I HOPE YOU will vote "yes" on Measure 91. This paper has already endorsed a yes vote, as have other Oregon publications of note.
To restate the reasons: We have been fighting a racist, expensive war on drugs that failed us decades ago. The taxes raised from legal marijuana will support schools, law enforcement, and drug treatment programs. Legalization will create much-needed jobs in the community, and allow the authorities to focus on far more serious crimes.
Those opposed to the measure have hauled out tired, worn-out clichés, while finding time to craft lies that would be funny if there weren't so much on the line.
One of the blustering arguments—made primarily by middle-aged white men—goes something like this: "If someone really needs their 'medical dope' [accompanied by air quotes and eye rolling], why can't they just get a medical card and smoke their doobie joints?"
They are right, a little bit. If you have a condition that the state has decided might benefit from marijuana use, you can spend several hundred dollars and be issued an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) card, which comes with the aforementioned right to smoke your reefer doobies.
But each state with a medical marijuana program—including Oregon—determines what qualifies an individual for acceptance into the program. For example, cancer makes every state's list, as it should.
What about less serious conditions? And what about feeling good?
Measure 91 will allow any adult 21 and older to grow four cannabis plants. And while the anti-drug warriors have stated that these plants will be "UNREGULATED, UNLICENSED, UNTAXED, OF ANY SIZE" (emphasis theirs), let's consider what that means:
From these four safely, legally grown cannabis plants, you could make a variety of products and edibles to treat conditions that would otherwise require a prescription for all sorts of pills.
Maybe your girlfriend has cramps, or your dad has IBS, or your grandmother has arthritis, or your brother has depression, or your sister has PTSD. None of these qualify for an OMMP card.
But they are serious, real conditions, and there are thousands of testimonials from people with these ailments who were helped by cannabis.
Maybe you have been blessed with perfect health. Maybe you just want to get high. Not driving-across-a-schoolyard-full-of-children-and-puppies high, but a high on par with what you get from drinking a beer, cocktail, glass of wine, or whatever a Mickey's Big Mouth is. Maybe you just got a promotion. Or fired. Met that special someone. Or broke up with last year's special someone. Maybe you plan to watch Game of Thrones, Arrested Development, or your cat freak the fuck out about a grocery sack.
As long as you aren't doing harm to others or yourself, why would you NOT want to grow four plants to make yourself feel better in so many ways?
Vote yes on 91.