Written by Ryan Baker
Oregon recently passed a bill that would allow the legal recreational use of marijuana. Unfortunately, it looks like the legalization movement there is already facing some pretty harsh opposition on the front lines. On Monday, a special state senate committee passed a measure 5-0 that would further restrict the use of pot for medicinal purposes, something that has already been legalized in 23 states and Washington D.C. Supporters of the bill believe this will “[stem] the flow of pot to the black market”.
The law, as reviewed by the state’s special senate committee, would restrict medical marijuana gardens from 6 mature plants per patient to a limit of just 12 total plants, regardless of the size of the area being serviced by the dispensary. This directly violates what voters approved in Measure 91, which was not intended to affect medicinal use at all. Additional new measures also include stricter recordkeeping and inspection requirements for these medicinal plants, even though Measure 91 was intended to focus on recreational use only.
The idea of trying to “stem the flow” is, honestly, laughable. As we’ve seen time and again, we usually end up getting our hands on cannabis one way or another. Why try to restrict it now at this point in time? Besides, the last time we prohibited something all it did was make alcohol into some nectar of the gods. Pot has been found time and time again to be less harmful than either tobacco or alcohol, and yet marijuana is the one getting the shaft. With Measure 91 going into effect on July 1st, fighting it now is just dumb.
Of course, there are always going to be those who will fight the “war” on drugs, but all that does is put nonviolent people in the joint for having a little kush. Why waste our tax money? I can tell you right now how pointless cops think these charges are anyway. Half the time in my town in Arizona, of all places, cops just tell you off for doing it behind the Wendy’s and to go park in the mountains if you want to keep smoking. Pot really has become a non-issue for most, but old habits die hard.
Recreational use is set to begin in less than a month and a half, and yet some Oregon lawmakers continue to write off the law that has already passed as some sort of slippery slope. It’s because of these restrictions that we even have a black market in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I really think Big Brother needs to roll a joint and get off our backs. Sure, by all means, have an age limit of 21 to purchase recreational marijuana. Treat it like we do booze and tobacco. But putting in last minute measures to bypass the will of the voters is not the way to go.
Ryan Baker is a college student in Northern Arizona whose favorite pastimes are singing and smoking weed after a long night of work.
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