Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91 (2014)

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Measure 91
Flag of Oregon.png
Click here for the latest news on U.S. ballot measures
Quick stats
Type:Initiated state statute
Referred by:Citizens
Status:Approved Approveda
2014 measures
Seal of Oregon.png
November 4
Meausre 86 Defeatedd
Measure 87 Approveda
Measure 88 Defeatedd
Measure 89 Approveda
Measure 90 Defeatedd
Measure 91 Approveda
Measure 92 Defeatedd
Local measures
The Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91 was on the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute, where it was approved.[1] The measure legalized recreational marijuana for people ages 21 and older, allowing adults over this age to possess up to eight ounces of "dried" marijuana and up to four plants. Additionally, the measure tasked the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with regulating sales of the drug.[2][3] The initiative was sponsored by the group New Approach Oregon. Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner, hoped legislators would refer the measure to the ballot; however, they failed to do so before the 2014 session ended on March 10, 2014. Therefore, supporters moved forward with the initiative effort and successfully got the measure before voters.[2] It was also known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014.

Election results

Below are the official, certified election results:

Oregon Measure 91
Approveda Yes 847,865 56.11%

Election results via: Oregon Secretary of State

Text of measure

Ballot title

The certified ballot title read as:[4]

Allows possession, manufacture, sale of marijuana by/to adults, subject to state licensing, regulation, taxation

Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote allows possession, authorizes in-state manufacture, processing, sale of marijuana by/to adults; licensing, regulation, taxation by state; retains current medical marijuana laws.

Result of "No" Vote: "No" vote retains laws classifying cannabis as a controlled substance, prohibiting most sale, possession, manufacture of cannabis; permitting production, possession of cannabis for medical use.

Summary: Currently, cultivation, possession, delivery, sale of marijuana are unlawful, excepting regulated production, possession, use of medical marijuana. Measure allows production, processing, delivery, possession, sale of marijuana to adults, licensed, regulated by Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). Marijuana producer, processor, wholesaler may deliver "marijuana items" (defined) only to/on licensed retail premises. OLCC collects tax imposed on marijuana producer at different rates for marijuana flowers, leaves, immature plant. "Homegrown marijuana" (defined) not regulated, taxed. Tax revenues, fees fund OLCC suspense account, Oregon Marijuana Account distributed: 40% to Common School Fund; 20% for mental health/alcohol/drug services; 15% for state police; 20% for local law enforcement; 5% to Oregon Health Authority. "Marijuana paraphernalia" (defined) excluded from "drug paraphernalia" laws. Other provisions [5]

Full text

The full text of the measure can be read here.[6]


The 2012 elections proved to be groundbreaking for marijuana legalization support groups. Voters in Washington approved Initiative 502, thereby legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Coloradans followed suit when they approved Amendment 64 during the same election. However, voters in Oregon rejected Measure 80, a similar, though slightly less stringent, marijuana legalization measure. Measure 80 would have allowed adults over the age of 21 to possess an unlimited supply of marijuana and given an industry-dominated board permission to regulate sales.[2]


New Approach Oregon logo.JPG



  • Former U.S. Attorney Kris Olson[7]
  • Former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs[7]
  • Rick Steves, travel entrepreneur[8]


  • Drug Policy Action of Oregon
  • New Approach Oregon[2]
  • Cascade Policy Institute[9]
  • American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 88[10]
  • AFSCME Local 328
  • United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555
  • Northwest Oregon Labor Council
  • Moms for Yes on 91[11]

New Approach Oregon, "An Oregon Voice for a New Approach to Marijuana," July 1, 2014


New Approach Oregon argued that the state's approach to marijuana prior to the initiative was a "hodgepodge" that was inconsistent in taxation and regulation. The group posited that this ultimately would cost the state in the following ways:

  • There are at least 12,000 arrests and citations for marijuana each year across Oregon counties. In addition to the financial cost, every marijuana arrest and citation takes time that a police officer could have used patrolling a neighborhood, preventing an assault or car theft, or solving a violent crime.
  • Marijuana prohibition makes it harder to protect children. Right now, it is easier for junior high and high school students to get marijuana than a six pack. There is no real regulation and effective prevention programs are chronically underfunded.
  • The current, failed approach also supports and increases profits for the criminal black market, including violent drug cartels waging a drug war on our southern border.[5]

New Approach Oregon[12]

Campaign contributions

New Approach Oregon was the petition committee for this initiative.[13] Additionally, the political action committee (PAC) Drug Policy Action of Oregon was supporting the initiative.[14] The following totals of contributions and expenditures were reported for each PAC as of December 1, 2014.[15][16][17]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
New Approach Oregon $4,940,866.14 $4,969,540.54
Yes on 91 $4,055,307.95 $4,060,656.13
Drug Policy Action of Oregon $250,000.00 $249,000.00
Total $9,246,174.09 $9,273,848.49
Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of December 1, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $9,246,174.09
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $179,672.91

Top 5 contributors:

Donor Amount
Drug Policy Action $2,815,000.00
Yes on 91 $2,447,986.50
New Approach PAC $1,850,000.00
New Approach Oregon $905,409.95
Drug Policy Action Fund for Oregon $249,000.00


No opposition groups filed with the secretary of state before July 30, 2014. However, some hypothesized the "pharmaceutical companies who manufacture prescription painkillers could be the single economic interest that has the means and motivation to contest legalization."[18][19] Afterwards, the group No on 91 came out in formal opposition to the measure.[20]




  • The Oregon Pediatric Society[21]
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Oregon Republican Party
  • Restore America
  • Parents Opposed to Pot
  • Oregon State District Attorney's Association
  • Oregon State Sheriff's Association
  • Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association
  • The Oregon Catholic Conference



The group No on 91 listed the following as arguments against Measure 91:[21]

Vote No because Measure 91 has:
  • NO established driving rules for marijuana impairment.
  • NO legitimate way to regulate amount, as there’s no limit on # of growers or # of store locations permitted.
  • NO THC-potency testing requirements on marijuana grown or edibles sold.
  • NO packaging and labeling requirements on marijuana edibles (unlike what is required of other food and drug products).
  • NO restrictions on marketing and advertising of marijuana edibles (which are appealing to kids).[5]

No on 91[21]

Campaign contributions

As of October 17, 2014, No on 91 was the only group opposing this measure. The following totals of contributions and expenditures were reported for No on 91 as of December 1, 2014.[22]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
No on 91 $179,672.91 $179,672.91
Total $179,672.91 $179,672.91

Top 6 contributors:

Donor Amount
Oregon State Sheriffs' Association $145,000
Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Assoc. $20,000
Roger Nichols Music, Inc $10,000
S.O.S. - Save Our Society from Drugs $500
Shirley Morgan $500
Tiffany Hicks $500

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Oregon ballot measures, 2014


  • New York Times said,

Ideally, the federal government would repeal the ban on marijuana, so states could set their own policies without worrying about the possibility of a crackdown on citizens violating federal law. Even though a majority of Americans favor legalization, Congress shows no sign of budging. So it’s better for the states to take the lead than to wait for an epiphany on Capitol Hill that may never come.[5]

New York Times[23]

  • The Oregonian said,

Measure 91, far from revolutionary, would simply allow Oregon adults to obtain something they may obtain now, but without having to stroll through a "medical" loophole or drive over a bridge to a neighboring state. The measure would be worth supporting for reasons of honesty and convenience alone, but it also would raise millions of dollars per year for schools and other purposes. For that reason, it deserves support even from those who aren't normally high on taxes."[5]

The Oregonian[24]

  • The Skanner said,
Of all ballot measures facing voters in Oregon, this might be the most far-reaching. As the so-called War on Drugs has failed to stem their use and has filled our jails and prisons with low-level offenders – all at taxpayer expense – this measure might be the best chance we have to restore some sanity to the system. Legalize it, regulate it like alcohol, and create a new revenue stream for the state. We vote YES.[5]


  • The Portland Mercury said,
Naysayers' other main point is that marijuana could make roads less safe. This hasn't happened in Washington or Colorado, as far as anyone can tell.

Speaking of those pioneering states, their experience will be crucial. As we've pointed out, the OLCC needs to do its research to avoid some of the pitfalls currently causing problems in Washington ["Supply and the Man," Feature, Sept 3]. With Measure 91, we've already arrived at a far less onerous tax structure, and the commission will have until 2016 to form up good policy.

That's ample time to ensure Oregon carefully comes to its senses about marijuana—at long last.[5]

Portland Mercury[26]

Reports and analyses

Infographic via ECONorthwest


A Portland firm, ECONorthwest, was hired by measure supporters before the election to estimate the potential tax revenues of a legalized marijuana industry in the event of the measure's approval. The firm found that the tax would generate revenues of $38.5 million for the state in the first year and $78.7 million by the end of the first biennium. The estimates were based off of figures from Colorado's marijuana sales, accounting for a lower rate of taxation in Oregon under this measure. They also calculated that approximately 20 percent of the illegal marijuana trade would shift to the legal market. The report, however, did not consider the impact of marijuana legalization on courts, police or jail operations.[27]

Read the full tax revenue estimate here.

Liccardo Pacula & Sevigny (2014)

A 2014 paper by Rosalie Liccardo Pacula and Eric L. Sevigny questioned how much can be understood about marijuana legalization efforts up to that point. However, they did note the following conclusions that they could glean from the available research:[28]

  • "[The] rescheduling of marijuana and provision of it through typical highly regulated medical channels would not lead to widespread increases in its use or harms."
  • "[Legalization] would generate savings in terms of reduced criminal justice costs and improve social welfare by eliminating criminal sanctions for minor marijuana offenses."
  • "[Marijuana] use will rise under legalization, in large part because legally sanctioned production and competition will drive down prices."

The authors also noted, however, that many outcomes cannot be predicted based on available information. Whether or not increased use will also increase associated harms will depend on many factors. The authors hypothesized that one of the most important will be "who ends up responding the most to price." They said,

If it is the casual adult user who enters the market and consumes in relatively small amounts, then the expected harms are very small. If it is new young users, more involved heavy users, or users of other substances, then the harms could be greater. The literature examining differential elasticities across the population of users is very thin for marijuana.[5]

—Rosalie Liccardo Pacula and Eric L. Sevigny[28]

Read the full paper here.

Columbia University (2012)

A 2012 study by Magdalena Cerda, Melanie Wall, Katherine M Keyes, Sandro Galea and Deborah Hasin at Columbia University examined how the legalization of medical marijuana laws have affected the use of, abuse of and dependence on marijuana. The authors noted that marijuana "is the most frequently used illicit substance in the United States." The study found that medical marijuana legalization directly correlated with higher rates of all three aspects, but that the increased risk for abuse or dependence was accounted for by the higher use rate. The authors did not note a causal relationship between medical marijuana legalization and these outcomes, and noted the need for further investigation on the relationships.[29]

Read the full paper here.


See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

  • In early June 2014, Survey USA conducted a poll of 560 likely voters regarding upcoming election issues in Oregon. At the time of the poll, multiple marijuana measures were still in contention. The poll did not ask voters specifically about this measure, but rather their general attitude towards marijuana legalization. Support for legalization was higher among men, at 57 percent, than among women, at 44 percent. Support was highest among people aged 18 to 34 at 70 percent, but still over half of respondents aged 35 to 64 supported legalization. The exact question put to respondents was:
Oregon will also vote on several ballot measures. First, on the topic of recreational marijuana, there are three separate measures on the ballot. While each is different, in general, they would allow adults to use, possess, and grow marijuana for their own personal use, while allowing the state to regulate and tax the marijuana. In general, do you support? Or oppose? Allowing adults to use, possess and grow marijuana for their personal use, while allowing the state to regulate and tax marijuana?[5]

—Survey USA[30]

Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative (2014)
Poll Support OpposeNot sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Survey USA
06/05/2014 - 06/09/2014
Survey USA
09/22/2014 - 09/24/2014
DHM Research
10/08/2014 - 10/11/2014
Survey USA
10/23/2014 - 10/27/2014
KGW/The Oregonian
10/26/2014 - 10/27/2014
AVERAGES 48.6% 41.8% 9% +/-4.4 519.8
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Oregon

Supporters had to collect 87,213 valid signatures by July 3, 2014, in order to land the initiative on the ballot. The version of the proposed initiative that was circulated for signatures was the second version submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State by supporters. The first version, proposed initiative number 37, faced a legal challenge to its ballot language, which delayed its certification for signature gathering. After the final version, proposed initiative number 53, was submitted and approved for circulation, the petitioners withdrew proposed initiative 37.[31][32]

Supporters of the initiative began collecting signatures on April 17, 2014.[33] They announced that they had gathered 145,000 signatures on June 26, 2014, and submitted them to the secretary of state on the same day.[34]

On July 22, the secretary of state certified the measure for the ballot with 88,584 valid signatures.[35]

Related measures

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Oregon marijuana initiative."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91 (2014) - Google News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

Suggest a link

News stories

External links

Additional reading


  1. The Oregonian, "From marriage to marijuana, Oregon facing flood of hot-button ballot measures next year," October 26, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 OregonLive.com, "With national backing, marijuana advocates file legalization measure," October 25, 2013
  3. The Oregonian, "At marijuana legalization hearing, question is how much regulation should go before Oregon voters," November 22, 2013
  4. Oregon Secretary of State, "Initiative petition #53," accessed September 30, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  6. Oregon Secretary of State, "Full text of initiative petition #53," accessed September 30, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Oregonian, "Former U.S. attorney for Oregon endorses marijuana legalization measure," September 22, 2014
  8. The Oregonian, "Travel guru Rick Steves to hit road in Oregon promoting marijuana legalization," September 23, 2014
  9. Cascade Policy Institute, "Cascade Policy Institute Gives Support to Measure 91," September 18, 2014
  10. NW Labor Press, "Oregon unions endorse Ballot Measure 91 to legalize marijuana," October 1, 2014
  11. eNews Park Forest, "Moms from Oregon, Colorado and Washington Endorse Measure 91 to Regulate, Legalize and Tax Marijuana," October 18, 2014
  12. New Approach Oregon, "A Smart, Responsible Approach," accessed July 23, 2014
  13. Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Petition Committee ID: 16841," accessed July 30, 2014
  14. Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Political Action Committee ID: 17008," accessed July 30, 2014
  15. Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Political Action Committee: New Approach Oregon," accessed December 12, 2014
  16. Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Political Action Committee: Yes on 91," accessed December 12, 2014
  17. Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Political Action Committee: Drug Policy Action of Oregon," accessed December 12, 2014
  18. Willamette Week, "Here's Who Could Oppose Marijuana Legalization in Oregon," July 14, 2014
  19. The Nation, "The Real Reason Pot Is Still Illegal," July 21-28, 2014
  20. No on 91, "Homepage," accessed October 17, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 No on 91, accessed October 17, 2014
  22. Oregon Secretary of State, "Statement of Organization for Political Action Committee: No on 91," accessed December 12, 2014
  23. New York Times, "Yes to Marijuana Ballot Measures," October 5, 2014
  24. The Oregonian, "It's time to legalize recreational marijuana: Editorial endorsement," August 23, 2014
  25. Skanner, "The Skanner News Elections Endorsements: Support These Measures on the Nov. 4 Ballot," October 16, 2014
  26. Portland Mercury, "It's the Mercury's Endorsement Guide! ," October 22, 2014
  27. ECONorthwest, "Oregon Cannabis Tax Revenue Estimate," July 22, 2014
  28. 28.0 28.1 Liccardo Pacula, R. & Sevigny E. L. (2014) "Marijuana Liberalizations Policies: Why We Can’t Learn Much from Policy Still in Motion." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 33(1), 212-221.
  29. Cerdá, M., Wall, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S. and Hasin, D. (2012) "Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 120(1-3), 22-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.06.011
  30. Survey USA, "Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #21334," accessed July 23, 2014
  31. Oregon Secretary of State, Elections Division, "Detailed Information For : 37/2014," June 6, 2014
  32. Cannabis Culture, "Will Oregon Have Three Marijuana Initiatives This Year?" March 20, 2014
  33. OregonLive.com, "Marijuana legalization campaign in Oregon will begin collecting signatures Thursday," April 16, 2014
  34. Associated Press, "Pot advocates deliver petitions for Oregon ballot," June 26, 2014
  35. Associated Press, "Your vote: Oregon marijuana measure qualifies for November ballot," July 22, 2014