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Measure 91: Oregon Becomes Third U.S. State to Legalize Marijuana

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Voters have passed a ballot Measure 91, making Oregon the third state to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use, according to Fox12 political analyst Tim Hibbitts.

As of 9:40 PM on election night, with 68 percent of the vote in, voters approved the measure 54 percent with 532,364 votes to 46 percent with 453,605 votes.

Yes on 91 volunteer Martha Duff said, "Tonight Oregon won a great victory, decades in the making."

Supporters of the measure held a Portland party Tuesday evening to celebrate the new law. While a number of attendees were from the Portland area, some supporters made the journey from out-of-state to witness, what they called, history in the making.

Florida film-maker Adam Hartle said, "legalization takes the money out of the bad guys' hands.

The room of supported erupted with joy when the results were announced.

"I am exuberant - very delighted. Oregonians saw through the maze of misinformation," one volunteer yelled in reaction to the announcement. "The war on drugs in Oregon is over!” 

Under the new law, anyone who is at may possess marijuana with certain restrictions, including limits on how much marijuana a consumer may purchase at once. The restrictions will help keep the drug out of the hands of underage users, according to the authors of the measure.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has been designated with the authority to regulate the production and sale of the drug, which will remain illegal under federal law. The OLCC will begin reviewing applications for people to produce, possess and sell marijuana within the state by January 2016. The commission is also tasked with researching driving under the influence of marijuana, in case any changes to current DUI laws may be in order. The commission must present its finding to the Oregon Legislative Assembly no later than January 2017.

The cannabis sold from licensed vendors will be taxed at a rate of $35 per ounce on marijuana flowers, $10 per ounce on all marijuana leaves and trimmings and a $5 tax on all immature plants or clones. The tax rates will be reevaluated every two years and adjusted for inflation.

The revenue collected from state commissioned sales will be allocated to support government services - 40 percent will support public schools, 35 percent will support law enforcement, 25 percent will support the Oregon Health Authority.

Jill Harris, a representative Drug Policy Action, the single largest financial contributor to the campaign, said the organization is looking forward to the 2016 election and legalizing marijuana.


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