Marijuana makes the ballot in Oregon

July 17, 2012  –  Oregon voters will have a chance to make marijuana legal. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, also known as Initiative 9, will appear as Measure 80 on the Oregon ballot in November. 

The official Twitter feed of the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division was used to make the announcement late Friday afternoon, tweeting:

Initiative Petition # 9 relating to marijuana has qualified for the Nov. ballot.

If passed, Measure 80 would legalize hemp and regulate marijuana (cannabis) for adult use. The measure would also license cannabis for commercial sale, and allow Oregon farmers to grow hemp for biofuel, food, sustainable fiber and medicine.

According to a press release issued on July 13, Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, would regulate cannabis (marijuana) for adults 21 years of age and older, with commercial sales only through state-licensed stores. Ninety percent of tax revenue, estimated at more than $140 million annually, would go to the state’s battered general fund. Seven percent of tax proceeds would go toward funding drug treatment programs, and much of the remaining revenue would be directed toward kickstarting and promoting Oregon’s hemp food, fiber and bio-fuel industries.

Supporters of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act turned in 167,845 total raw signatures to Oregon’s Secretary of State on Friday, July 6. At least 87,213 valid registered Oregon voters’ signatures were required to qualify for the November ballot.

About the news, Paul Stanford, chief petitioner for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, said:

Today is a historic day for Oregon and for the national movement for common-sense marijuana policy. Oregon’s long had an independent streak and led the nation on policies that benefit the public good. Regulating marijuana and restoring the hemp industry is in that tradition of independent, pragmatic governance.

Advocates argue that regulating marijuana is a rational approach to decreasing crime and improving youth and public safety. In addition, taxing and regulating cannabis and hemp will create thousands of local jobs, from agricultural jobs in Oregon’s hardest-hit rural counties to manufacturing, engineering and professional service jobs around the state.

Oregon’s Measure 80 joins Washington state’s I-502 and Colorado’s Amendment 64 to vote to end the prohibition on marijuana.

For more information on Measure 80, check out the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.


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