At Marijuana Legalization Hearing, Question Is How Much Regulation Should Go Before Oregon Voters

OREGON: Oregon Senate Judiciary Chairman Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, on Friday presented draft legislation that would ask voters if they want to legalize marijuana for 21-and-over adults and let the Legislature work out the details later.

Meanwhile, marijuana-legalization advocates, backed by major national funders, said they want to present voters with a measure that would give them more specifics on such things as how marijuana would be taxed and limits on how much of the drug an adult could possess.

After Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana last year, it appears likely that the issue will come before Oregon voters in 2014.  The big question is in what form.

New Approach Oregon, a group supported by national marijuana legalization groups, would like the Legislature to refer something close to the 35-page initiative it filed with the state Elections Division last month.  That would spare the group from having to collect the 87,213 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

Prozanski said he likes the idea of a referral but argued it makes more sense to allow the Legislature to work out the specific details if voters approve legalizing the drug.

He presented a draft bill that includes some general principles laid out by the U.S. Department of Justice in a memo explaining how it would enforce — and not enforce — federal prohibitions against marijuana.


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