As has been widely reported, there are now similar ballot initiatives in
|Initiative||Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA or I-9)||Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (A-64 Colorado)||New Approach Washington (I-502)|
|Personal Possession||Allowed, Limit Not Designated[ii]||1 ounce in public; all of the cannabis produced from harvests of personal plants at the grow site.||1 ounce of cannabis;
16 ounces of solid products (hash, brownies, etc.);
72 ounces of liquid products (tinctures, etc.)
|Personal Cultivation||Allowed, Limit Not Designated||6 plants, only 3 in flower.||NOT ALLOWED|
|Age Limit||21 Years Old||21 Years Old||21 Years Old|
|Public Consumption||None except non-minor areas where prominent signs allow it.||No “open and public” consumption.||None.|
|DUID Standard||Current Oregon Law (demonstrated impairment)||Current Colorado law (demonstrated impairment)||New 5ng THC / mL blood per se DUID; zero-tolerance under age 21.|
|Regulatory Body||New Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC)||Colorado Department of Revenue||Washington State Liquor Control Board|
|Hashish / Hash Oil?||“Cannabis means all parts, derivatives, or preparations of the cannabis plant.”||“Marijuana means… every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, or its seeds, or its resin, including concentrates.”||“Marijuana means… every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.”|
|Industrial Hemp?[iii]||Legalized as any crop, no licenses, fees, or regulation; all seeds & starts are considered hemp.||Hemp defined as <0.3% THC cannabis, department shall set hemp regulations.||Marijuana defined as >0.3% THC, implying hemp is any cannabis <=0.3% THC and thereby legalized.|
|Commercial Cultivation||Individuals may cultivate for sale to the OCC||Marijuana Cultivation Facilities||Marijuana producer’s license available for cannabis sales to processors[iv]|
|Commercial Processing||Individuals may process cannabis into hash, hash oil, medibles, tinctures, salves, etc. for sale to the OCC||Marijuana Product Manufacturing Facilities||Marijuana processor’s license available for cannabis sales to retailers.|
|Commercial Sales||OCC Cannabis Stores, may limit amounts and frequency||Retail Marijuana Stores||Marijuana retailer’s license available for cannabis sales to the public. Can only sell marijuana.|
|Commercial Zoning||Not specified, OCC may set regulations||Not specified, department may set regulations||>1000 feet of schools, playgrounds, other locations with minors.|
|Taxes & Fees||Not specified||15% excise tax at wholesale level[v] (cultivator to processor or retailer)||25% excise tax at each stage of sales (producer to processor to retailer to customer)|
|Medical Marijuana||OCC Stores sell cannabis at cost to qualifying patients.||Act does not apply to medical marijuana, which retains its current regulatory structure.||Improves medical marijuana by providing protection from arrest for some possession.[vi]|
|Restrictions||Sale to minors or unlicensed sale forfeits one’s right to buy, sell, or process cannabis||Localities may ban commercial cultivation, processing, retail through their governing body or by ballot initiative only in even-numbered years.||May set maximum number of retail outlets / county. Signage can be no more than 1600 square inches. No advertising near kids.|
|Fee Distribution||After OCC / AG costs, 90% to General Fund, 7% to Drug Abuse Treatment, 1% for hemp promotion, 1% hemp biodiesel, 1% to school drug education.||First $40M to Public School Capital Construction Assistance Fund; remainder to General Fund||Dedicated marijuana fund run by State Liquor Control Board. $125K to Healthy Use Survey; $50K to social and health reports; $5K to UW for web-based marijuana education; $1.5M to State Liquor Control Board; remainder: 15% to drug treatment; 10% for drug education; 1% to state university research; 50% to Washington Health Plan; 5% to community health care; 0.3% to building bridges program; remainder to General Fund.|
You can read about the cannabis regulation models Transform has proposed in 'After the War on Drugs; Blueprint for Regulation' (The Oregon measures probably coming closest).
|Health conscious: John Hickenlooper|
“[Amendment 64 has the] potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to makeThis is interesting because, as Hickenlooper proudly told the press not so long ago, he’s “the first brewer who’s even been a governor”. It’s not clear whether Governor Hickenlooper’s career supplying
the healthiest state in the nation. It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are OK.” Colorado
But even if the positive publicity does the trick and the encouraging polling lasts until election day, there’s still the thorny issue of the federal government to negotiate. It’s unlikely that were any of the other initiatives to pass, the feds would sit back while states allowed activities that are in direct conflict with federal law.
Speaking to one of the architects of the prop-19 California ballot back in 2010, they were open about not having a plan for resolving state vs federal law tensions, or for that matter the less discussed but arguably even more significant issue of violating the International UN drug conventions, to which the US is a signatory (indeed they were the driving force behind their creation). Their plan was, as they put it - 'to start a shit storm and see where it leads'.
If the ONDCP have a plan - they are not letting on either (see this conversation Transform had with the US Drug Tsar in 2011).
Whatever the outcome of the votes, or of possible states vs feds (or vs UN) legal wrangles, the ensuing drug policy debate can only be useful in raising awareness of the issue, and could also provide greater political space for other countries – like Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia, who recently took their calls for change to the UN – to be more vocal in speaking out against the war on drugs and be bolder in their moves towards more substantial reform.