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Oregon Legislature must get to work on pot

Oregon Legislature must get to work on pot

Other newspapers 9:05 p.m. PST December 5, 2014

The Oregon Legislature will enter 2015 with several urgencies before it. But a latecomer challenge has risen to the top of the list: Help in the implementation of Measure 91, which allows the legal sale and consumption of recreational marijuana to all Oregonians 21 and older.

The measure, approved by 56 percent of Oregon voters just weeks ago, puts the Oregon Liquor Control Commission in charge of translating the terms of the measure into rules that will regulate marijuana’s processing, distribution, sales and tax collection. That’s good, as the OLCC has a record of effectively regulating the distribution and sale of booze statewide.

But marijuana will be different. Many Oregonians want no part of local pot sales or the clientele it draws, and dozens of Oregon towns and cities aggressively seek taxes of their own on the sale of marijuana to help site and police retail stores. Taxation affects pricing, however, and Measure 91’s uniform state tax on sales was wisely set to keep retail prices low enough to undercut the black market. Higher prices owing to local taxes could work to keep a black market alive and competitive, defeating a core goal of Measure 91.

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/12/06/oregon-legislature-must-get-work-pot/19926221/






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