Petition carriers need 90,000 signatures to put a measure legalizing marijuana in Oregon on the 2012 general election ballot.
Supporters say Oregon’s Secretary of State approved the form of the petition last week, and they hope to convince Oregonians to sign it starting today.
Initiative petitioners say marijuana would be taxed and sold through state-licensed stores. The measure would also permit adults to grow their own marijuana for personal use.
The chief petitioners say the measure allows farmers to grow cannabis hemp for other uses, such as diesel fuel, fiber or food.
Supporters say the measure would raise $140 million from taxing commercial sales of marijuana and save more than $61 million in police, jail and court time now spent on marijuana cases.
“We’re wasting a lot of money right now on prohibition of marijuana. We’re losing a lot of industrial benefits from not having hemp,” says campaign manager Jennifer Alexander.
Supporters of what they call the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act say it would not change Oregon’s existing laws regarding medical marijuana and driving under the influence of intoxicants.
People opposing the petition say marijuana use can generate big problems.
“I’m against any marijuana store or sales. I recently lost a family member to drug use, not marijuana, but I personally believe that marijuana is a stepping stone to harder drugs,” says Brett Herr.
Petitioners have until July 2012 to collect the required signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
– Article from KPTV – Fox Oregon