Good news for Oregon’s Measure 74, a ballot initiative that will regulate medical marijuana supplies in the state: the Democratic Party of Oregon gave its endorsement to the medical marijuana measure. From the Measure 74 press release:
Oregon’s Measure 74, which regulates medical marijuana supplies, has earned the endorsement of state Democratic activists and officials.
The Democratic Party of Oregon officially supports a “yes” vote on Measure 74. That position could help both Measure 74 and Democratic candidates and causes all over Oregon, supporters of the medical marijuana measure said.
“Supporting Measure 74 is smart politics for Democrats this year,” said Sajo. “There may be nothing else on the statewide ballot this year with the potential to excite younger and progressive voters.”
This is big news for Measure 74, which if passed, would create nonprofit clinics like pharmacies to supply marijuana to patients. While Oregon has had medical marijuana since 1998, patients have had to either grow their own or have someone else grow for them. With Measure 74, patients with have better, safer access to medical marijuana in a regulated system.
Anthony Johnson, the chief petitioner and author of Measure 74, explained why Oregon patients need Measure 74 to pass:
Johnson noted that the measure would add a “regulated supply system” to help medical marijuana patients in the state to have a safe supply of medicine, as opposed to growing their own or “risk[ing] their well-being on the black market.”
“First and foremost, it allows compassionate, safe access for Oregon medical marijuana patients,” stated Johnson.
Johnson also added that not only will the revenue generated for the state fund medical research and Oregon health programs, but also that the measure will create “thousands of jobs.”
Some more about what will Measure 74 will do if passed by Oregon voters in November:
- Regulated supply: Qualified patients could obtain medical marijuana from regulated, nonprofit clinics like pharmacies.
- Strict controls & accountability: Suppliers would be subject to background checks, inspections, record-keeping, auditing and zoning, and other regulations.
- State revenues: The system will generate $3 million-$20 million per year for Oregon’s budget from taxes and fees paid by participants, much more than the cost of regulation.
Measure 74’s campaign is smart about how to pass the initiative. While polls show a close fight, it’s going to be a matter of turnout. And the campaign knows it – they hope that the Democratic Party’s endorsement will help reach new voters who won’t otherwise even be aware of a medical marijuana initiative.
“The momentum in favor of Measure 74 is growing,” said John Sajo, a co-author of the initiative and a leader of the Regulate Medical Marijuana campaign. “The more people look at it, and consider the alternatives, the more they support it. We think this bodes well for our chances this year.”
Recent polls have shown Measure 74 trailing, but supporters are optimistic.
“The pollsters make their assumptions about who will actually vote this year,” said Sajo. “We know there’s a vast, uncounted number of voters who are motivated by Measure 74. We are talking to these voters every day. They will be pleased to see that the state Democratic Party stands with them on Measure 74.”