Oregon congressman: 'It doesn't make sense' to keep pot illegal - KPTV - FOX 12

OR congressman: 'It doesn't make sense' to keep marijuana illegal

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer voiced his support of marijuana law reform at a town hall meeting Sunday.

Rep. Blumenauer said it's time for Oregon to begin thinking about and regulating marijuana in the same way the state handles alcohol.

Because recreational marijuana use has already been legalized in Colorado and Washington, he said it's time for the federal government to be more clear on their stance.

"The voters will decide whatever they decide. I'm quite confident in the next 10, 15 or 20 years it will be legal, but that's not the point," he said. "The point is that the federal government shouldn't get in the way of what voters decide in Oregon, Colorado or anywhere else."

In the town hall at the Matt Dishman Community Center in northeast Portland, Blumenauer said Oregon has a lot to gain financially through marijuana reform. The state can put more farmers to work producing hemp. It can also tax recreational pot like it does with alcohol or tobacco.

"I personally think it doesn't make sense to keep it illegal, but that's not what we're doing at a federal level," Blumenauer said.

Blumenauer first voted to decriminalize marijuana in 1973 when he was an Oregon State legislator and has a remained a consistent advocate for legalization over the past four decades, his campaign staff said.

If marijuana does become legal in Oregon, he said it's important for the state to set aside money to fund addiction and dependency.

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