Once again voters will face another deceptive Regulate and Tax marijuana measure at the ballot box. The majority of Oregon voters have already said “No” to marijuana legalization with a similar measure in 2012. No matter how you write a new measure, marijuana harms our kids, puts dangerous ‘high on pot’ drivers on our highways and is still a federally illegal drug.
First, pot advocates like to say that pot is harmless. But it’s not. Oregon currently has the nation’s third highest rate of marijuana use among youth, ages 12 – 17. Between 6-11 percent of teens who smoke pot regularly get addicted, and they have serious problems. According to research published in several psychiatric journals, teenagers who smoke pot heavily find it harder to learn, get worse grades, and are less likely to finish high school or college. Marijuana legalization attempts if passed will skyrocket teen addiction rates as they have seen in Colorado. In 2012 Clackamas County Mental health services revealed that of the 242 kids 18 and under who entered their treatment facilities, 87.5% were there for marijuana addiction.
M91 touts that kids will have less access to marijuana if it is legalized, but we can all see through the cloud of smoke, that kids will not only have access, but easy access to marijuana if M91 were to pass. M91 allows any individual 21 years and older to have an enormous amount of unregulated marijuana in their homes. Under the proposal, anyone over 21 is permitted to have in their home a half pound (8 ounces) of dried marijuana, 4 unregulated-unlicensed-untaxed plants (of which can yield from 1 ounce to 10 pounds depending on the growing climate), an ounce of concentrates which can include 95%-100% pure THC, pound of edibles, and a six-pack of tinctures (72 ounces), all of which will be impossible to enforce by law enforcement. In Colorado marijuana-related exposures for children ages 0-5 on average have increased 268% from 2006-2009 to 2010-2013.
Second, under Measure 91, Oregonians will see more Driving under the Influence of marijuana accidents, as where alcohol has an impairment BAC level, there is no defined THC impairment level like other States in Measure 91. In Colorado the High Intensity Drug Trafficking August 2014 report indicates that traffic fatalities involving operators testing positive for marijuana have increased by 100% from 2007 to 2012.
Third, marijuana is still a federally illegal drug. Pot advocates try to convince the public that by legalizing marijuana it will get rid of the black market, when the truth is they are the black market wanting to expand their market by advertising through marijuana storefronts to our young adults as well as illegally traffic their marijuana out-of-state. In Colorado highway interdiction seizures of marijuana destined to 40 other states increased 397% from 2008-2013.
Finally, money does grow on trees when it comes to marijuana because as noted todays average pot plant can yield anywhere from 1 ounce to 10 pounds of marijuana depending on how and where it is grown. M91 has no limitations on who can own marijuana licenses; this means that out-of-state residents can be a (producer, processor, wholesaler, and/or retailer). It’s an open invitation to attract the out-of-state marijuana licenses without requiring they be an Oregon resident. Imagine Oregon as a magnet attracting the out-of-state wealthy illicit drug cartels who are looking for opportunities to disguise themselves under the cover of so called legal marijuana storefronts, as many of Oregon’s medical marijuana cardholders and growers have done.
M91 has no restrictions on the number and locations of these grow sites and pot shops. This leaves neighborhoods and areas near schools, daycare’s, preschools, libraries, churches, parks and shopping centers all vulnerable to increased exposure to illegal marijuana activity. Oregon’s so-called unregulated and untaxed medical marijuana program has already caused public safety concerns to communities throughout Oregon; with violent and dangerous in-home invasions, electrical fires, and in-home Butane Hash Oil marijuana extraction explosions.
Oregonians should not put our communities at risk and vote NO on legalizing marijuana. No matter how you write a new marijuana legalization measure, you can’t put perfume on a skunk and make it smell better. M91 harms our kids, puts dangerous ‘high on pot’ drivers on our highways and is still a federally illegal drug. Say NO on M91.
Roy Burge is a volunteer citizen in Milwaukie Oregon and a member of the Overland Park Coalition against Drug Crime.
Source: Marijuana News Daily 10th Sept.2014