PRESS RELEASE from Measure 80 campaign: The Cannabis Tax Act
Adding to the chorus of political and community leaders around Oregon and the nation that is calling for an end to America's catastrophic war on drugs, Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard has officially endorsed Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.
"As a career Portland firefighter, a State Legislator and a Portland City Council member, I have always fought for funding for our first responders and resources for our social safety net," Leonard said. "Regulating and taxing marijuana for adults is just common sense, because it allows us to get pot out of kids' hands, focus our public-safety resources on dangerous drugs, creates jobs and provide a new revenue stream to fund much-needed social services."
According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, Oregon has spent more than $60 million a year on marijuana-related offenses, from local police enforcement costs to court-room costs to the millions spent on incarceration.
Measure 80 would replace a failed system of prohibition with an effective taxation-and-regulation model. While adults 21 and older would be able to purchase cannabis products only at state-licensed stores, Measure 80 introduces tough new criminal penalties, such as felony charges for selling cannabis to a minor, and criminal misdemeanor charges for providing cannabis to a minor.
"We know that prohibition doesn't work and that regulation does," said Measure 80 chief petitioner Paul Stanford. "Beer and wine were once prohibited just like marijuana is now. Measure 80 will take cannabis sales out of the hands of street gangs and violent cartels and give law-abiding Oregonians the opportunity to build a lawful, legitimate industry on par with Oregon's $5 billion legal, heavily regulated beer and wine industries."