The good news keeps rolling in for the New Approach Oregon campaign which is currently gathering signatures for the 2014 Election. Earlier this week the campaign announced it had topped the 100,000 signature mark. Now the campaign can add the ACLU to its list of endorsements. See the New Approach press release below:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon announced today that it is endorsing the campaign to regulate, legalize and tax marijuana.
"We need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars arresting and searching people in Oregon just because they use marijuana," said David Fidanque, executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. "Prohibition hasn't worked and it never will. It's time to be honest about that and take a path that makes sense."
A recent report issued by the National ACLU, based on state crime reports provided to the FBI, shows that Oregon law enforcement agencies increased the rate of citations and arrests for possession of marijuana by 45% between 2001 and 2010. Oregon's increase was the fifth highest in the country during that period.
The New Approach Oregon campaign is working to qualify an initiative for the November ballot. The initiative would strictly regulate marijuana sales and possession, legalize the use of marijuana by adults 21 and over only, and tax marijuana and its products, generating money for important public services like education, public safety and drug treatment.
So far, the campaign has collected more than 100,000 signatures. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 must be turned in to the Oregon Secretary of State by July 3.
"We are just starting to get the word out about endorsing this initiative," said Liz Kaufman, campaign director for New Approach Oregon. "This is our first big announcement, and we will have many more in coming months. A growing majority of Oregonians understand that we need a new approach to marijuana."