Oregon Lawmakers Mull Erasing Marijuana Arrests

OREGON:   Lawmakers are mulling over two bills that could erase marijuana arrests or reduce sentences for certain Oregonians ahead of recreational pot becoming legal in July.

If you were cited with a marijuana-related crime that would have sent you to jail under newer laws, you’re likely not going to get a break. However, if you were cited with possession of one ounce of pot or growing four plants in your home, your charges could be dropped because Measure 91 legalizes those acts.

Supporters of the bills say it will free-up law enforcement and cut down court and jail costs.

“We know the costs add up, regardless of what they may be, we know this will save resources, save time and allow people to move on with their lives, for something that 57 percent of Oregonians say should be legal as of July 1,” New Approach Oregon Executive Director Anthony Johnson said.


Oregon Marijuana Legalization: Ten Most Important Things To Know

OREGON:  This week, New Approach Oregon announced they had turned in enough signatures to qualify alegalization initiative for the November ballot. Here’s the ten most important things you need to know.

OREGON IS WASTING MONEY: The state issued 12,808 citations for marijuana in 2012, the most recent year for which there is data. That’s one person every 41 minutes. More than half of all drug arrests in Oregon are for pot, and 90 percent of pot possession incidents involve less than an ounce. About 174 people are in state prison in Oregon for pot at a cost of $30,000 per year per person.

IT’S RACIST: Despite similar usage rates as whites, people of color are 2.1 times more likely to be arrested for pot.

21 AND OVER: The measure would legalize use of pot by adults 21 and over, while keeping felonies for sales to those under age 21. The initiative would ban public use of pot and regulate the amount to be purchased.


Recreational Marijuana Qualifies For Oregon Ballot

OREGON:  Oregon voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use after state elections officials on Tuesday said the measure qualified for the November ballot.

The measure would allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess marijuana and would give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission the job of regulating and taxing the drug.

Voters rejected a legalization measure two years ago, but little money was spent promoting it. By contrast, New Approach Oregon, the group behind the initiative, has received contributions from some of the same donors who backed successful marijuana initiatives in Washington and Colorado.

The group submitted roughly 88,500 valid signatures — about 1,400 more than required, election workers said.

“We will ensure that all voters are aware that this is a completely different measure than the measure in 2012,” said Anthony Johnson, director of New Approach Oregon. “This measure is much more regulated and restrictive, and we’ve taken the best from Colorado and Washington and believe that Oregonians are ready to pass a well-regulated measure such as this one.”


Oregon Pot Advocates To Submit Signatures For November Vote

OREGON:  Advocates of legal recreational marijuana in Oregon plan to submit a ballot petition with more than 145,000 signatures on Thursday to force a vote in November on legalizing pot.

“We are confident that our measure to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana will qualify for the November ballot and that Oregonians are open to the case for a smarter and more responsible approach to marijuana,” said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for New Approach Oregon, the group behind the measure.

A separate marijuana ballot measure was dropped for lack of signatures. To get on the ballot in Oregon, New Approach Oregon needs to turn in 87,213 valid signatures by July 3.



Oregon Marijuana Legalization Campaign Receives $100,000 From New York Heir To Fragrance Fortune

OREGON:  New Approach Oregon, a group backing a proposed initiative to legalize marijuana, has just reported receiving a $100,000 donation from Henry van Ameringen, the New York-based heir to a fragrance company fortune.

The contribution provides an important financial boost to a campaign that is just starting its signature gathering and had not reported receiving any significant contributions since insurance magnate Peter Lewis gave $64,000 back in October. Lewis, a frequent contributor to marijuana legalization efforts, died a month later.

Van Ameringen, an heir to International Flavors & Fragrance, has also contributed to pro-marijuana efforts in other states.

With National Backing, Marijuana Advocates in Oregon File Legalization Measure

OREGON: Backed by national donors, an Oregon pro-marijuana group on Friday filed an initiative with the secretary of state aimed at following Washington and Colorado’s first-in-the-nation ballot legalization measures.

New Approach Oregon said it will first push for legislators to refer their new measure to the November, 2014 ballot.  [Read more…]

Oregon 2014 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Likely

OREGON: Oregon activists organized as New Approach Oregon will try to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the November 2014 ballot, the leader of the group told the Willamette Week this week. The move comes after an effort in the legislature to put the issue before voters didn’t bear fruit.

“Our coalition is moving forward with a legalization measure to end cannabis prohibition in Oregon in the 2014 election,” said New Approach Oregon director Anthony Johnson.
Johnson said the Oregonians were working with Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), a move that should help with funding. Fundraising was a key shortcoming of the failed 2012 marijuana legalization Measure 80 initiative campaign headed by Paul Stanford.
Stanford filed two new initiatives in June, but it’s not clear if he’s going to move forward with them.
“DPA will help us draft the measure that we’ll move forward in 2014,” Johnson said.