Meanwhile big money and powerful influences are shaping this election. From billionaire Soros to judges, legislator’s and even the Governor John Kitzhaber whose wife tried opening up her own illegal grow operation.
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO MONEY AND OREGON CITIZENS WILL SOON BE ORDERED TO SMOKE MORE POT TO BRING IN MORE TAXATION.
Due to budgetary shortfalls I suspect both WA and OR will shortly order their citizens to increase their consumption of State-sponsored marijuana products to make up for outsourcing of Alcohol products to Walmart and the Rite-Aids. The side benefit being that a stoned and happy citizen is a malleable one. By the time the big gorilla CA jumps in in 2016 we will be getting them in vending machines at every casino. Or even free samples like condoms at DSHS.
One local judge has already stated his policy of ‘Pay or Pain’ will be strictly enforced and such underground sales will be strictly punished. He has already set in motion hemp work farms for prisoners.
The Oregon Hemp collective is voting on Initiative 91 which will totally undercut the state of WA. A few comparisons will be needed.
In HAPPY VALLEY, Ore.-a dispute arose over taxing the weed, demonstrating the complexity of transforming a black market into a legal one. Sort of like restricting homemade moonshine vs. taxable Kentucky Whiskey. The drafters of the Oregon plan wisely (???) under taxed the pot product to be substantially lower than Washington, and made 6 oz. the legal allowed limit instead of 1 oz. By so doing they tried to undercut the black market and Mexican drug importers. Washington States excessive taxation did exactly the opposite and will certainly lead to across the border smuggling and eventually a battle between the states. This will be a grand battle between Vancouver and Portland.
Oregon will tax the product by weight while Washington chose to combine the high usage t of sales tax and excise taxes. Broadly speaking Oregon measure charge a rough 15% tax, and compares to a 44% effective tax in Washington. Time to juice up that old hippy VW wagon and head to Hempland USA.
Oregon also suggested that 40% of tax proceeds go to a schools fund, 20% to mental-health and drug services, 15% to state police, and 20% to counties and cities. This of course could change, just like Washington State put the Casino taxes into the General Fund instead of the educational system as promised. I suspect the alcohol and marijuana taxes will disappear into Olympia’s maw as well.
NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS – MY OWN SCENARIO AND FUTURE HEADLINES.
“Vancouver WA, and Portland OR explode in a hemp war. “24 killed in the first day.” Oregon was caught high and dry when angry Vancouver Pot Shops retaliated and hired the Tongs and Mexican Mafia to torch competing businesses in Portland. Before the hempish smoke had lifted, much of the material had drifted into WA State. Governor Kitzhaber pleaded for an end to this reefer madness.
Upon hearing this Gov. Kitzhaber fled and remains in hiding.
The Huffington post headline was “This is just a terrible tragedy,” I guess marijuana sales really are as dangerous as they say.”
I tend to agree and am very upset with the dark side of our Governor Jay Inslee. By all accounts Measure 91 was the better law and would have allowed residents to grow their own weed and supply it to friends, provided they do not charge, while Washington permits only licensed and heavily taxed production – throw in permit fees and legal costs.
Oregon’s $35-per-ounce tax might have led, within a couple of years, to prices way below current illicit prices and way below legal prices in Washington state and approach the backstreet drug smuggler price.
With activists in WEED California preparing an initiative for the 2016 ballot, who knows what comes next. In the meantime I will go get my CANNABIS WITH MY COFFEE. Starbucks already overcharges overcharges so the half-awake will barely notice the higher WA pricing.. “wake and bake.”
(C) Herb Senft 2014
How’s it working out? It seems to be winning. ‘If approved during a traditionally low turnout mid-term election would add significant momentum to reform efforts across the country.’ It is the pot initiative that WA should have passed but did not and will be a major development should it pass