Stop The Drug War pens an exhaustive report on the three marijuana ballot initiatives coming to Oregon in 2012. The Beaver State will have legal marijuana in 2012.
I’ll give you the cliff notes:
- Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (Initiative Petition #9)
- sponsored by veteran activist and medical marijuana entrepreneur Paul Stanford
- approved for signature-gathering
- needs 87,000 signatures
- has 30,000 so far
- going into fundraising
- Constitutional amendment ballot initiative
- Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative
- removes all laws related to cannabis (“Except for actions that endanger minors or public safety”)
- Gathering signatures
- Needs 114,000 because it’s a constitutional amendment
- Sponsored by Sensible Oregon and Oregon NORML
- Still gathering initial signatures
- Has 400, needs 1000 (really 2000 though to account for bad ones)
Doug McVay, a long-time activist now (again) working for Voter Power, the group behind Oregon’s successful 1998 medical marijuana initiative, said Voter Power supports any and all of the initiatives, but is concentrating its limited resources on the OMPI constitutional amendment and a second initiative that would create a state-regulated medical marijuana dispensary system.
“In Oregon, we have three chances to make history, and that’s exciting,” he said. “All of them or any of them could create a ripple, hell, a tidal wave across the country. I will be working to help them make the ballot and working to make their passage a reality.”
Factionalism and in-fighting has been the bane of the marijuana movement in Oregon, as in so many other places, but this time around, there is a lot of talk about unity and supporting whatever will work.
“We will get behind other initiatives if ours doesn’t work out,” said Diaz. “There is also talk about all three initiatives doing polling to see which would really fly, and all of us jumping on that. Surprisingly, this is one time where I’m hearing proponents of every proposed initiative suggesting we should all support each other. It’s not a matter of competing against each other.”
“We’re all trying to end prohibition and these are just different models to do so,” said OCTA’s Alexander. “I love that we have so many going to the ballot. We have all pretty much agreed that whichever one makes the ballot, we will support it. There have been a lot of people picking apart the different initiatives, but we have to get behind each other and work for the common goal.”
That would be a very good thing. A marijuana movement unified around a legalization initiative would be able to concentrate on real opposing forces instead of having to defend itself from sniping from within. We don’t want to see a repeat of last year’s experience in California, where “Stoners against Prop 19″ types had initiative organizers looking over their shoulders to fend off attacks from within the ranks even as they tried to confront the organized opposition.