Oregonians will vote on a ballot initiative this fall on whether to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. The Secretary of State certified the initiative Wednesday, finding that the campaign turned in enough valid signatures. More than 88,000 people signed the petition.
Oregon’s law would be similar to the regulate and tax models adopted in Washington and Colorado, which include systems for legalized sale and distribution with the intent of driving out black market cartels and violence. A 2012 ballot initiative failed in Oregon, but organizers say this year’s initiative includes more robust regulation, and is expected to ride on the success of Washington and Colorado’s initiatives thus far.
Oregon’s initiative would allow possession of up to 8 ounces of pot for recreational use without penalty — contrasted with just one ounce in Washington and Colorado — and would also allow growing at home, which is prohibited in Washington for recreational use.
The initiative also proposes lower taxes than in Colorado of Washington with the intent of easing competition with the black market.
Oregon was an early adopter of decriminalization, and removed penalties for possession of an ounce or less of pot in 1973. The state also has a medical marijuana that allows possession of up to 24 ounces of pot. Alaska also has a legalization initiative on the ballot this November. Both measures are polling at more than 50 percent.