new approach oregon

Oregon: Clackamas County Sheriff Warns About 'Driving On Marijuana'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Clackamas County, Oregon Sheriff's Department on Thursday -- the first day of commercial sales to adults of cannabis concentrates, edibles and topicals under state legalization -- warned drivers not to operate motor vehicles while "impaired on marijuana."

"The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind people to use marijuana in a responsible manner," the department's prepared statement reads. "Additionally, operating a vehicle after consuming marijuana in any fashion is just as dangerous and illegal as driving while drunk.

"Marijuana is a substance that can adversely impair a person’s ability to safely drive a motor vehicle and can contribute to crashes, often resulting in serious injuries and even death," the release from Sheriff Craig Roberts' office claims. "Marijuana can impair the user for a period of up to 24 hours — so please plan ahead to have a sober driver or a place to stay the night.

"During this upcoming weekend, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office will be joining other law-enforcement agencies in providing enhanced patrols in order to ensure the continued safety of the citizens we serve," the release reads. "Between June 2 and June 5, deputies assigned to this DUII task force will have an emphasized focus on enforcing traffic safety laws, while also detecting and arresting impaired drivers.

Oregon: Recreational Marijuana Edibles, Topicals, Extracts On Sale June 2

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While recreational marijuana customers in Oregon have been able to buy up to 7 grams of flower since last October, edibles, topicals and extracts haven't been available to them until now. That all changes on Thursday, June 2, when all of the above will be available -- albeit in limited amounts -- to adults 21 and older.

"Licensed and regulated sales have already created jobs and generated revenue for our great state, and the sky hasn't fallen like our opponents predicted," said Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for Measure 91, which legalized marijuana in the state.

Starting on June 2nd, Oregon will take the next step as adults 21 and over will be able to purchase:

• One marijuana-infused edible per day containing up to 15 mg of THC
• Any amount of cannabis-infused topical products containing no more than 6 percent THC
• One receptacle of cannabis extract containing up to 1,000 mg of THC

Oregon: Wednesday, May 11 Is Last Day Voters Can Mail Their Ballots

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Today, Wednesday, May 11 is the last day Oregon voters can mail their ballots and expect them to be received by Election Day. After today, voters will need to drop their ballots off at a drop box location.

Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for Measure 91, the ballot initiative responsible for legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon, is encouraging voters to take part in the democratic process, and he's made three specific endorsements.

"We have made great progress in Oregon and we can make even more by electing candidates that understand the need to implement sensible cannabis regulations," Johnson said on Wednesday. "We have made a couple of voting recommendations, but the most important thing is that you vote.

"Cannabis law reform, and candidates that support reasonable marijuana laws, do better when turnout is high, so let's continue to lead the nation, not just with our marijuana laws, but also with our voter participation," Johnson said.

Oregon: Pro-Cannabis Group Endorses Ted Wheeler For Portland Mayor

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

New Approach Oregon, the pro-marijuana group which was behind the successful Measure 91 legalization campaign, on Tuesday endorsed candidate Ted Wheeler for mayor of Portland.

"I want to strongly urge you to consider casting your vote for Ted Wheeler, an ally of the marijuana law reform movement and someone who understands the importance of the cannabis industry and implementing the will of the voters," reads a letter from New Approach Oregon's Chief Petitioner, Anthony Johnson.

"When the Oregon Financial Estimate Committee met to determine the amount of revenue Measure 91 would generate for the state, our campaign became very concerned when the state's Legislative Revenue Office projected that legalizing marijuana would only bring in about $17 million in new revenue to the state," Johnson's letter reads. "One elected official on the committee cooly and calmly considered all of the evidence and wisely advocated that the state project a range of revenue. That official was Ted Wheeler, at the time serving on the committee as our state's treasurer.

"Ted advocated for a range of $17 million to $40 million," Johnson said. "And as we just saw the state collect about $7 million in the first two months of taxes, the upper end of the range is looking like a pretty good call.

Oregon: Advocates Say July 1 Marijuana Legalization Is Just The First Step

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Oct. 1 early start bill passes in Oregon Senate; Oregon police to stop arresting people for some marijuana crimes

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The day before adult use of marijuana becomes legal in Oregon, leaders of the state’s drug reform movement said they plan to expand their work to change how Oregon approaches drug policy.

“Thanks to Oregon voters, we have made history and become national leaders in drug reform,” said Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner of the Yes on 91 campaign to legalize marijuana. “But there’s still a lot to do, and this is just the beginning.”

Johnson has been advocating for an earlier start to regulated sales for marijuana, and the Oregon Senate today passed a bill, 23-6, that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to start selling marijuana to adults 21 and older on Oct. 1. Another bill that reduces marijuana-related criminal penalties is making its way to the governor’s desk.

Johnson said marijuana should no longer be classified as a drug as dangerous as heroin, that more money should be devoted to marijuana-related research, and that “we should focus more on helping people and less on incarcerating them.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a strong advocate for changes to federal drug laws and a leader of the Oregon campaign to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, discussed his efforts to reform outdated marijuana policy at the federal level.

Oregon: Politicians Poised To Dismantle Oregon's Medical Marijuana System - CALL TODAY

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Politicians in Salem are poised to pass a bill at 5 p.m. on Monday that would partially dismantle Oregon’s medical marijuana system and ban state-regulated marijuana businesses. The Senate Committee on Implementing Measure 91 is planning to slip this by quickly, without any public testimony.

Public testimony is crucial because politicians need to know why this bill is so bad for Oregon. New Approach Oregon is asking that you please take a moment right now to call a few state senators and tell them them the public should have the right to be heard before the medical marijuana system is drastically changed. Phone numbers are below.

"We voted to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana, NOT to have politicians push it into the criminal market and make it harder for medical marijuana patients to get life-saving medicine," said Measure 91 Chief Petitioner Anthony Johnson of New Approach Oregon.

Senate Committee on Implementing Measure 91:
Sen. Ginny Burdick (D): 503-986-1718
Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D): 503-986-1704
Sen. Jeff Kruse (R): 503-986-1701
Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R): 503-986-1950
Sen. Lee Beyer (D): 503-986-1706

Senate Democratic Leadership:
Senate President, Peter Courtney: 503-986-1600
Senate Majority Leader, Diane Rosenbaum: 503-986-1700
Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Arnie Roblan: 503-986-1705
Senate Majority Whip, Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward: 503-986-1717
Senate Majority Whip, Mark Haas: 503-986-1714
Senate Assistant Majority Leader, Michael Dembrow: 503-986-1723

Oregon: Marijuana Campaign Hires Lobbyist To Pass Expungement Law

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“We are going to put our political muscle behind this to make sure it gets passed.”

New Approach Oregon has hired a lobbyist to help pass bills in the Oregon Legislature that would reduce marijuana offenders’ jail sentences and clear marijuana-related offenses from criminal records.

The group behind Oregon’s law to legalize marijuana is also teaming up with the Bus Project to organize volunteers, host phone banks and win endorsements for House Bill 3372 and Senate Bill 364. Both bills await hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. SB 364 has already passed the Senate.

“We built a powerful organization to legalize marijuana,” said Anthony Johnson, executive director of New Approach Oregon, “and we plan to use it to make sure these bills are passed. Let’s stop ruining lives by treating marijuana as a crime and start saving money by getting people out of jail and giving them a fresh start.”

Click here to sign up to help the new #FreshStartOregon campaign

Oregon: Group Launches New Effort To Defend Marijuana Legalization

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The successful campaign to legalize marijuana in Oregon has launched a new effort to defend Oregon’s marijuana law from those who are trying to undermine the measure.

“We want a marijuana policy that reflects the will of the people,” said Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for Measure 91. “Instead of making major changes, the state first needs to get the basics of implementation right -- like childproofing, labeling, testing, packaging, auditing, inspecting, taxing, licensing and background checks.”

In places like Colorado, marijuana retail sales began before comprehensive rules for edibles and packaging were completed and in place, contributing to difficulties in implementing the new marijuana law.

“We don’t want to see that happen in Oregon,” said Leah Maurer, who led the Moms For Yes On 91 group.

New Approach Oregon announced it "will now work as the watchdog for the new marijuana law."

"From time to time, we will let you know what you can do to make sure we finish the job and get Measure 91 implemented effectively," the group announced in a prepared statement. "We will update you on what is happening with implementation and alert you about threats to Measure 91."

New Approach will host a 15-minute press conference at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 5, at the ACLU of Oregon, 620 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

Oregon: Gov. Kitzhaber Claims Home Marijuana Possession Limits Are Too High

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Oregon voters -- a whopping 56 percent of them -- approved Measure 91, which legalized marijuana, up to half a pound of it at home. But now Gov. John Kitzhaber has apparently decided he knows better than voters, and on Tuesday he indicated me might ask the Legislature to set lower limits.

Kitzhaber claimed he had "many concerns" about the voter-approved initiative, questioning the logic of allowing adults to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis at home yet just one ounce in public, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian.

"The amount you can actually grow in a home-grow operation seems to me to exceed the amount that you're supposed to have legally," Kitzhaber said. "I don't know how you enforce that."

Kitzhaber did not say what kinds of possession limits he'd like to see.

Possession limits were deliberately set higher at home to allow adults to grow their own marijuana and make concentrates and edibles, according to backers of Measure 91.

"Just like home brewing of beer and the home making of wine, you need to have reasonable rules for personal cultivators and hobbyists who want to produce their own marijuana," said Anthony Johnson, chairman of New Approach Oregon, which sponsored the 2014 initiative.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization Activists Send Open Letter to Oregon DAs

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Oregon marijuana legalization activists involved in the successful campaign for Measure 91, which legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older in the state, on Thursday sent an open letter to district attorneys statrewide.

Open Letter to Oregon District Attorneys

Criminal justice advocates and leaders call upon you to start now on implementing important drug policy reforms.

Although Oregon voters passed Measure 91 with a 12-point margin, implementation of this better, smarter approach to marijuana policy will not be complete until the first half of 2016. We don't have to wait until then to start to mitigate the damage done by decades of criminalization, wasted law enforcement time and squandered taxpayer money.

Prosecutors in Oregon's largest county have already decided to dismiss, and stop prosecuting, marijuana-related offenses that would no longer exist under Measure 91. Other county prosecutors should follow Multnomah County's lead.

A strong majority of Oregon voters have directed the state to stop treating marijuana as a crime and to better prioritize our limited law enforcement resources. With so many lives and so much money at stake, waiting would be unreasonable and clearly damaging to Oregon's communities. We should work quickly to limit the damage already caused by a feckless war against marijuana.

We urge you to cease enforcement of marijuana laws that will no longer exist when provisions of Measure 91 take effect in July.

Respectfully,

Anthony Johnson, Director, New Approach Oregon, Chief Petitioner of Measure 91

Oregon: Travel Guru Rick Steves Launches Tour To End Marijuana Prohibition

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Rick Steves, one of America's most respected travel authorities, is launching a six-day, 10-city tour around Oregon to talk about travel and the need for marijuana reform in Oregon.

The Yes on 91 campaign will join him. On the November ballot, Measure 91 will regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older.

In "Travel as a Political Act: Ending marijuana prohibition in Oregon," Steves will share how travel has shown him how different societies tackle the same problems. Steves co-sponsored I-502, Washington's limited ballot measure to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana.

"One thing I've learned in 30 years of travel is that treating marijuana as a crime does not work," he said. "A better approach is to regulate it, legalize it and tax it. I'm an advocate for better policy, and that's what Oregon will get once Measure 91 passes."

With one exception, all the events are free and open to the public. To RSVP, click here.

Portland
Tuesday, October 7
First Congregational Church, 5:30 PM*
*Wine and Cheese Meet and Greet, $250/person (Limited space, reserve tickets in advance online)

Portland
Tuesday, October 7
First Congregational Church, 7 PM**
**$10/person

Beaverton
Wednesday, October 8
Ava Roasteria, Noon

Salem
Wednesday, October 8
Grand Ballroom, Noon

Corvallis
Thursday, October 9
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, 5:30 PM

Eugene
Thursday, October 9
McDonald eatery
ACLU Annual Membership Meeting

Medford
Friday, October 10

Oregon: Retired Chief Federal Prosecutor Says Vote Yes To Legalize Marijuana

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Measure 91: Kris Olson, one of Oregon's most respected prosecutors, endorses campaign

Oregon's former U.S. Attorney, one of the most respected prosecutors in the state, has endorsed Measure 91, which would regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Kris Olson has worked in justice and law enforcement for more than 40 years."I enforced our marijuana laws, and they don't work," she said.

"Filling our courts and jails has failed to reduce marijuana use, and drug cartels are pocketing all the profits," Olson said.

Olson joins several other high-profile supporters of Measure 91, including former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs and former Addictions and Mental Health Services of Oregon director Richard Harris.

Hundreds of other Oregonians and some of the state's most prominent organizations have also endorsed the measure.

Oregon: Measure 91 Wins More Major Endorsements For Marijuana Legalization

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New campaign commercial features after-school program leader from Eugene

Oregon's campaign to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana has won several new endorsements and on Thursday released a new campaign commercial featuring an after-school program leader from Eugene.

Some of the most recent endorsers of Measure 91 include:

• The City Club of Portland, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan education and research-based civic organization that studied Measure 91 in detail, wrote up a 20-page research report about it and concluded "the Measure is well-written, comprehensive and could be implemented successfully" and that "the social costs of the current system are too high."

The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in the state, which concluded "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."

The Democratic Party of Oregon, the largest political party in the state, which concluded: "Measure 91 is the right approach to legalization in Oregon, strictly regulating use while funding law enforcement and schools."

Oregon: Group Cancels Taxpayer-Funded Anti-Marijuana Summit After Complaints

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A taxpayer-funded anti-drug group has canceled an October summit in Madras, Oregon, after complaints were raised by sponsors of Measure 91, a ballot measure which would legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The event, like 12 other local appearances, was scheduled just before the November vote.

The summit was to feature Kevin Sabet, a prominent opponent of cannabis legalization, reports Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian. Sponsors of Measure 91 this week charged that it was wrong for organizers to use federal funds to help pay for an appearance by Sabet, a former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) adviser who has formed Smarter Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an anti-pot organization.

The taxpayer-funded "Oregon Marijuana Education Tour" was billed as a supposedly non-political event, since it would likely violate campaign rules for funds to be used for political purposes -- and this was flagrantly scheduled for just before the marijuana vote. Sabet had claimed that he wouldn't talk about the ballot measure on the tour.

The summit was canceled because he "could see from an outside perspective that it could look like a conflict," admitted Rick Treleaven, executive director of BestCare Treatment Practices and organizer of the event.

Oregon: Taxpayers Paying For Anti-Marijuana Campaign Just Before Legalization Vote

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An opposition campaign to Oregon's Measure 91 marijuana legalization initiative is taking shape -- and it's being funded with taxpayer money.

You'd think voting on a public policy initiative wouldn't require tax money to advocate one side or the other; after all, the voters are supposed to be able to decide for themselves on questions like cannabis legalization, without having to fund the "no" sign of things. But a taxpayer-funded tour will usher notorious anti-pot zealot Kevin Sabet on a 13-city tour around the state, reports Kate Willson at Willamette Week.

Sabet, on his taxpayer-funded tour, will be spreading ridiculous "reefer madness" myths and outright lies about cannabis around Oregon. Do you feel as if you're getting your money's worth, Oregon taxpayers?

A recent poll showed eight of 10 Oregonians believe it's a matter of when, not if, marijuana is legalized. Many of them believe that will happen on November 4, when pot legalization initiative Measure 91 appears on the ballot.

Measure 91 enjoys support from donors and middle-of-the-road endorsements, including from a retired Oregon Supreme Court judge and the City Club of Portland; it's similar to measures that voters in Colorado and Washington approved two years ago. New Approach Oregon, the pro-Measure 91 campaign, has already spent $1.1 million, and the group announced this week it'll be spending an additional $2.3 million on TV ads.

Oregon: Addiction Expert Kicks Off $2.3 Million Marijuana Legalization Ad Campaign

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Oregon's leading drug addiction expert kicks off $2.3 million marijuana ad campaign

Largest ad buy so far for 2014 Oregon ballot measures

Oregon's leading drug addiction expert appears on Monday in the first TV spot in a $2.3 million advertising campaign to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.

The advertising buy made by the Yes on 91 campaign is the largest so far for a 2014 Oregon ballot measure.

The first TV advertisement features Richard Harris. As the former director of Addictions and Mental Health Services for the state of Oregon, he held the highest position in the state for directing drug treatment and addiction programs. He is volunteering with the campaign.

The ad, in which Harris calls marijuana "a pretty benign drug," will run on television stations throughout Oregon. The Yes on 91 campaign also has several ads running on pre-roll online. (You can view the Harris ad, which is on YouTube, at the bottom of this article.)

"Criminalizing marijuana ruins lives and wastes resources," Harris said. "Instead of sending people to jail and turning them into hardened criminals, we should treat marijuana as a public health issue and create a system that raises money for prevention programs and mental health programs.

"Right now, there is no state appropriated money in Oregon for drug and alcohol prevention programs, including for marijuana, but Measure 91 would change that," Harris said.

Oregon: Labor Council Endorses Marijuana Legalization Initiative

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Delegates of a regional federation of unions in Northwest Oregon met a two-thirds majority vote to recommend that statewide labor organizations support the New Approach Oregon measure to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older.

"The Northwest Oregon Labor Council is proud to recommend support for the New Approach measure," said Jeff Anderson, first vice president of the council and executive secretary of UFCW 555. "The measure would create more family-wage jobs in Oregon, keep workers safe by retaining current workplace drug laws and generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue for crucial public services like education and police."

Officials with the New Approach campaign were happy with the news.

"It's rare to win support from Oregon workers so early in a campaign," said New Approach campaign manager Dan Mahr. "This reflects the fact that the New Approach measure will improve the lives of workers in all corners of the state."

The recommendation from the "union of unions" comes a week after the New Approach Measure qualified for the ballot. The Northwest Oregon Labor Council is the largest central labor committee in the state, representing more than 50,000 workers in 100 union locals.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization/Regulation Measure Officially Qualifies For Ballot

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It’s official: Oregon voters will decide in November whether to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adults 21 and over.

Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown has certified that the New Approach Oregon petition campaign has turned in enough valid signatures to qualify the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act for the November ballot.

According to the Secretary of State's website, 145,030 unverified signatures were submitted for verification. Of those, 88,584 signatures, or 64.41 percent of the 135,722 accepted for verification, were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 were needed.

The New Approach campaign is celebrating Tuesday's achievement by hosting its first voter registration canvass led by young Oregonians who will be decisive in winning a new approach to marijuana.

“This is our moment to be part of history and lead a movement,” said Dominique Lopez, metro regional organizer for New Approach Oregon. “Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed, but together we can win a more sensible approach and better the lives of Oregonians.”

Tuesday's announcement comes almost exactly two weeks after Washington state began regulated sales of marijuana. New data shows that Washington state has received $318,000 in excise taxes in the first 10 days of regulated marijuana sales.

The proposed measure in Oregon would allow for licensed and regulated cultivation and sales of marijuana. Sales would be taxed to generate money for schools, state and local police and drug treatment, prevention and mental health programs.

Oregon: Marijuana Legalization/Regulation Will Be On November Ballot

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New Approach Oregon turned in at least 145,710 signatures Thursday, more than enough to qualify

The New Approach Oregon campaign, which is working to regulate marijuana, on Thursday turned in at least 145,710 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State, more than enough to qualify a measure for the ballot.

That means Oregon voters in November 2014 can vote yes to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana. The campaign has finished collecting signatures.

Thursday's signature turn-in coincides with the six-month anniversary of the start of regulated sales of marijuana in Colorado. Marijuana sales in Colorado projected to result in $30 million in tax revenue in the next year. Colorado has already seen a 10 percent drop in violent crime and a 50 percent drop in homicides.

In Oregon under the current system, more than 10,000 adults in Oregon are arrested every year for marijuana, according to the latest numbers from the Oregon State Police. That’s an average of one person every 51 minutes.

“It’s time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on treating marijuana use as a crime,” said Peter Zuckerman, press secretary for the New Approach Oregon campaign. “Prohibition of marijuana is ineffective, costs the state tax revenue and fuels violence. It’s time to try something new.”

Oregon: New Poll Shows 51% Want To Legalize Marijuana In November

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With less than three months until Election Day in Oregon, and as many as three separate marijuana legalization initiatives vying to appear on the ballot, a new poll shows 51 percent of voters support allowing adults to use, possess and grow cannabis.

The SurveyUSA poll released on Tuesday didn't ask voters which of the three measures they would prefer; instead it simply asked them whether they would support or pose allowing adults in Oregon to use, possess and grow marijuana for their personal use, while allowing the state to regulate and tax it, reports Thomas H. Clarke at The Daily Chronic.

Just more than half, 51 percent of those polled support marijuana legalization, while just 41 percent oppose it. There are no regional differences within the state on this question, according to the poll, but there are enormous age differences: younger voters support legalization by 48 points, while senior citizens oppose it by 24 points.

Democrats were more likely to support cannabis legalization, and Republicans were more likely to oppose it, according to the poll.

None of the three initiatives has yet qualified for November's ballot, but supporters of all three said they are optimistic that they will turn in more than enough signatures to qualify before the deadline on July 3.

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