Measure to amend Oregon’s recreational and medical cannabis laws filed targeting 2020 ballot

Oregon Initiative #18, filed on March 18, would make changes to state laws regarding medical and recreational marijuana.
Among other things, the initiative was designed to do the following:
  • Legalize cannabis cafes/ lounges where consumers could smoke marijuana indoors and allow existing dispensaries to add social consumption spaces;
  • Prohibit employers from requiring as a condition of employment that an employee or prospective employee refrain from using marijuana off-the-clock;
  • Issue lifetime medical marijuana cards to those diagnosed with incurable or chronic illnesses; and
  • Redistribute cannabis tax revenue to fund minority community development and subsidize medical cannabis purchases for low-income patients.
Leia Flynn, Madeline Martinez, and Angela Bacca, are the initiative’s sponsors. The Oregon Justice League is the group behind the initiative. Madeline Martinez is the executive director of Oregon NORML.
On the initiative petition, sponsors wrote, “The Oregon Justice League does not believe the State of Oregon has implemented Measure 91 in the spirit under which the law was passed. The OJL seeks to right these wrongs as well as provide a model for other states to implement a more just version of cannabis legalization. Legalization was sold to Oregon citizens as a way to grow, develop and sustain our small business economies, end the discrimination of citizens based on their interactions with the cannabis plant and uphold, protect and ensure the right of medical cannabis patients to safe botanical access.”
Oregon Measure 91, also known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014, was on the November 4, 2014, statewide ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute, where it was approved by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent. Since its approval, the legislature has amended or repealed and replaced the text of Measure 91 multiple times.
Oregon is one of several states that require a certain number of signatures to accompany an initiative petition application. The signatures of at least 1,000 electors are required to trigger a review by state officials, a period of public commentary, and the drafting of a ballot title. The 1,000 preliminary signatures count toward the final total required.
To get an initiated state statute certified for the 2020 ballot, a total of 112,020 valid signatures are required. The deadline to submit signatures is July 2, 2020.
A total of 183 measures appeared on statewide ballots in Oregon from 1995 through 2018. The approval rate for measures appearing on Oregon’s ballot was 47.54 percent.