June 20 2019
GRANTS PASS, Oregon - Perhaps pot vended by machine is further down the road but the most recent initiative to get medical marijuana dispensed by those other than the user may be on the next ballot. The measure would make it legal for medical marijuana users to buy from state-regulated dispensaries. Signatures for six measures have now been turned in before the declared deadline.
The Secretary of State's Office has until August 1 to verify that enough signatures from registered voters were received to meet the required 82,769 for statutory measures, and 109,843 for constitutional amendments. Initiative Petition 28 would authorize nonprofit organizations to maintain state-regulated dispensaries to sell marijuana to legal medical marijuana users with cards. Currently the sick must must grow their own marijuana or pay someone outsider to grow it for them.
Backers of the Initiative say they're confident the 22,000 signatures turned in Friday would put them over the top.
"The flaw with the current law expects sick and dying patients to produce their own medicine," said John Sajo of the Voter Power Foundation.
Measure 76 would amend the constitution. Measure 77 would cover changes to current Oregon law and put the casino under the authority of the state lottery to share 25 percent of revenue with counties and schools around the state.
"It's creating Oregon's first taxpaying casino," said petitioner Matthew Rossman, a Lake Oswego attorney.
The Secretary of State's Office website indicated 176,566 signatures were received for the amendment and 136,938 for the statutory changes.
You probably won't see a carton of pot available sitting next to those ten packs of Winston's but since 1973 Oregon has helped lead the way to making marijuana legal, or at least not a criminal offense to those medically in need to legally buy the weed over the counter.