Supporters of a ballot measure aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon have collected more than enough signatures to qualify for November’s ballot.
“We’re planning to continue signatures until we feel like we have a big enough margin,” said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for New Approach Oregon.
The group has collected more than 100,000 signatures; it needs 87,213 valid names from registered voters by July 3. New Approach Oregon, like most campaigns, wants a 25 to 30 percent buffer to account for invalid signatures.
The initiative would ask Oregonians whether they want marijuana to become legal for adults 21 and older and to have the Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulate cannabis much like it does with alcohol. A different group failed to pass a legalization initiative in 2012.
More than $620,000 has been spent on the legalization effort in Oregon so far, according to online records from the Secretary of State’s Office.
If passed, the new law would allow a person to possess up to eight ounces and to grow up to four plants. Marijuana would be taxed at $35 an ounce and $5 per plant.
Oregon voters legalized medical marijuana in 1998 for patients with certain medical conditions, such as cancer or severe pain. The Beaver State is one of 22 in the U.S. where the drug is available to patients with prescriptions or waivers from a doctor.
By Anna Staver