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Oregon Eyes Legal Pot

State Would Be 3rd to OK Recreational Use

Portland, Ore. — Oregonians will be able to vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The initiative submitted by the marijuana reform group New Approach Oregon received at least 88,500 valid signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot, election workers announced Wednesday.

“Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed,” Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for New Approach Oregon, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. “We can’t afford to wait — more lives are being ruined, more money is being blown into the black market and police are more distracted from issues like violent crime. Oregonians are open to a new approach to marijuana and we are going to fight for every vote.”

If Oregon legalizes recreational marijuana, it would become the third state to do so, following Washington and Colorado, which both passed legalization initiatives in 2012.

Twenty-four states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws permitting medicinal marijuana use.

The Oregon ballot measure, Initiative Petition 53, seeks to regulate the personal possession, commercial cultivation and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Under the plan, taxes on the sale of cannabis are estimated to raise about $88 million in the first two years after the law’s implementation.

The proposal would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana and to cultivate up to four plants. The state’s liquor control board would regulate sales.