Despite Ballot Defeat, Pot Legalization Finds Fans Among Tax-Hungry OR Lawmakers

Forget principles, you win legislators with power and money


PORTLAND – Among the the arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana, among the least persuasive, apparently, is civil liberties. When pot becomes legal in Washington on Dec. 6, proponents will be touting the windfall in tax revenue and tourism dollars.

That could make for a compelling argument in Oregon, where a similar initiative, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, failed on Nov. 6 and money is short for such programs as education.

"The idea of being able to regulate the market and to tax it and to bring in revenue to pay for services seems a no brainer to me," said state Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Medford. "We do it with alcohol, we do it with a number of products."