Friendly Neighborhood and its fellow areas of residence await the results of Oregon’s November ballot measure decisions, which will (or won’t, if they are voted down) change the state’s social and political policies.
The measures up for resolution include:
Measure 73, an initiative to set a 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for repeat offenders of any four felony sex crimes. It seeks requirement of a 90-day jail term for a third drunk-driving conviction. The conviction would be considered a Class C felony if the previous convictions occurred within the past 10 years.
Measure 74, which would allow the state to license marijuana farmers to distribute their crop to medical marijuana dispensaries. The government would set a standard price for the dispensary’s product.
Measure 75, allowance for the construction of a taxable casino to be in an entertainment center in Wood Village, 12 miles east of Portland, at the site of the former, now-abandoned Multnomah Kennel Club. GoodForOregon.org suggests that $74 million would be allocated each year for schools across the state, the casino would create over 5,000 new jobs and over $650 million in yearly revenues would be generated to benefit Oregon’s economy.
Measure 76, a proposal to continue the constitutional dedication of 15 percent of lottery proceeds for parks, beaches, wildlife habitat, and watershed protection beyond 2014.
“I am trying not to worry … I would prefer not to have a huge commercial-run invasion siphoning Oregon money to big corporations.”
Candy Knox (left), pictured with John Bergland (right), does not fear change that the measures seek to create.
“I don’t think they will affect Friendly much … I expect medical marijuana to pass … With wishful thinking the marijuana measure will pass.”
Matt Johnson (right) and Jamie Burdock (left), the respective Clerk and Manager of the Little “Y” Market on Jefferson Street and 19th Avenue, support Measure 74 because they feel that allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries is a good idea.
“Weed sales are already under the table: in Amsterdam, you leave it in a bag and get money from the recipient later … if you’re selling it on the street, why not sell to dispensaries and benefit the community? Some people don’t want that to happen because they will lose money when the state puts a control on the market and sets a price,” said Johnson.
Knox agrees that about the reaction to a government-established marijuana price.
“People in Friendly who are growing pot will not be happy.”
Johnson and Burdock also approve of Measure 76 if it “keeps the mercury out of the fish population.”
They give Measure 73 a NO because they, as Jamie says, “don’t believe in mandatory sentencing,” nor that all drunk drivers should be given the same degree for their varying blood-alcohol levels.
They would prefer that judges be allowed to decide what each individual sex offender or driver arrested while under the influence deserves, with the defendant free to prove or disprove their crimes, free of an oppressing uniform punishment.
John Bergland shares Edelstein’s wariness of a potential Multnomah County casino’s economic impact.
“I think the casinos are a kind of a poetic justice for the Native Americans, but I don’t want corporate control involved.”