Should marijuana be legalized?
The question was put to young Oregon legislators and legislative candidates to find out which way the legislative wind may blow come 1973.
Here are the sentiments of some:
Bruse Plumb, 21, candidate for state senator, District 6: "I feel existing laws are unfair. They are too harsh. I don't think people should be considered criminals if they smoke marijuana in their homes. I would not introduce legislation calling for the legalization of marijuana during the 1973 legislative session. [That is not to say] I would never introduce a bill pertaining to marijuana. I just don't think 1973 is the time for it."
Steve Subject, 22, candidate for state representative, District 20: "I feel marijuana should come under control of the state. The state, under an agency that might be called the Oregon Marijuana Control Commission, could regulate marijuana much as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulates alcohol."
Vera Katz, 38, candidate for state representative, District 8: "Because of the criminal laws against use of marijuana, we are creating an entire generation of people with criminal records, records that will follow them through the rest of their lives. I would like to help decriminalize the use of marijuana and expunge records after a period of time."
Bill Stevenson, 32, House representative for three terms now running for state senate, District 8: "I don't think we ought to legalize the sale and general use of marijuana. I know people say it's no worse than alcohol but I don't believe that's true. I have had no personal experience with it but I understand that it puts people in a euphoric state. Having physicians, lawyers, airline pilots in that state doesn't seem to me to be beneficial to society. To legalize marijuana would be to encourage its use."
Marvin J. Hollingsworth, 35, former House representative now running for state senate, District 12: "As an attorney, I've handled a lot of drug cases. Clients I have had have told me that they started out smoking marijuana and then went on to harder drugs. I would never vote for the legalization of marijuana because I have seen too many of the after-affects of the whole thing. I'm sure, though, that marijuana will be removed eventually from the list of dangerous drugs and other provisions will be made for it."
[End]Portland NORML notes: The Oregon Legislature became the first in the nation to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, in 1973.
Possession of less than an ounce still brings a fine of $500 to $1,000. However, possession of less than an ounce in two or more baggies or other containers is considered trafficking, a serious felony, and various other harms await the unwary. In particular, while car thieves, burglars, drunk drivers and wife beaters are arrested repeatedly before being sentenced to hard time, first-time marijuana offenders routinely go to jail, prison, or work-release.
to the History of Oregon Reform Efforts page
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