Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown's office officially certified the proposal by moneyed, establishment-backed New Approach Oregon today, meaning Oregon's best-ever chance to land recreational weed will come up for a vote in November.
But it was a close call. New Approach needed 87,213 valid signatures to make the ballot, and turned in more than 145,000. According to Brown's office, just 88,584 of those were valid.
It's unclear where opposition lies, but anyone who'd try to stymie pot's fast-moving ascension here has less than four months to pull together a campaign. And they'll need to marshal significant resources to combat New Approach's war chest, and may be swimming against the tide of public opinion.
New Approach, meanwhile, is turning its energies toward convincing young people to fill out their ballots. The campaign will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square, announcing a planned get-out-the-vote push.
The group's proposal is one of three petitions that were floated this year, and the only one to turn in signatures (some would say New Approach contributed to the demise of the other campaign). Under the proposal, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission would be the chief agency responsible for regulating and taxing marijuana, which would be treated much the same as alcohol. Adults would also be able to cultivate and harvest their own small crops for personal use.
Meanwhile, the Oregonian has been hammering at New Approach for spreading iffy information, finding the group is exaggerating the number of arrests for marijuana in Oregon and providing questionable data on how many doctors support medical marijuana.