Marijuana Legalization in Oregon Now in the Hands of Petitioners

An article in today’s The Oregonian discusses the efforts currently underway to legalize marijuana recreationally in the state of Oregon.  Akin to laws previously passed in Washington and Colorado.  However, if recreational marijuana is legalized in Oregon, it will first start with getting petitions signed, “[a] measure that would ask voters  if they want to legalize marijuana – and leave the regulatory details to lawmakers in the next session — doesn’t have enough votes to pass the Senate and appears certain to die in committee”, according to the article.

However, the article spells out, all is not without hope in the efforts to legalize marijuana in Oregon, “Paul Stanford, the Portland medical marijuana impresario, is already collecting signatures for two initiatives – one making possession of the drug a constitutional right for adults and the other laying out a program for growing, selling and possessing marijuana.”  The article cites another organization, New Approach Oregon, who also seem upbeat about getting a legalization measure on the ballot.

The article indicates, ‘Stanford collected approximately 35,000 signatures for his constitutional measure and about 25,000 for the other initiative.’

Surprisingly, there was some opposition in the Senate from two members of Floyd Prozanski’s caucus.  Senate Judiciary Chairman Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, is the architect of Senate Bill 1556 the measure to refer the issue to voters.  According to the article, Rod Monroe of Portland is not convinced legalization will automatically pass.  Apparently, Monroe is a former school teacher, “I watched what happened when they started smoking marijuana and stopped being students”.

To read the article in its entirely please click the following link.

In somewhat related news, The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a new version of a controversial medical marijuana dispensaries bill that would allow cities and counties to ban the facilities until May 1, 2015.  To read the article in its entirely please click the following link.