Supporters of a voter initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Oregon said they submitted more than enough signatures to state election officials on Thursday to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
Only two U.S. states, Washington and Colorado, currently allow recreational marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law, while voters in Alaska are slated to vote on legalization in November.
In heavily Democratic Oregon, where voters rejected legalization two years ago, New Approach Oregon said it turned in 145,710 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office on Thursday afternoon, well above the 87,213 needed to qualify.
Quinn said he realized there may be “more to do” and underscored his long desire to put on the ballot an initiative that would let voters decide whether they could vote in ethical standards for officials in local and state governments throughout Illinois. “We have shown that when people work together, we can accomplish great things,” Quinn said.
A proposed Michigan ballot measure that would prohibit some types of mining and restrict others took a small step forward Wednesday. The petition form submitted by a group called the Michigan Save Our Water Committee was approved by a state election board. The group would have to collect more than 300,000 valid signatures of Michigan voters to get its proposal on the statewide November 2010 ballot.
Gov. Pat Quinn is pressing his case for giving citizens the right to toughen local ethics laws by referendum. The Democratic governor and longtime fan of citizen initiatives put the issue on the legislature’s fall veto session agenda by using his authority to rewrite a bill lawmakers sent him. He has asked lawmakers to go along with his changes, but it may be a long shot when they meet in Springfield in mid-October.