Oregon Lawmakers Consider Marijuana Legalization

By Chris Lehman

Oregon voters could choose whether to legalize marijuana next year. But it's not certain who will write a possible ballot measure—pot activists or state lawmakers. A legislative panel discussed both possibilities Friday.

First, it was Washington and Colorado. Now, Oregon could be on the list of states where recreational marijuana use is legal. No one expects Oregon lawmakers to simply pass a bill to immediately do that. Far more likely? The legislature puts a measure on the ballot next fall that lets Oregon voters decide. And activists like Anthony Johnson testified that they're gathering signatures in case the legislature doesn't act.

Anthony Johnson: "We have filed an initiative that is really a back-up plan because we do believe it's really important for Oregon to help lead the way in ending cannabis prohibition."

Johnson's initiative would legalize pot for adults and would have the state regulate it in much the same way that it controls liquor. If lawmakers do go ahead with putting something on the ballot, they would do so in their upcoming February legislative session.

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