After one year of legalized marijuana, it is clear that Oregon voters got it right.
Millions of dollars have been added to the state’s coffers, thousands of jobs have been created and many lives have been improved.
Oregon can celebrate one year of legal marijuana, knowing that we have better prioritized law enforcement resources and raised revenue for important social services. The state has been an example for the rest of the country to follow as more and more voters and public officials understand that marijuana regulation is a much better policy than prohibition.
Thanks to over 56% of Oregon voters and all of New Approach Oregon’s supporters, we have made history and become national leaders in marijuana law reform. Cannabis commerce has reportedly created more than 2,000 jobs to go along with about $15 million in new tax revenue after just the first few months of taxed sales. Later in the fall, more marijuana products will be available to all adults over the age of 21, likely increasing the tax dollars being collected.
More important than tax dollars are the lives that have been improved due to legalization and its aftermath. We are proud to have helped lead the legislative efforts that reduced marijuana-related criminal penalties even further and allowed for the expungement of past marijuana offenses. More than 500 Oregonians have taken advantage of expunging old marijuana penalties from their records since Measure 91 passed in 2014
Oregon still needs to bring much of the state into the regulated system as too many localities have banned regulated marijuana sales. These bans hurt the statewide system and deny local residents much-needed jobs and tax dollars. Additionally, the state still needs to reduce more marijuana penalties; ensure that low-income patients have safe access to medicine; and allow social consumption locations for adults.
Medical marijuana fees and regulations remain too burdensome for many patients and some local and state regulations are restricting the ability of small business owners to thrive. We will continue working on these issues until Oregon has gotten it right, all across the state.
Clearly, the sky hasn’t fallen as Oregon has benefited from the new jobs and revenue. As the legalization experience continues to be positive, public officials across the state should remove barriers that exist for patients, farmers and businesses and bring more and more people into the regulated system.
There is much more work to be done, but today, Oregon can be proud of being a true trailblazer. Thank you all for helping move Oregon, and our nation, away from failed Drug War policies.
If you are looking for potential locations to acquire cannabis or cannabis-infused products, we have some recommendations, as the dispensaries below have proven to be good actors and have pledged a portion of proceeds towards New Approach Oregon, so we can continue fighting for effective marijuana laws that will work for patients, consumers, and all Oregonians.
Five Zero Trees
10209 SE Division St, Building B, Suite 100
5336 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway
14812 Se Powell
1917 SE 7th Ave
2231 W Burnside St.
Rip City Remedies
3325 SE Division St
The Greener Side
1553 Oak St
Cannabliss’ Sorority House
588 E. 11th
1401A Market St
1199 NW Wall St
1814 NE Division St
630 Highway 99
In Hood River:
13 Oak St.
Hood River, OR 97031
The director of the prohibitionist group SAM Oregon, Randy Philbrick, resigned from the anti-cannabis group, effective immediately. Philbrick, who has led an attempt to undermine cannabis legalization, with the goal of ultimately repealing Measure 91, made offensive tweets following the aftermath of the Orlando mass-shooting tragedy, directed at Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Russ Belville over at Marijuana Politics, broke the story:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana, the anti-legalization group, has announced the resignation of the leader of their Oregon Project SAM affiliate over comments he made comparing the legalization of marijuana to the horrific massacre in Orlando that killed 49 and wounded 53.
As Marijuana Politics reported, on June 12, as the world was reacting to the news of the slaughter that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the Twitter account for SAM Oregon was trolling the comments of Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer.
In response to Blumenauer’s statement of disgust over the shooting and the cowardice of elected officials who won’t pass sensible gun regulations, SAM Oregon called out the cowardice of elected officials who “refuse to stand up against the marijuana industry”. SAM Oregon also chided Blumenauer for supporting one “threat to public health/public safety” [marijuana legalization] while also speaking to “condemn another” [the Orlando shooting].
Mr. Philbrick has made many offensive comments, notably insulting medical marijuana patients, by dismissing any medical benefits of cannabis and using quotes around medical. While this is likely not the last time that we have heard from Mr. Philbrick, it is great that Project SAM has distanced themselves from someone who engages in such offensive political rhetoric.
As the Oregon Legislature and Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) implements Measure 91, New Approach Oregon has been monitoring the process and working to protect what Oregonian’s voted for. Learn More