Pot in Oregon

The measure to legalize marijuana in Oregon comes up for a vote on November 4, but state and local agencies are ramping up fast to be ready for it. It appears as if folk think it will be a sure thing.

Cities and towns are passing ordinances to tax the businesses and jigger their zoning and permitting codes. The measure explicitly prohibits such stuff, but there’s a feeling that the laws they pass now might be “grandfathered” when the measure passes.

This is a lesson learned from CO and WA. Local jurisdictions in those states have passed laws to restrict the businesses because: zoning regs need to be adjusted, fear of the feds, they want a cut of the taxes, and moral reasons. Of those four justifications for enacting legislation, underneath it’s always another of the four reasons that matter. Example: Beer Town, WA passes a moratorium on permitting marijuana businesses citing fear of federal reprisals, but it later comes out they have a moral problem with cannabis in general. Or they severely restrict zoning laws when what they are really after is a cut of the tax action.

Those games started after the laws passed in CO and WA; Oregon locales learned and are passing laws right now.

Again, the measure seems almost certain to pass. Portland wants it, so Oregon will get it.

But, there’s some worry from those that support the measure. Oregon has had a string of dismal failures by the government, and the liquor regulatory agency, which will regulate marijuana, is held in very low esteem. People think the state will just screw it up after it passes.

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