Below is a quick overview of the cannabis-related proposals being voted on:
Measure 91 would legalize the possession of up to 8 ounces of cannabis, in addition to the private cultivation of up to 4 plants. The proposal would also authorize state-licensed cannabis retail outlets, which anyone 21 and older could purchase cannabis from. The outlets would be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Commission, and cannabis would be taxed at $35 an ounce.
Ballot Measure 2, a constitutional amendment, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets would also be authorized under the initiative. Early and absentee voting began last week, and continues through to election day.
Proposition 47 – the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act – would remove felony charges for the personal possession of illegal drugs, reducing the sentence to a misdemeanor (unless the person has a history of violent crimes). The initiative, which was put forth by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne, would also defelonize some other nonviolent offenses including petty theft and check fraud. Early voting began last month, and continues until Monday.
Amendment 2 would legalize the possession and distribution of medical cannabis for those who receive a recommendation from a physician. Patients would be authorized to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis at any given time, and would be able to purchase from dispensaries in order to obtain their medicine. Early voting began last week, and ends Saturday.
Initiative 71 would legalize the possession and use of up to two and a half ounces of cannabis, going a step further the district’s recently-enacted law which finds the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a simple fine, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor. The proposal wouldn’t authorize cannabis retail outlets, but would remove the possibility of any jail time or fine for possessing up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Early voting begins today, and ends Saturday.
South Portland, Maine and Berkley, Michigan:
South Portland and Berkley will both be voting on initiatives that do essentially the same thing; legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. In Maine, a similar initiative was approved last year in Portland with 67% of the vote, and in Michigan, similar initiatives has been approved in Detroit, Lansing, Ferndale, Jackson, Flint and Grand Rapids.
The importance of this election can’t be overstated, as the passage of any of these proposals would be a major victory for the cannabis reform movement. But, for any of these to be approved, advocates must VOTE!