Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative (2014)

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Legalized Marijuana Initiative
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Type:Initiated state statute
Referred by:Citizens
Topic:Marijuana
Status:On the ballot
The Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative is on the November 4, 2014 statewide ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute.[1] If approved by voters, the measure would legalize 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 would task the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with regulating sales of the drug.[2][3] The initiative is being 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.[2] It is also known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014.

Background

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]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The certified ballot title reads as:[4]

Allows possession, manufacture, sale of marijuana by/to adults, subject to state licensing, regulation, taxation[5]

Support

New Approach Oregon logo.JPG

Supporters

  • New Approach Oregon[2]

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

Arguments

New Approach Oregon argues that the state's current approach to marijuana is a "hodgepodge" that is inconsistent in taxation and regulation. They posit that this ultimately costs 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, [6]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2014 ballot measures
  • In the beginning of 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. 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, [7]

Legend

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

Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative (2014)
Poll Support OpposeNot sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Survey USA
06/05/2014 - 06/09/2014
51%41%8%+/-4.2560
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 been 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 current version, proposed initiative number 53, was submitted and approved for circulation, the petitioners withdrew proposed initiative 37.[8][9]

Supporters of the initiative began collecting signatures on April 17, 2014.[10] 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.[11]

On July 22, the secretary of state certified the measure for the ballot with 88,584 valid signatures.[12]

Related measures

See also

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News stories

External links

Additional reading

References