Man pushes to legalize pot through initiative process

Man pushes to legalize pot through initiative process »Play Video
Paul Stanford, the executive director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, is working to get a measure on the 2012 ballot to legalize marijuana.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The executive director of the Hemp and Cannabis Foundation is working to get a measure on the ballot in 2012 to legalize marijuana in the state of Oregon.

Paul Stanford also says it should be taxed like cigarettes and liquor to generate millions of dollars of revenue for the state. He says it would be regulated and distributed to people over the age of 21.

“We want to regulate it so that businesses like bars and taverns that bar the admission of minors can offer that as a business,” he said.

He says it would bring a steady flow of cash for the state.

“Alcohol revenues bring in about $75 million. It will create lots of new jobs. It will create all these new industries. We think it will be billions and billions of dollars in the long run.”

Some say it’s a drug that is safer than beer and wine.

“It affects your brain differently,” said Chris Becket, who agrees with the idea. “I don’t think it affects it as severely as alcohol does, especially when you’re driving.”

But not everyone is ready to walk through a haze of smoke.

“Typically, people that are smoking marijuana become more apathetic, and they lose their desire to get out, work and accomplish things,” said Wayne Turner.

About 90 percent of the revenue brought in would go to the state’s general fund. In order to get the idea on the ballot, Stanford needs to get nearly 90,000 signatures.