United States: Oregon Could Legalize Marijuana Along with California
By Bryan Podwys, Portland Political Buzz Examiner
The Oregon Secretary of State has certified a petition that proposes legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana across the state. The measure, which bears resemblance to others Oregon voters have rejected over the past few decades, could be included on this year's ballot if enough signatures are gathered by July 2nd.
Over 35 years ago, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the use of cannabis products. Possession of one ounce or less became punishable by a simple fine followed by further changes with the passage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act in 1998. With an upcoming ballot measure in California that could go one step further and actually legalize and tax marijuana sales gaining national attention, some Oregonians are eager to keep their state at the forefront of progressive legislation.
While a "pot tax" is being considered in several states — including the entire West Coast — as a source of revenue to bolster struggling state economies, the Oregon chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is working to gather the nearly 83,000 needed signatures in order to put the far-reaching measure on the November ballot. The proposed initiative would allow state permits under which individuals could legally cultivate and use marijuana. A structure of state-run stores would be put in place to sell the drug to adults with an estimated 90% of total proceeds going toward Oregon's general fund.
More information can be found at the Oregon Secretary of State's website. http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.record_detail?p_referenc...