Reading through the text of Oregon State Measure 80, the Measure that would de facto legalize cannabis in the State of Oregon, a Libertarian might be tempted to through up his arms in dismay, as he ploughs through the myriad conditions that will accrue if this bill is passed, from yet another State Commission, to a tax on medical cannabis sold through State-licensed pharmacies, to proceeds from the sale of this medicine ending up in state coffers. The complexity of the Measure will probably be a turn-off to anyone not having a personal stake in the issue, but the bill contains one revolutionary clause that is a Jeffersonian bomb thrown in the midst of a Fascist gathering: Section 474.065, Paragraph 3.
Section 474.065, Paragraph 3 may be the most Libertarian little phrase, at least in its effect, to quietly drop from the pen of a Hempster-Libertarian since Mayor Al Smith laid into the hated Prohibiton Laws when they were finally thrown in the gutter where they belonged. What this paragraph does is legalize the growing of cannabis for personal consumption without state interference from arrest or taxation. Those adults who want to use cannabis for any reason whatsoever, be it medicinal, philosophical or hedonistic, could now do so without the Fascist Miscreants of the State sticking their noses into the Individual’s private affairs. Those who need cannabis of a certain strength for serious medical conditions could buy it at state-licensed dispensaries, where they will pay through the nose but get what they need to alleviate their conditions. We don’t like the idea of the State being involved at all in a private citizen’s medical treatment, but if the State is going to certify the potency of various strains of medicinal cannabis, then it is appropriate that the state taxpayers be compensated for the associated costs. We think prices of $10/gram and up are outrageous for a plant that can be grown as prolificly as wheat or corn, but then the patient is still permitted, under Section 474.065 Paragraph 3, to grow his own without cost to himself, so there is an alternative.
One outrageous provision of the Measure, Section 474.155, would outlaw the consumption of cannabis in public, punishable by a $250 fine, with a few exceptions, like prominent signs permitting cannabis use in that area. We find this provision ludicrous in a society that is so permissive that it permits tobacco addicts to smoke in public streets, thereby assaulting the bodies (and the property rights vested in their bodies) of all passers-by, even children. And what of the medical cannabis user who must suddenly take a dose to alleviate spasms or pain while in a public place? Should they be made criminals and forced to pay such an outlandishly unfair fine?
And what of the homeless? Under this provision they will never be able to use cannabis if they wanted, since they are on public property virtually 100% of their time. They should not be denied the Right to use cannabis merely because they do not have the price of a domicile.
No, the correct course is to legalize usage in public as long as the smoke from the cannabis does not reach any unwilling citizen and assault their property right to not have their bodies invaded by anything, harmful or beneficial. It should be illegal to smoke cannabis within 100-200 yards of another person without their consent, just as it should be with tobacco, although the penalty for tobacco should also include jail time.
On the positive side, the Measure seems to tackle the question of what impairment, if any, cannabis causes, and its effect on drivers. It seeks to set standards through medical research, although, as an Anti-vivisectionist, Silverwolf hopes these studies will be carried out solely on human beings. It also sets a standard of presumed negligence in any accident that might occur involving impaired motorists prior to getting the results of the impairment research. And it also prohibits the trafficking of cannabis to minors, although we think the phrase should have read “delivery to minors”.
The Measure also rips apart the puerile restrictions on hemp farming which would quickly balloon into a huge industry if it were legalized. The American Communists of the Democratic and Republican Parties have certainly shot American Capitalism in the foot on this one. Only the Libertarians and Ron Paul Republicans have had the moxie to call for the legalization of hemp farming for the last few decades. The Commies have been winning so far.
Finally and remarkably, the Measure mentions the violations of Religious Liberty the Bipartisan Prohibitionists have inflicted on anyone who adheres to the values of the Old Testament, for in Genesis 1:29 it gives to all men the use of all herb-bearing seeds. This assault on Religous Liberty by the Communists will also be swept away if the Measure passes.
So, despite its flaws and its many bad points, Measure 80’s Libertarian Section 474.065 Paragraph 3, and its concern with establishing an impairment level, if any, justify a “Yes” vote. And that’s just how Silverwolf voted.
Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww — Silverwolf