An initiative seeking to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot, the state said on its website on Tuesday.
Only two U.S. states, Washington and Colorado, currently allow recreational marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. Oregon’s proposal will come before voters just two years after they rejected a similar measure.
“This is a moment we’ve been waiting for, that we’ve worked months to get to,” said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for the campaign in favor of the Oregon initiative. Since 2012, when voters turned down a similar measure, public support has grown for legalized marijuana in the Pacific Northwest state, he said.
If you have signed a petition to put an initiative measure to a statewide vote Nov. 4, your signature may be among thousands that state officials check against voter registration records.
Then again, your signature may not be checked.
Under Oregon’s verification process, sampling is used to determine whether supporters have gathered the minimum 87,213 signatures required to qualify an initiative for the statewide ballot. The number changes every four years, because the Oregon Constitution specifies that it is 6 percent of the total votes cast for governor. For a proposed constitutional amendment, the threshold is 8 percent.
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Proponents of a statewide initiative to regulate the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana have turned in 145,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The total is almost twice the number of signatures from registered voters necessary to place the measure on the 2014 electoral ballot.
State officials have until August 2 to verify the signatures.
An initiative campaign in Oregon to legalize recreational marijuana has submitted what they believe to be sufficient signatures to qualify for a place on November’s ballot. Proponents of the initiative, a group called New Approach Oregon submitted 145,710 signatures, which is well above the 87,213 verified signatures required.
“We’ve verified many of the signatures ourselves and we will indeed qualify for the ballot,” New Approach Oregon spokesman Anthony Johnson told reporters.
If passed, the initiative would legalize recreational marijuana for those over 21 and allow the state Liquor Control Commission to regulate retailers, processors and growers of the drug.
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.
Supporters of an initiative that would jettison Oregon’s partisan primaries said they submitted 140,045 signatures to the secretary of state on Monday — appearing to give them enough to earn a spot on the November ballot.
The Every Oregon Voter Counts Petition Committee collected the signatures in just a little over five weeks in what the group said was the fastest effort to collect initiative signatures in Oregon history.
I have a riddle for you. When gathering signatures to put an initiative on the ballot, which would require more signatures? 1. A petition that covers Benton County. 2. A petition that covers the City of Corvallis?
Here are some not so helpful clues:
• The City of Corvallis sits within Benton County.
• More people live in Benton County than the city of Corvallis.
• The petition for Benton County affects more voters.
• The City of Corvallis occupies less land than Benton County.
Recently, Benton County Clerk, James Morales said that a group needs 2,171 signatures to place their measure on the Benton County November ballot.
Oregon’s system of initiative and referendum gives voters the power to enact laws themselves when the Legislature cannot or will not, and to overturn laws voters don’t like. Needless to say, lawmakers are not always pleased with this populist process, but most of the time, they let it take its course. This week, though, the House stuck its nose where it doesn’t belong.
At issue is a law the Legislature passed allowing immigrants in the United States illegally to obtain permits to drive in Oregon. We supported the law and still do: The immigrants in question are here, and they’re driving whether anyone likes it or not, so why not encourage them to know the rules of the road and to get insurance?
Supporters of an independently elected Portland Public Water District filed 50,213 voter signatures with the City Auditor’s Office on Tuesday morning.
They need around 30,000 valid signatures to place their initiative measure on the May Primary Election ballot. The verification process could take several weeks.
“We are confident we are going to make it,” said Kent Craford, a former lobbyist and chief co-petitioner.
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It seems everywhere we turn these days, state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are falling. Eighteen American jurisdictions (17 states and the District of Columbia) now allow same-sex couples to wed on the same terms as opposite-sex couples. Here in Oregon, our constitutional exclusion of marriage for same-sex couples is being challenged both in court and at the ballot box.
Professionals who gather signatures for ballot measures are common on statewide issues. They are less common on local issues, but one group is using the pros to collect enough voter sign-ups — and some are complaining about their tactics.
Since October, the Portlanders for Water Reform has been working to gather more than 29,000 signatures to put their measure on the ballot. The group wants a question on the ballot that will allow Portland voters to decide if an independent board should control the water and sewer departments instead of the city.
A November ballot crowded with hot-button issues for both liberals and conservatives is likely to dominate Oregon’s statewide political landscape in 2014.
Oregon voters could get to weigh in on marijuana legalization, privatizating the state’s liquor business, gay marriage, so-called “right-to-work” legislation for public employees, tax increases on big business and high earners, and renewable-energy requirements for utilities.
The Legislature-approved driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants already has been referred to voters. The groups proposing other measures will need to submit enough valid signatures by July to qualify for the November ballot.
Supporters of an Oregon ballot initiative to require labeling of foods with genetically modified organisms have cleared another legal hurdle, allowing them to begin gathering signatures to qualify for the 2014 ballot.
The move comes on the heels of defeat of similar bills in Washington state and California.
The Oregon Supreme Court Nov. 27 dismissed a challenge to the ballot title, according to court records.
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The initiative and referendum process has been an empowering and, often, mind-numbing exercise for Oregon’s electorate. More than a hundred ballot measures have been voted on in a dozen primary and general elections, and a half-dozen special elections, since the turn of the century, including 12 measures in November 2008 and a whopping 26 measures in November 2000.
The Oregon Supreme Court handed down a decision Thursday that requires the proponents of a right-to-work ballot initiative to rewrite the ballot title that Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum originally approved.
The initiative title, sponsored by attorney Jill Gibson Odell, currently says, “BALLOT TITLE: Prohibits compulsory payment of union representation costs by public employees choosing not to join union.”
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