OREGON: State lawmakers are going to debate whether they should pass a bill asking voters if Oregon should legalize recreational marijuana.
That’s because Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, announced plans Friday to introduce a referral bill on marijuana during the 2014 session.
“We should not at this point ask the voters to pass a detailed bill without it being fully vetted through this process,” Prozanski said.
Oregon voters rejected a 2012 initiative that would have allowed residents to cultivate and use marijuana for non-medicinal purposes. In 2013, a House bill similar to the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act failed to get out of committee by the end of the session.
Despite these failures, legalization proponents and state lawmakers think 2014 could be the year. Especially since U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in August that the Department of Justice won’t challenge marijuana laws passed by voters in Colorado and Washington.
Prozanski hopes his referral bill will help Oregon avoid some of the pitfalls those states have encountered from their voter-written initiatives.