Oregon voters! Where were you? Gone the pioneer spirit? Gone the 1970’s sheen from being the first to charge a deposit on bottles and cans? Washington State beat us to the punch and legalized marijuana.
We take the lead on this kind of thing. Remember?
- First to institute gas taxes to pay for roads,
- First to declare all beaches in the state open to the public,
- First to require land use planning by cities.
- We pioneered the Oregon Health Plan to cover uninsured people,
- We were the first to legalize physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill,
- First to make elections vote-by-mail,
- First to make cold medicines (aka methamphetamine ingredients) prescription drugs.
Marijuana? Pah. We’ve always been out front in the battle to empty jails of tokers. We were first to decriminalize it, and second (after California) to legalize medical marijuana. Despite handwringing and predictions of doom, the world did not end. We’re royalty when it comes to states that pass scary, don’t-you-dare legislation. Or at least we were …
How could we let Washington (and Colorado!) take away the scepter?
This calls for a little motivation. Hmmm. I know! Brush off the Oregon State Song, to remind us what kind of stock we’re made of:
Oregon, My Oregon
Land of the Empire Builders, Land of the Golden West;
Conquered and held by free men, Fairest and the best.
On-ward and upward ever, Forward and on, and on;
Hail to thee, Land of the Heroes, My Oregon.
Land of the rose and sunshine, Land of the summer’s breeze;
Laden with health and vigor, Fresh from the western seas.
Blest by the blood of martyrs, Land of the setting sun;
Hail to thee, Land of Promise, My Oregon.
If that didn’t rouse the blood, here’s an inspiring rendition:
Never mind the part about ‘land of sunshine.’ We don’t need sunshine to be brave anyway. Just put on the galoshes and macintosh, and head down to the jail the next time a batch of violent criminals is let loose because the county has run out of money.
You can’t make something illegal that grows like a weed. Well OK, we did make it illegal, and KEPT it illegal (ahem), but it’s still the biggest industry in the state. You call that success? Get the smokers back to their bongs and out from behind bars so there is room for rapists, robbers and murderers.
I’m not saying marijuana is benign. It’s not. It’s a drug, like alcohol and nicotine are drugs. I’m not saying I’m a marijuana fan, either (tried it in college. YELCH!), but the state has better things to do than chase after potheads and people with cancer, and we Oregonians have a reputation to uphold.