5 Reasons Why Oregon's Weed Legalization Initiative Is the Most Radical on the November Ballots
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Stanford says that the smaller plants, those designated as “low-THC,” do not yield the same amount of product as the psychoactive strains. “Our initiative mandates that the strains or varieties of hemp that are used for fuel, fiber and food be the ones that produce the most quality, the best quality, most quantity of hemp,” says Stanford, who believes the high-THC cannabis will be “much more productive.”
“If you're growing for seed oil and seed protein, the primary consideration should not be its THC content, it should be the best quality and quantity of those products.” No matter which plant they come from.
5. This wouldn’t mean a free-for-all.
Part of what seems to be scaring off supporters in Oregon is the impression that since their approach to regulation is radically different from the other states, that means residents will be able to get stoned whenever, and wherever, they please.
If you were hoping to bring a little spliff along to your next picnic, think again—there’s a $250 fine for consumption in public. However, adults will be able to smoke in places that don’t allow or employ those under 21, if the establishment so chooses. (Mini “Marijuana Allowed Here” signs would be all the rage at airport gift shops.) Some places could even apply for a license to sell pot and let people light up on premises: “It would also allow things like brew pubs and wineries, where people could grow their own and produce and package it and sell it to people who want to tour the area.” A marijuana flight, followed by a stroll through gardens on a summer afternoon? Why not? “Here in Oregon, wine is a $3-billion-a-year industry, it employs 20,000 people. And the craft beer production and the brew pubs amount to over $2 million a year.” For a state struggling with unemployment, this could actually make people more productive, not less.
There are also regulations in the measure to protect children from marijuana—after all, a chief argument for the legalization community has been that blackmarket products like pot are actually more accessible to young people than legalized substances like alcohol. Selling to minors will be a class B felony, and providing them with a “gratuitous” amount will be a class A misdemeanor. Even the minors themselves, if caught with marijuana, will be fined $250.
One thing they left out was any change to the current “drugged-driving” regulations—driving under the influence is still driving under the influence under the new law. They also didn’t address employment, or include a guarantee to workers that their employers would have to tolerate use, on or off the job.
“We don't address it, and the companies will be free to employ [whomever they want]. You know, currently people can be fired for testing positive for tobacco by some companies because of the higher costs imposed by tobacco use. So it wasn't an issue we wanted to get in the middle of.” Any employees who are currently required to submit to drug screenings—like commercial drivers—could still be dismissed if their cup came back positive for pot. “Currently people can be fired for testing positive for tobacco, so it wasn't an issue we wanted to get in the middle of.” Still, he says, this could be the turning point the anti-prohibition movement needs so someday getting canned for smoking pot would seem just as strange as getting fired for a pack of Camels. “I think that when we legalize it,” he says, “that will change the whole dynamic.”