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New Senate bill would shift Oregon pot taxes from treatment to police

Senate Bill 1587 would increase the marijuana tax dollars that go to law enforcement from $6 million over two years to $32 million.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2016, file photo, a marijuana bud is seen before harvest at a rural area near Corvallis, Ore. On Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, the same day that Jackson County declared a state of emergency amid a sharp increase in illegal cannabis farms, police raided a site that had about two tons of processed marijuana and 17,500 pot plants. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

SALEM, Ore — A bill pending in the Legislature would take a portion of marijuana tax revenue going to addiction recovery services and redirect it to law enforcement.

Senate Bill 1587 would expand the quarterly transfer to the Criminal Justice Commission’s Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Grant Program from $750,000 currently to $4 million in the 2023-25 biennium, according to an analysis from the Legislative Fiscal Office.

That increase — which adds up to $32 million for the next biennium versus $6 million in the current one — would in turn decrease funds going toward the substance use recovery services covered under Measure 110, which voters passed in 2020.

RELATED: $125M in pot tax revenue could help Washingtonians with past convictions

The bill is pending in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, after passing out of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 on Monday

SB 1587 also includes a one-time $50 million allocation from the General Fund for cities and counties to compensate for a reduction in their share of marijuana tax revenue due to Measure 110. The measure, which voters passed in November 2020, decriminalized small amounts of street drugs and captured the lion's share of marijuana tax revenue to fund harm reduction and recovery services.

SB 1587 bill provides “ongoing, stable funding for law enforcement and community-based organizations to address the ongoing threat of drug trafficking,” said Sen. Bill Hansell, a Republican from Athena.

Read the full story at the Portland Business Journal.

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