campaign.
The Top five cash donors to New Approach Oregon:
1. Drug Policy Action,* $940,000
2. New Approach PAC,* $750,000
3. Drug Policy Action Fund for Oregon, $150,000
3. Philip Harvey,* $150,000
5. Henry van Ameringen,* $100,000
The Top five Cash Donors To No On 91:
1. Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, $145,000
2. Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association, $20,000
3. Save Our Society from Drugs,* $500
4. Shirley Morgan, $500
5. Tiffany Hicks, $500
* Denotes out-of-state contributor
Photo Credit: Oregonlive.com
Oregonians are set to vote on the legalization of marijuana for recreational use this November, but that hasn’t stopped some Oregon cities from passing taxation laws before the state vote occurs. Seems strange right? Not when tax revenue to your city government is at stake.
Measure 91, which would allow the legalization of recreational marijuana would bar local governments from placing a local tax on marijuana. The folks behind the “Vote Yes On 91,” campaign don’t want marijuana sales taxed at the local level, because lower-priced weed discourages purchasers from going to the black market for their goods. “We already have a marijuana market, it’s just an illicit market,” said Amanda Reiman, a policy manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Habits die hard. The price definitely makes a difference there.”
Most cities that are enabling this tax are placing it at 10% but others are taking a more extreme approach and placing the tax at 20% in an effort to push out dispensaries. Several estimates place tax revenue from legalized weed in the state between $17 and $40 million annually. If Oregon consumers react in the same manner as Colorado’s, we estimate that the state would bring in about $24 million a year. With that amount of money at stake, it starts to make sense why local governments are actively putting measures in place to secure their own financial success.
It’s still up in the air as to whether the state will grandfather in these local laws after the state initiative successfully passes. Measure 91 already proposes to allocate 10% of the total tax revenue from recreational marijuana to municipalities for local law enforcement. This begs the question of the need and efficacy of additional tax dollars being handed over to local governments due to their own decree.
Oregon cities are looking to cash in on the legalization of marijuana. Whether it they grab hold of this revenue via special taxes or permitting fees, they will most certainly reap the benefits of legalization at a local level.
Vote Yes on 91, the organization supporting marijuana legalization in Oregon sent out a press release yesterday, marking the beginning of their television campaign. This organization spent over $2 million on what it is being referred to as an “advertising blitz.” Hold onto your hats, marijuana prohibitionists because Vote Yes on 91 is dropping bombs! This vote yes campaign seems to be timed strategically, as opponents of the amendment are in Oregon this week speaking out against marijuana legalization.
The first released television advertisement, which is embedded blow, features Pete Tutmark, a father and grandfather who spent 33 years in law enforcement in the state of Oregon. In the commercial, Tutmark speaks out about the “broken system” of enforcing marijuana prohibition laws.
This advertisement addresses, from a police officer’s viewpoint, how much time could be better allocated to working on “serious, violent, and unsolved crimes” if law enforcement does not have to waste precious resources going after petty, non-violent, marijuana arrests.
Tutmark is joined, in support of Amendment 91, by many others including retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice, Judge Richard William Riggs and Kris Olsen, retired Oregon Chief Federal Persecutor.
The Vote Yes on 91 campaign is hitting the road running with just over 4 weeks before the close of the voting polls.
Photo Credit: Vote Yes on 91 Campaign