Oregon should be voting on marijuana legalization this November. With less than three weeks until the deadline the New Approach Oregon campaign says they are very close to gathering enough signatures to put their marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot.
As of Monday, the campaign claims they have collected 100,000 petition signatures for The Control, Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act. To qualify they need to hand in 87,213 valid signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State. The campaign will continue gathering more signatures just to make sure they have enough which are valid.
The initiative is similar to the laws approved last election cycle in Washington and Colorado. If approved, the initiative will legalize the possession and limited home growing of marijuana for adults 21 and over. It will also create a system for the regulation and taxation of marijuana businesses in the state. The new tax revenue generated will go towards education, policing and drug treatment, and mental health programs.
This would make Oregon the second state to have legalization on the ballot this year. A similar initiative is already set to appear on the November ballot in Alaska.
Recent polling found a majority of Oregon voters support legalization. A SurveyUSA poll found 51 percent of likely voters support legalization, while an Oregon Public Broadcasting poll put support at 54 percent among registered voters.
There is another marijuana legalization campaign, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, also trying to make the ballot, but according to the most recent data they have only turned in just over 33,000 signatures so far.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy