Tim King Salem-News.com
The law that began landing American farmers in jail for the first time in
1937, was lifted during WWII so American farmers could help support the war
effort, by growing Hemp for Victory and they even produced a film by that
name in 1942. Courtesy: NORML
Can an antiquated law from 1937 called the "Marihuana Tax Act" (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marijuana_Tax_Act) finally be turned around?
Those guiding the passage of this new Oregon law will put the credibility
and effectiveness of the 1937 legislation to the test.
(SALEM, Ore.) - A proposed law for Oregon would radically alter the
availability of marijuana for adults, by allowing the herb to be purchased
in liquor stores. The Oregonians For Cannabis Reform 2010, say the Oregonian
Cannabis Tax Act would make cannabis products legal and available in a
retail environment. Proponents say it will mean millions and millions of
dollars for Oregon's state coffers and many predict that the move would
literally salvage the state's unstable economy.
Backers of this Initiative say their plan would send 90 percent of the
proceeds from the state's sale of marijuana to Oregon's General Fund, which
could lower the state tax burden significantly. Portions of the revenue
would be used to fund drug abuse education and treatment programs.
But right now, the people bringing this opportunity for Oregon voters
forward, says their effort needs money, equipment, and, most of all,
But they say the payoff will be enormous, as the Cannabis Tax Act (CTA) will
take the lucrative marijuana market out of the black market, where children
and substance abusers often control it today, and place it in state liquor
stores, where the age limit of 21 and older is strictly enforced.
Advocates also say it will be like a rebirth of the Oregon farmer. Farmers
will be licensed to cultivate cannabis for both medicinal and adult private
use. Farmers will be able to grow industrial hemp without a license, for
paper, fabric, protein and oil, under the new proposed law.
While the overall law as it is proposed addresses all marijuana use for
adults, there are specific allowances to aid the ongoing battle for the
rights of medical marijuana users. The CTA will allow doctors to prescribe
untaxed cannabis through pharmacies, so patients won't have to grow their
own or buy medicine illegally.
The law would modify Oregon's program and ultimately, see it appear more
similar to California, where dispensaries are already available for people
using marijuana legally.
They say that while accomplishing so many things, the law would also raise
millions of dollars in new public revenue, lowering the tax burden on all
and saving taxpayers money by taking the profit out of crime.
More than marijuana, the CTA will restore industrial hemp, the most
productive agricultural source of fiber protein and oil, and a huge aspect
of American heritage. Hemp seed oil is diesel fuel. The first cordage, cloth
and paper were invented from hemp fiber.
Advocates say the laws would virtually wipe out the black-market. "The CTA
allows police and the courts to concentrate on real criminals that hurt
others, not arrest, prosecute and jail harmless, productive adult cannabis
users. Stop our government from tearing families apart. Let's show real
family values and end cannabis prohibition."
The OCTA will wage its campaign to help stop the War on Cannabis by
challenging the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act- it's credibility and effectiveness.
This is the law that was precededd by mass hype and hysteria fed to the
American public by Harry Anslinger, (see: Harry Anslinger page on Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_J._Anslinger) a dubious U.S. politician
who worked with Dow Chemicals and Dupont in the 1920's and 30's, to demonize
marijuana and place it in an illegal category, in order to get their new
"synthetic rope" on the market. In truth, the natural hemp fiber is to this
day, superior in strength, quality and durability.
It would appear that Anslinger was a conservative who truly believed
marijuana to be a threat to the future of American civilization, yet his
biographer maintained that he was an astute government bureaucrat who viewed
the marijuana issue as a means for elevating himself to national prominence.
Paul Stanford of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, told KATU that the measure
would also put a dent in illegal dealing of the weed.
"We want to take marijuana out of the hands of children and substance
abusers, who control the market today, and put it in the hands of the
state's liquor control commission and the age limit of 21 will be strictly
enforced," Stanford said.
Others say it is simply the time to do this, and the next presidential
administration will almost certainly live up to statements that they will be
supportive of state's legal rights to pass marijuana laws, and redirect
federal agents and protocols. This clears the path for very large steps as
medical marijuana tests and research continues to yield one new medical
application after another.
Dr. Phillip Leveque of Molalla, Oregon, first became familiar with the
positive health-related aspects of marijuana in the early 1950's, while
studying at the Oregon Medical School in Corvallis. That was a bottle of
marijuana cough medicine from before Harry Anslinger's time. Leveque is a
WWII combat veteran. As a physician, toxicologist and pharmacologist, Dr
Leveque offers sound reasoning. "I would be far more surprised to see
someone come up with something it is not helpful for, as a medical
property." He says little time is passing now between large developments
that show marijuana's potential role in society as a legal product.
Supporters have two years to collect nearly 83,000 signatures to get the
measure on the November ballot in 2010. They say you can learn more about
this proposed new law for Oregon, by visiting this page: