Today Oregon’s House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing to discuss House Bill 3371, and approved the measure with a 6-3 vote, sending it to House Revenue Committee. The measure, titled the Control, Regulation and Taxation of Cannabis Act, would legalize the personal cultivation of up to 6 plants, and the personal possession of up to 24 ounces for adults, while establishing state-licensed retail outlets to sell cannabis.
The measure, which would also explicitly legalize hemp, would take effect on July 1st, 2014.
Proponents of last year’s Measure 80 to legalize marijuana in Oregon which narrowly failed in last year’s election, have announced that they’ll be running initiatives aiming at the 2014 ballot if the legislature fails to act on this bill.
“This is an excellent opportunity to regulate marijuana similar to how the state regulates alcohol”, stated Anthony Johnson of New Approach Oregon during the hearing. “Currently prohibition costs too much money”, he continues, “[This bill] would generate millions of dollars to the state of Oregon, create jobs, and divert that money to help fund education and public safety.. We hope that the legislature take this bill seriously”.
A representative for the polling firm DHM Research spoke on the statistics of marijuana reform in Oregon state, pointing to the fact that the legalization initiative Measure 80 would have likely won last year if they had further funding. The representative announced to the legislature new polling which finds that 50% in the state support legalizing cannabis, and 80% feel that legalization in Oregon is inevitable.
The measure now heads to the House Revenue Committee, where its passage would send it towards a full House vote.