Measure to Legalize Marijuana Qualifies for Oregon Ballot
By Dana Tims
Oregon voters will get a chance in November to decide whether marijuana should be legal for those 21 years and older.
An initiative petition circulated by a group called New Approach Oregon was cleared for the ballot Tuesday, when 88,584 signatures were declared valid by the Oregon Secretary of State's office.
That number represented 64.41 percent of the 135,722 signatures accepted for verification, according to the Secretary of State's website.
A "yes" vote in November would see Oregon join Washington and Colorado as states where people at least 21 years of age can buy marijuana for recreational use. Another 23 states and the District of Columbia now allow the drug to be prescribed for medicinal purposes.
The Oregon initiative allows the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to restrict advertising, including banning ads in places frequented by youth.
It also bans public use of marijuana and regulates amounts that can be purchased.
Next up for signature verification is an initiative that would require statewide labeling of products containing genetically modified organisms.
Initiative petition 44, if verified and approved by voters in November, would require all raw and packaged food that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering to include the words "Genetically Engineered" on the front or back of packaging containers.
The group Right to Know turned in more than 100,000 signatures to the Oregon Secretary of State's office three weeks ago. Of those, at least 87,213 need to be verified for the initiative to move on to the ballot.
(c)2014 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)