Editorial: Vote no on pro-pot Measure 80; it’s a hot mess

2012-10-04T09:15:00Z Editorial: Vote no on pro-pot Measure 80; it’s a hot mess Corvallis Gazette Times
October 04, 2012 9:15 am

We recommend that you find the time to read the full text of Oregon Measure 80, the wildly overreaching ballot measure that would legalize marijuana in the state.

Brew an extra cup of coffee: Measure 80 reads a bit like one of those old James Michener novels, the ones that went back eons to set the stage for the dramatic events that would follow.

The text of Measure 80 begins with a lengthy recounting of the many benefits of cannabis hemp, with detours back to the days of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, all of which makes for interesting reading but is beyond the point.

The measure itself reads like a screed penned by marijuana fans, which is precisely what it is. But screeds rarely make for the best public policy. And any sort of rational reading of the measure should give thoughtful voters plenty of reasons to vote “no.”

Measure 80 would create a seven-member state cannabis commission to essentially make sure that marijuana becomes Oregon’s largest cash crop — and that Oregon, with the full backing and support of state government, would become worldwide cheerleaders for the glories of hemp and marijuana.

Five of the seven members of the commission would be drawn from the state’s cannabis community — “elected at large by growers and processors,” in the words of the measure. Again, unless you’re a member of the cannabis community, you might be able to see some potential problems here.

The measure also includes no limits on personal possession and cultivation.

In short, it’s a mess — even for a measure that tries to define itself as a “scientific experiment by the people of Oregon.”

There’s little doubt that state and federal drug policy also is a mess. Oregon’s medical marijuana program has grown beyond all expectations, leaving plenty of unanswered questions, and federal policy has been ineffective, if not counterproductive. But you don’t start cleaning up a mess by making it worse, and that’s exactly what Measure 80 would do.

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(27) Comments

  1. E
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    E - October 20, 2012 9:18 pm
    Cannabis is essentially NON-ADDICTIVE you nitwits, and more harmless than most foods we eat! It is amazingly helpful. I have been on pain meds 22 years and cannabis has made me almost entirely free in less than 1 year of medicinal use. I grow my own. It's easy as pie. No Mexican cartels needed. There are no negative social costs associated with this drug EXCEPT for those created by prohibition. It is easier to drive on cannabis (when you're used to it) than flexoril or vicodan. VOTE YES.
  2. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 17, 2012 3:47 am
    HERE HERE!
  3. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 17, 2012 3:40 am
    The good: people arent in jail for a popular and less harmful substance then say, alcohol and most prescription drugs.
    The bad: Total Govt control. Big business will take over the industry and I dont know if you have ever grown MJ but for me, many years experience of organic outdoor and indoor growing. With no chemicals. Expensive to grow organic as you must feed plants bat quano, seabird guano, worm castings, kelp, alfalfa, bone meal, blood meal, bio live, fish meal, shrimp or crab meal. These are all expensive high nitrogen vegetative foods that aid in production of large healthy green plants. Also, the soil and pummis or pearlite to airate your soil is important. If you using clones, you must stake or use hogwire to support the plant as they have only surface roots as seed has a deep tap root which stengthens the plant. Then sexing unless you have cloned a female. After bud begins, Then you are into low nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium with same guano products with bloom aid. The commitment is huge but well worth it. Always worry about theft. So the bad is really that I am quite sure when the state buys from corperations rather then small growers, they wont be grown in this expensive way. Most likely with straight nitrogen pellets. EVen miracle grow is not good. So the quality cant be as good and that is bad. More bad: now you cannnot have a grower of your choice grow for you for free and you arent entitled to your own plants at harvest. With prop 80, that will change to everyone paying for meds. I understand that a private grower cannot sell or grow for others. Small farming should be encouraged. It could provide jobs for private sector. But this is purely state run.
    Unworkable: There will always be enforcement as I mentioned earlier with moonshiners, this has gone on for generations. There will always be those who will break the law. AS it is now, hash and oils arent legal so that is potential for private parties making these products and selling on the street.
    The current program could work well if growers could contact OMMP and verify patients cards and sell to them and pay tax like any other business. I dont see why it has to be limited to state run. There are many experienced and dedicated growers who take tremendous pride in growing and I seriously doubt that this is the kind of product that will be available. It would be nice that instead of having to bid to the state for the ability to sell ones product, everyone could sell it and benefit. The tax is all that is missing from it not legal at this time and those who get in trouble because they have not gone and applied for a card. With a little research you can google all of the tax paying cannabis clubs in California shut down by the feds and most above board big tax revenue. So why does it have to be more state run controlled? The rich just cant stand not having it all. Anything profitable is going to be monopolized and that is what is good, bad and unworkable. So, if you take the time to wait for a fair initiative that helps all of the jobless have an opportunity, vote yes. This is just another political scam. I have heard of certain tobacco companies I wont name, already preparing with patents and commercial greenhouses. I would be willing to bet that thier attorneys wrote this prop 80???
  4. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 11:19 pm
    Ron, I am not saying that I think cops should be chasing down growers. I hate it when they fly under the limit in brand new copters bought with our Chinese borrowed money by the feds. I am saying that wont change with prohibition like it hasent changed in the Appalacians where they still moonshine. How many "goons" do our feds waste tax dollars on prosecuting moutain grown liquor because it competes with Budweiser and the rest of the CORP controlled, "controlled substances" Does that make any sense to you? That even though liquor is legal, they still hunt moonshiners down? Will be the same deal here. My point is that though it should be flat legal, it should be legal for anyone who wants to make a business out of it to do so. That is my argument. It is prohibited until finally there are enough people that it can become a profit making substance for govt control. I would like to see small farmers continue to grow for the patients free and even sell it and pay taxes. But that isnt the way it is. The major tobacco companies will take it over just as coca cola and pepsi took bottled water. The initiative stinks and needs revision before it gets mine and a lot of other patient and grower votes. It is one sided and unfair.
  5. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 10:45 pm
    When you have rich pharmacuetical companies lobbying and buying politicians with contributions, ya they are going to feel threatened a little by a harmless plant that provides relief that they can make money on. Double edged sword. They want a war on drugs but then they want everyone on some sort of antideppresent to restless leg syndrome. We live in a drug culture. It is just that if something free threatens the pockets of the rich, they arent for it! Try getting high on hemp and then tell me why in the hell it is even in the MJ class. It has like 1% THC yet back in the early 1900's we had Dupont wanting to make synthetic rope and Hearst wanting to print news on paper from his mills and cut down California's redwoods to grow tree farms so what happens. They used Hearst's newspapers to spread lies and propoganda that MJ will make black folks and Mexican's (who weed has long been in the culture) rape and murder because it is dangerous. How many stoned people are aggressive? LIke none! Hemp should have never become illegal. It is embarrassing. YOu can thank Harry Ansllinger, Dupont, Hearst as well as Nixon and Reagan for the ridiculous fear spreading lies they all convinced our public to believe. Read "The Emporer wears no clothes" by Jack Herrer. YOu can learn all about how and why our capitalist nation uses fear to start wars on everything from drugs to terror. We live in a fear based society where they want people uninformed and uneducated. The history of hemp goes back to betsy's first flag and our declaration of independence is written on it. why do you think they have a two party system that keeps people divided? So they dont focus on the real facts. They are both on the same team. Vote for the green party!
  6. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 10:29 pm
    Enforcement will never stop! Just like moonshine hasnt! The alcohol industry forbids it. They could tax it but why when they can control and own the entire industry. I am not for enforcement of weed. It should be legal. Just for everyone to grow and be taxed on rather thaan the rich few who will monopolize and control the indurstry. I was all for this until I read it and realized how the state wants to take total control over it. The enforcement will never stop because they cannot mass produce the product like small growers can. Its like this, I like buying local tomatoes because they are ripe and sweet. I cant get enough. Same with any small crop. Better in small gardens with care. As well as I am against outsourcing jobs and this will be another Mexican grown product. Give it a few years and see!
  7. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 10:23 pm
    Everyone should have the right to grow and grow for free for patients. With this initiitive. It will be run by large corperations like the tobacco industry and then everyone pays rather then growing organically for patients. Do you think independent growers with a limit of six plants can produce a cleaner product or mass corperate production that will have to not only genetically alter to get rid of male plants as well as spray for pesticides. The program is good the way it is! Not to mention like every other corp., will eventually be outsourced to be grown in Mexico so they can poison the plants with DDT which USA environmental laws stopped using long ago but still sells to Mexico and then we buy there vegeatables. Do you actually think they will grow it cleanly? NO! They will go for cheap labor and bottom line is it wont be free for the old and sick like it is now! Wake up and smell the corruption!
  8. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 7:50 pm
    Same to you Geoff! Do you want to smoke poison or good home grown bud? Man, you guys should know what this country does with anything good. They take it and commercialize it to death and screw it up! and for everyone. All in the name of money! and trust me the average Joe wont afford to grow it or maybe even buy it. LIke Viagra was $10 per pill. What will they do with our own personal growing practices? They will only make it good for the very few. It wont be free anymore. GEt it?
  9. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 7:46 pm
    So Tobyk, Do you think that the dying folks you care for should have to pay for the garbage MJ that will be mass produced by migrant workers and gene altered to weed out all of the male plants (no pun intended) OR... do you think that personal growers who care about quality and organics should continue to grow what we know how to grow for free for the sick? Do you really want this in the hands on big biz? That is what always happens. Read the history books. OR just watch the news. We have a jobless country with 8 1/2% unemployment and now we want to hand over MJ to big tobacco? They are alll ready waiting for it. Do you think they care about your patients the way you care for them? Really give this some thought and think about what will happen. If anyone really wants a OMMP card, it is pretty easy to get. This is just bad for the pharmacuetical companies and they hate the fact that people can grow their own medicine without them making ALL of the profit. On one hand they have this anti drug policy and on the other, every other commercial is about drugs and with horrible side effects. Yes, it should be legal but not state controlled. Wait for a good initiative. ONe that included everyone and not just the already filthy rich corperations! Mark my words. Down the road, you will be reading "grown in Mexico" or China!
  10. lulubelle
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    lulubelle - October 16, 2012 7:32 pm
    I am definitely a supporter of medicinal marijuana and personally think it is harmless and should be legal. That is my logical brain talking but my practical brain that knows what can happen with anything that starts out to be a good thing, always turns bad in the political arena. First, the current program is adequate although I believe should have tax revenue created for the state somehow. WE all know that if this is voted in, the only benefiting parties are that of big business in a Capitalist country. Big Tobacco! What do I hear? A 7 person panel??? So only 7 people decide what takes an entire state to vote in or out? My first concern is for the sick and elderly that which under the current program, get their medicine for free. They have a grower and a caregiver that can grow and dispense. Under 80, all of these folks are now paying! That is flat wrong. And like the folks that produce moonshine or any form of alchol will be prohibited to sell or profit. So again, the only people that can possibly benefit are the already rich (less than 1%) of our population! The current system needs revision and it needs to stay medicinal. Fairly easy to become medicinal and easy to grow so why give another commodity to the states? Because they cannot stand the fact that maybe the starving may make a couple of bucks off of weed! Let the growers grow it and give them the power to verify patients cards through phone or inet and leave this out of the hands of BIG BUSINESS! They already have outsourced all of our jobs folks! NOW WHAT? you want them growing it in Mexico with the DDT we sell them. Long outlawed in the USA like our vegetables!? This is what happens when you turn power over to the state! Anyone who buys into this is foolish and should read the initiative thoroughly. I hate it! and I can see the writhing on the wall already. Commercial junk product that right now is grown by people who care about organic farming. People who use all natural guanos, worm castings, natural farming which has been long gone for decades. Wake up and smell the politics people! Do you really think we should have more non productive people smoking on the couch in a jobless country? Keep it medicinal and give it free to the people. Tax the farmers if you have to but leave the sick and elderly alone.
  11. optimisticoregonian
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    optimisticoregonian - October 15, 2012 11:54 am
    The issue of ending marijuana prohibition wouldn't be such a mess if the federal government weren't dragging their feet procrastinating in reclassifying marijauna from it being a schedule I drug along side Heroine. How many states have legalized medical marijuana now? Luckily on Oct. 16th the federal government will be examining this very issue. And if they do reclassify marijauna on a federal level, this should help the states to move forward with regulation thus end marijuana prohibition.
  12. Geoff Taylor
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    Geoff Taylor - October 07, 2012 4:07 pm
    Tobyk, this is just an educated guess, but I think the byline is often omitted on editorials. Perhaps even always.

    Like you, I'll be voting YES on Measure 80. When I took hospice training, one of the instructors had just been diagnosed, and the last I heard, medical cannabis was helping him cope with all the terrible symptoms. He called this wonderful stuff The Pearly Gateway.

    The G-T's editorials are spot-on fairly often, compared to how it was back in the Nixon years. And they were a welcome relief from the rantings of the Sioux City Journal -- first-offense possession could be cured like cattle, with an operation, Wild Bill Westmoreland was winning in Vietnam and anyone who said otherwise should be shot -- even though the G-T was right of the Right, the editorials were less idiotic.

    Marijuana is a hot button. I'm old enough to recall Kirk kissing Uhura and saying the first hell on prime time. Too old to outlive the problem, and too sad that there still is a problem with cannabis in 2012. Thank Nixon, back in 1974.

    Fifty years from now, unless Mr. Romney is accidentally elected, little children will learn in school that free access to effective medicine was denied to those who needed it. I hope the kids of 2062 won't believe America was ever that blindered by special interests in politics and big pharma.
  13. Impacts of Marijuana
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    Impacts of Marijuana - October 06, 2012 10:18 am
    According to Dr. Kevin Sabet the financial benefits of marijuana legalization would never outweigh its social and health related costs. Promising everything from increased tax revenue and a cure for cancer, to a reduction of violence near the Mexican border and fewer criminal justice costs, legalization advocates have convinced almost half of America that their policy of choice is inevitable and desirable. But their arguments are high on hyperbole and low on facts. Rarely discussed are the potential downsides of such a policy, ranging from increased addiction to greater health and criminal justice costs. In fact, both of our already legal drugs—alcohol and tobacco—offer chilling illustrations of how an open market fuels greater harms. They are cheap and easy to obtain. Commercialization glamorizes their use and furthers their social acceptance. High profits make aggressive marketing worthwhile for sellers. Addiction is simply the price of doing business. Would marijuana use rise in a legal market for the drug? Admittedly, marijuana is not very difficult to obtain currently, but a legal market would make getting the drug that much easier. Tobacco and alcohol are used regularly by 30% and 65% of the population, respectively, while all illegal drugs combined are used by about 8% of Americans.

    Why is Kevin A. Sabet Against the Legalization of Marijuana? http://loop21.com/politics/kevin-sabet-against-legalization-marijuana

    Vote NO on Measure 80
  14. tobyk
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    tobyk - October 05, 2012 9:22 am
    I will be voting YES on Measure 80. And why is there no byline telling us who wrote this editorial?
  15. Scott Burress
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    Scott Burress - October 05, 2012 9:16 am
    I’m voting ‘YES’ on this one. The GT gave us no good reason to vote ‘No.’ Like with anything, there are definitely PROS and CONS, and the way I see it, the PROS outweigh the CONS by far.

    I think this is very analogous to (not so) long ago when we (the collective ‘we’ – Americans) considered repealing alcohol prohibition. There were also PROS and CONS that needed to be weighed, compared, and contrasted. In the end we did the right thing – we made alcohol legal to consume again. Thankfully, I can have a beer when I get home from work, if I choose.

    Yes, considering repealing the prohibition on marijuana is very similar to the consideration of repealing the prohibition on alcohol. There is a major difference in degree, however - alcohol is much, much more dangerous.

    Vote YES on M80.
  16. Ron G
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    Ron G - October 04, 2012 7:48 pm
    You forgot something in the paragraph that begins with the sentence, "The measure also includes no limits on personal possession and cultivation."

    Or was that intended as an argument unto itself? Is there a reason there should be a limit on possession of a dried plant with no known toxicity level? How much vodka can you have in your liquor cabinet, or how many cigars in your humidor?

    And why on earth would you prohibit or control cultivation? Do you like seeing the state use our police force as goons to enforce an ideological crusade in people's backyards? Do you want to see home gardens raided by cops in riot gear?

    If you're worried that the tax benefits won't materialize if we can grow our own, fret not. How many smokers do you know who propagate, cultivate, and cure their own tobacco? Sure, a few more people will probably inclined to grow pot than tobacco, but they'll only have to endure a crop or two of raspy, impotent weed with mold and spider mites before they give up. Most people are used to medical grade marijuana these days, and that takes expert growers.

    Yes, Measure 80 does read like a screed. That's unfortunate. However, it proposes a structured, rational approach to ending prohibition. It's a shame that the state attorney general decided to nullify the signatures of the tens of thousands of us who supported the other initiative which should be on the ballot, IP-24, which was much less dramatic, but now Measure 80 the only game in town.

    So can you argue the opposite side of the argument, and make a case for prohibition?
  17. Rational Voice
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    Rational Voice - October 04, 2012 5:22 pm
    What a bunch of nonsense.

    I will be voting YES on Measure 80 because 1 out of every 7 Oregonians will use cannabis this year, legal or not. I think it's time we stop wasting time, money, resources, and lives pretending cannabis prohibition can ever work. We need to put cannabis/hemp back to work for Oregon again. We are after all, talking about a substance that is scientifically proven to be safer than alcohol or tobacco, for it's users and all of society.

    There is no reason to continue the charade of prohibition. Vote YES on Measure 80.
  18. curious one
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    curious one - October 04, 2012 4:24 pm
    I'm guessing our editorial writers don't have enough time to research their subjects. I'm sure they don't have enough time to write correctly - i.e. within a certain # of words to explain something by getting to the facts quickly. What is the good, the bad, and the unworkable about this measure?
  19. Scott Burress
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    Scott Burress - October 04, 2012 2:01 pm
    Yes. It deals with both agricultural hemp and marijuana; I think that's why they use the word 'cannabis' in the ttile - cannabis includes both plants, which are really different. If M80 passes, farmers will once again be allowed to grow hemp (for fiber to make clothing, rope, etc.)

    check out: http://octa2012.org/
  20. BeavFan
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    BeavFan - October 04, 2012 1:13 pm
    The author of this opinion post needs to get in touch in reality.

    Measure 80 is about MONEY and savings, with value added to our local communities.

    Be an adult and tactfully think about this measure. Stop wasting tax dollars on petty police incidents that have no value or benefit to our community.

    Fix our roads, schools, parks, fire department and police funding. Decrease future property taxes!

    This is about adults and taxation of a product, no different then alcohol, that medically has proven it is less harmful to adult users.

  21. LeoG
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    LeoG - October 04, 2012 12:54 pm
    Comparing to Washingtonian and Coloradoan initiatives Oregonian Measure 80 is way more human. Hope all three will pass...
  22. Patrick9876
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    Patrick9876 - October 04, 2012 12:34 pm
    Scott, will Measure 80 deal with hemp? It seems that importing hemp products (rope, milk, etc) is a big waste. Couldn't we be making that stuff here instead?
  23. Scott Burress
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    Scott Burress - October 04, 2012 12:13 pm
    This really is a bad editorial.

    A good editorial would be well-structured. It would give some background to the measure being considered. It would lay out the pros and cons – actually list them out. It would discuss some of the stronger pros and cons and even consider rebuttals. Then it would offer a final ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ and explain why. Is that too much to ask for?
  24. rational_research
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    rational_research - October 04, 2012 10:51 am
    Marijuana is ALREADY Oregon's largest cash crop--fact. Why not capture some of the revenue from this large market for state purposes? Why not create a marketplace for the 550,000 Oregonians who used marijuana in the last year to safely and legally obtain it? I'm not detecting much of a valid argument against this measure, other than you don't like the way it sounds.

    On the medical marijuana program: please stop writing uninformed pieces on this matter. Yes, it has received a lot of attention in the media lately, but only because police departments and DA's are raising a fuss over it. The truth is:

    97% of all medical marijuana patients in Oregon are in the program for chronic pain. There's a double edged-explanation at work here: (1) cannabis provides a unique pain suppression quality (binds to pain receptors in the spine) and anti-inflammatory properties, so it works very well for severe pain and in ways that other medications do not, and (2) "chronic pain" is the easiest documentable condition for medical professionals to accept from patients (savvy prospective patients know this). Data collected by the World Health Organization suggest that approximately 10% of the state's population suffers from real chronic pain. Data from the US DHHS suggests that 14.1% of Oregon's population will use marijuana this year. Right now, only 1.4% of Oregonians are currently registered for the medical marijuana program. If all chronic pain sufferers or all marijuana users were ACTUALLY registered for the program, we would have somewhere between 387,000 and 546,000 registered patients. Not all people with chronic pain are comfortable with marijuana use though--it's still a social taboo in many ways and not all people enjoy its effects.

    That last number (marijuana users in Oregon) is important: if, as the World Health Organization suggests, chronic pain afflicts marijuana users at the same rate as the general population (which by all accounts it should), we would expect that about 54,000 of them would have this medical condition. How many registered medical marijuana patients do we have in Oregon? About 54,000.

    What's the moral of this story? Medical marijuana patient counts have increased rapidly since the programs inception in 1998, but the numbers are EXACTLY where the data suggests they should be. No cause for alarm here.

  25. Scott Burress
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    Scott Burress - October 04, 2012 10:45 am
    Another bad editorial. I guess the editor never hear the old adage ‘the making of laws, like the making of sausage, is not a pretty sight’ or ‘laws are like sausages – you should not see how they’re made.’ The point is that it is a messy process. And so what if it is messy!? If the end product is good (the law or the sausage), that’s all that really matters.

    Measure 80, which will legalize and tax marijuana use for adults, and impose specific penalties on selling or giving it to minors. Personal use and possession will be allowed without restriction for those 21 and older. Selling it will require a license, just like selling alcohol.

    Regulating and taxing pot (which people buy and smoke anyway) can bring in a lot of money to the state coffers. If you think that sounds like a good idea, then vote ‘yes.’

    M80 may be messy, but that is not a reason to vote ‘No’ on it. Consider the OLCC laws that regulate liquor – they are every bit as messy. So messy in fact, that the OLCC published a 42 page booklet for retailers to help explain them. See for yourself at http://www.oregon.gov/olcc/docs/liquor_license_and_license_process/law_orientation/law_orientation_retailers.pdf

    Based on the Editor’s position, since the liquor laws in Oregon are so messy, maybe we should make liquor illegal. Naw, let’s keep the freedom - with our messy laws.
  26. 9Yok-Te
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    9Yok-Te - October 04, 2012 10:15 am
    Timber industry opposition; gonna spill your coffee.

    I guess the GT (aka Timber industry 1%ers) can write off jobs, green agri-business, statewide employment, new industrial manufacturing, government revenues for schools, roads, parks, economic development, nor does the GT want tourism, a friendlier community, jail space for real offenders, savings from law enforcement, justice and penal systems, and the GT recommends ignoring all scientific facts, clinging to lifelong ignorance and prejudice and finally the editor resorts to name-calling and distortions.

    Now that you vented your "HOT MESS". GT and called reasonable people "potheads", how about YOUR jobs and revenue plans? Got fairness? Any real morality or reason at all???

    You must be Coffee buzzed. Black-meth bigots~! Spill that COFFEE, now!
  27. TheRealJules
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    TheRealJules - October 04, 2012 10:03 am
    Let's see, your prime objection to the measure is that it contains introductory material in addition to the actual changes? Vote 'no' because they said too much?

    I'm not part of the "culture", but I see nothing wrong with members of a council being such. Perhaps you can elaborate on why people who are in the industry aren't smart enough to know how to regulate the industry?
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