Oregon’s historic Measure 91 was voted into legislation this past Tuesday which has a lot of Americans scratching their heads and asking, “So what now?” We’ve answered some of the most common questions here:
Q: Am I allowed to smoke weed in Oregon?
A: Not yet.
Q: When can I legally possess marijuana?
A: Starting on July 1, 2015, Oregon residents can possess have up to a half pound of marijuana or four plants per household.
Q: How much can I carry in public?
A: Up to 1 ounce.
Q: Can I smoke in public?
Q: Wil there be coffee shops where I can smoke?
Q: When will retail stores be be opening?
A: Applications for retail stores will be accepted Jan. 4, 2016.
Q: What is the legal age for consumption?
A: 21 years old.
Q: Who is in charge of the marijuana program?
A: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be responsible for the taxation, licensing, and regulation of recreational marijuana.
Q: Does Measure 91 affect Oregon’s medical marijuana program?
Q: Will I be able to transport marijuana between Oregon and Washington?
A: No, marijuana will not be permitted to cross state lines.
Q: Can I be arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana?
A: Definitely. Never drive under the influence.
Q: Where will the tax money go?
- 40% to schools
- 20% to mental health and addiction services
- 15% to state police
- 10% to cities for enforcement of the measure
- 10 to local law enforcement
- 5% to Oregon Health Authority for prevention measures
Q: Will it be legal in every city?
A: Cities and municipalities are allowed to hold their own ballot measures to vote on whether recreational marijuana is right for their town.
Q: How many dispensaries will there be?
A: This isn’t clear yet. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will have the final say, but has not discussed this yet.
Photo Credit: Yes On 91
The pro-marijuana legalization campaign in Oregon, Yes on 91, has incorporated a creative strategy into their mission to encourage registered voters to exercise their rights by using a clone-able Facebook app.
How does it work?
First the app matches contacts from your Facebook account to the list of registered voters in the state of Oregon. Next, the app will show you which of your Facebook friends are registered to vote, but who have not yet submitted a ballot. Lastly, it will give you the option to send a private Facebook message to each friend, reminding him or her cast their vote.
Once registered voters have cast a ballot, the registered voter website marks the person as having voted, so this app will only match people who have not yet voted. Do not fret, it does not show who or what a person voted for. This app can be added to Facebook by going to DidTheyVote.org. People can find out whether or not their friends have voted yet, and then politely or overwhelmingly remind that person to exercise his or her rights as an American.
One fan of the app, Sarah Duff, a volunteer with the campaign supporting Measure 91, told the Daily Journal,
“This kind of app is great because it helps me do all the things I would do anyway, which is remind my friends to vote.”
The organization anticipates this reminder tool to appeal especially to young voters, and are excited to see the results next week.
photo credit: Getty
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
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