The marijuana legalization ballot measure put forward by New Approach Oregon is now the only one that stands a chance of making it on the ballot this year. The main organizer behind a competing legalization initiative, The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, announced they will not be able to gather enough signatures by the beginning of next week.
On his Friday internet show on marijuana business Paul Stanford conceded that his campaign will not be able to gather enough signatures by the July 3rd deadline to put their marijuana legalization initiative and constitutional amendment on the ballot. They are only about halfway to their goal and time is running out, so the campaign has stopped their paid signature gathering efforts.
Stanford was also behind Oregon’s failed marijuana initiative in 2012. The measure made the ballot and ended up losing 46.75 percent yes to 53.25 percent no. That measure faced significant criticism for having regulatory design problems.
The people of Oregon will still likely get to vote on marijuana legalization this year though because the better-funded New Approach Oregon appears on track for making the ballot. That campaign has the support of several big donors and has already gathered 100,000 signatures as of last week, so it should have more than enough valid signatures by this point.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy