Oregon: New Poll Shows 51% Want To Legalize Marijuana In November
By Steve Elliott
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.
Two of the initiatives are led by Paul Stanford of the Campaign to Restore and Regulate Hemp (CRRH). The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) would create a commission to regulate marijuana cultivation, processing, and sales, and the Oregon Cannabis Amendment would amend Oregon's constitution to remove both criminal and civil sanctions for "the private personal use, possession or production of cannabis."
OCTA 2014 would allow up to 24 ounces and 24 plants for adults.
Stanford was also the driving force behind OCTA 2012, which almost passed with 47 percent of the vote, despite no major national funding from any of the "marijuana reform" groups. (Those groups instead spent their money on weaker legalization measures in Washington and Colorado.) Had OCTA 2012 passed, Oregon would have joined Colorado and Washington as one of the first three states to legalize recreational marijuana.
The third effort, New Approach Oregon, would legalize adult possession of up to eight ounces and four plants. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission would oversee and regulate marijuana, with a tax set at $35 an ounce. The family of late billionaire Peter Lewis this month donated $250,000 to that effort.