Efforts to legalize marijuana in Oregon received an important boost today. The Democratic Party of Oregon officially came out in support of Initiative 91, which will legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and over. It was one of several initiatives on the ballot this year the party decided to endorse.

Party Chair Frank Dixon said about the initiative: “A majority of Americans and large majority of Democrats now support state regulation of legal marijuana use. Measure 91 is the right approach to legalization in Oregon, strictly regulating use while funding law enforcement and schools. Vote Yes on 91.”

Democrats are the dominant party in the state where they control the State House, State Senate and Governorship.

The most recent polling shows Initiative 91 on track to a narrow victory. A SurveyUSA poll from earlier this month found 51 percent of likely voters support marijuana legalization while 42 percent oppose the change. Support is strongest among Democrats, who back legalization by a greater than 2-to-1 margin. It is nice to see that at least on the local level the Democratic party is starting to listen to its base when it comes to the issue of marijuana reform.

Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy