George Soros just kicked in another half million dollars of his "big, out-of-state, special-interest money" to the supporters of legalizing marijuana in Oregon. According to them:
"Criminal growers with links to drug cartels hide their illegal operations on public lands. They don’t care how much damage is done to fragile habitats in national parks, state parks and wilderness areas.
Growing unregulated marijuana in natural areas destroys local ecosystems, by:
- Destroying native, fragile plant life and habitat; and
- Illegally diverting water from streams and creeks for irrigation, which in turn dries out water sources for fish and plants.
- Indoor illegal marijuana growing can use a tremendous amount of energy. Some don’t follow the fire code or have access to energy conservation techniques or equipment. They won’t ask for help with solar panels and power-saving equipment, and have no incentive to do so.
Measure 91 will help reverse these unintended consequences.
Most importantly, a legal market will help drive criminal market cartel growers out of business. Marijuana will be grown by licensed individuals with no need to hide in our forests. There will be less need for resource-heavy indoor grows."
In point of fact: legalization in OR and WA has thus far led to increases in black market traffic, not decreases. Reputable sources note that product from illegal grow-ops in the Emerald Triangle of northern CA and southern OR is currently being shipped largely to WA and CO markets, due to their ability to undercut the "taxed and regulated" suppliers in both states.
The same circumstances will apply in Oregon, despite proponents' claims that because it'll all be regulated by the OLCC, taxation will be stable.
Wrong again: municipalities around the state are already scrambling to add their own taxes on top of the state tax, and they can increase those taxes at any time.
Legalization in Oregon will have exactly the opposite effect on illegal grow-ops than proponents claim: it will provide enhanced markets in the state for reasons identical to those observed in Washington and Colorado - the ability to undercut the "taxed and regulated" suppliers - and for precisely that reason, they'll be motivated to increase, rather than decrease, their operations. After all, they don't pay for water; they illegally divert it. They have no motivation to care for the habitat as it is; the USFWS is listing, as noted previously, the fisher as a threatened species under the auspices of the Endangered Species Act, and one of the primary reasons for that has been the number of deaths due to indiscriminate use of rodenticides at illegal grow-ops.
Legalization will magnify the problems, rather than minimize them.
Curiously, supporters claim to be "ardent environmentalists" - but not where their weed is involved.