The successful campaign to legalize marijuana has launched a new effort to defend Oregon's marijuana law from those who are trying to undermine the measure.
"We want a marijuana policy that reflects the will of the people," said Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for Measure 91. "Instead of making major changes, the state first needs to get the basics of implementation right -- like childproofing, labeling, testing, packaging, auditing, inspecting, taxing, licensing and background checks."
In places like Colorado, marijuana retail sales began before comprehensive rules for edibles and packaging were completed and in place, contributing to difficulties in implementing the new marijuana law.
"We don't want to see that happen in Oregon," said Leah Maurer, who led the Mom's for Yes on 91 group.
New Approach Oregon will now work as the watchdog for the new marijuana law. From time to time, we will let you know what you can do to make sure we finish the job and get Measure 91 implemented effectively. We will update you on what is happening with implementation and alert you about threats to Measure 91.
WHAT'S NEWS: New Approach launches campaign to defend marijuana law.
WHAT'S HAPPENING: 15-minute press conference.
WHEN/WHERE: 11am at The ACLU of Oregon, 620 SW 5th Ave., Portland, OR Tomorrow, February 5, 2015
- Leah Maurer, from Moms for Yes on 91.
- Richard Harris, former Director of Addictions and Mental Health Services for the State of Oregon.
- Anthony Johnson, Measure 91 chief petitioner.
- David Fidanque, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oregon.
Although two previous attempts to legalize marijuana had failed, Oregon voters in 2014 passed Measure 91 by a 12-point margin during a non-presidential election, winning in 14 counties in the state, with 847,865 yes votes, 145,710 petition signatures, more than 52,000 Facebook fans, 50,000 people on its email list, hundreds of donors, thousands of volunteers and endorsements from 15 newspaper editorial boards.
But there are some people who would like to take marijuana policy in a direction that's different from what Oregonians voted for. Among the proposals that have already been introduced or advocated are to:
- Repeal key parts of Measure 91.
- Change key parts of the medical marijuana system.
- Establish a tax system that would benefit criminals.
- Allow a small group of politicians to unilaterally decide whether their community can opt out of a law Oregonians overwhelmingly supported
- Hobble the entire statewide implementation process so that it is harder to win sensible marijuana policies in other states.
New Approach Oregon does not represent any industry group, any special interest group or any ideology. We represent the moderate middle, advocates for the sensible marijuana policy that a strong majority of Oregonians voted for last November. We won a better approach to marijuana. Now it's time to follow through by making sure that the better approach to marijuana gets implemented.
Source: New Approach Oregon