Cannabis Reform in Oregon

Measure 57: Recriminalization
(A 'no' vote prevents recriminalization of marijuana in Oregon)
YES:  33%
NO: 67%
(240/2,196 precincts reporting - KOIN News is reporting that Measure 57 has been officially defeated.)

Measure 67: Medical Marijuana
(A 'yes' vote allows patients to possess one to three ounces of marijuana for medicine and to grow three plants to obtain that medicine.  Measure 67 prohibits distribution.)
YES: 55%
NO: 45%
[1,853 of 2,194 precincts reporting (84%)]

Another Site for Oregon Results

Sponsors of Measure 67: Oregonians for Medical Rights

Oregon Elections Division - Unofficial Election Results

More information on Oregon's Medical Marijuana Initiative and Recriminalization Referendum

Cannabis-related Ballot Initiatives and Referenda
to be voted on in the November 3, 1998 General Election
Compiled by Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
October 10, 1998

Several initiatives will appear on the ballot this year in various states.  Voters in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and Washington State will be decide on the issue of medicinal cannabis.  Additionally, voters in Oregon will decide on a referendum to block the recriminalization of marijuana.  Voters in Arizona will decide on a referendum to block the gutting of the Proposition 200, the Drug Medicalization, Prevention, and Control Act, passed by 65% of Arizona voters in 1996.

Oregon's Measure 67
Medicinal Cannabis Initiatives (to be voted on 11/3/98)
These initiatives need to be divided into two different models for allowing use of cannabis by patients.

1) Therapeutic Model (Washington D.C. and Washington State)
These initiatives were modeled on the ideas embodied in the California Compassionate Use Act (CCUA - Prop. 215) passed by California voters in 1996.  These initiatives were written by the local grassroots patients and patient advocates and put the needs of the patient first.

2) Law Enforcement Model (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada)
These initiatives were written by Americans for Medical Rights to appease law enforcement concerns about the CCUA.  Since this model diverges so greatly from the California model, many patients have serious concerns about these initiatives.

We asked four questions about each initiative:
1) Does the initiative allow patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply of medicine?
The City Council of Oakland, California, adopted a standard of six pounds of cannabis and 144 plants as necessary to maintain an adequate supply for patients.  This was based on the amount of cannabis currently supplied by the federal government to eight patients in the Investigative New Drug program.

2) Does the initiative allow for legal distribution to patients?
Legal distribution is important to protect patients from having to obtain their medicine from the black market.

3) Does the initiative protect patients who are not registered with the state?
Many of the initiatives that follow the law enforcement model require a patient to register with the state to receive protection of the law.  Many civil libertarians and AIDS patients are concerned that the confidentiality of the registry is not guaranteed and that law enforcement would use the registry to target medicinal cannabis users for harrassment.

4) Is the initiative a constitutional or statutory law?
Constitutional amendments are much harder to change than statutory laws are.

Oregon's Measure 67: Oregon Medical Marijuana Act
Text of Initiative:

Sponsors: Oregonians for Medical Rights

Allows patients to possess and cultivate an adequate supply? NO, patients can possess only one ounce if possessed off the production site and up to three ounces if possessed at the production site.  Allows cultivation of three mature and four immature plants.

Allows for distribution to patients? NO.

Protects patients who are not registered with the state? NO.

Constitutional or Statutory? Statutory.

Oregon Elections Division

Oregon's Measure 57: Marijuana Recriminalization

‘No’ vote prevents recriminalization of marijuana by overturning the passage of HB 3643, passed by the 1997 Oregon Legislature, which imposed criminal penalties, including jail time, for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Under current law, which remains in effect until the vote, marijuana possession is a non-criminal "violation" punishable by a fine of $500 to $1000.

Sponsored by:
Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement
PO Box 113-C
Portland OR 97205

Oregon Elections Division

Other Cannabis Initiatives in Oregon
(these will not appear on the November ballot, but activists continue to work on them.)
Oregon Cannabis Tax Act
'Yes' vote permits state-licensed cultivation, sale of marijuana for medical purposes and to adults.
Sponsored by the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp
Text of Oregon Cannabis Tax Act
Email: Paul Stanford

Oregon Drugs Control Amendment
Sponsored by the American Anti-Prohibition League
Text of Oregon Drugs Control Amendment
Email: American Anti-Prohibition League

Updates on Oregon Initiatives

March 24, 1998

From: "D. Paul Stanford" <>
Subject: Oregonian article on 5 marijuana-related initiatives and a referendum

Title: "Marijuana initiatives growing like weeds"
Source: "The Oregonian"; Portland, OR; page B2
Date: Sunday, March 22, 1998
Author: Gail Kinsey Hill

<note: article has sidebar included before the main article text, and two photos/mug shots, one of Paul Loney, attorney of OCTA, the other of Rick Bayer, M.D. of AMR.>


In the months ahead, Oregon voters might be asked to sign as many as five initiative petitions involving marijuana, and they already face one referendum on the subject in the Nov. 3 election.


This measure was approved by the 1997 Legislature but hasn't gone into effect because it was sent to the ballot through the referendum process:

*RECRIMINALIZATION: Asks voters whether they want to make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, and allow a six-month suspension of driving privileges of first-time offenders who don't complete diversion. Chief petitioners: Michael E. Rose and Todd D. Olson, Portland.


Constitutional amendments need 97,681 approved signatures to qualify for the ballot; statutory proposals need 73,261. The secretary of state has approved these petitions for circulation:

*STATE-CONTROLLED SALES: Would permit the sale of marijuana to adults through state liquor stores and replace marijuana laws except DUII. Would have the OLCC license marijuana cultivation by qualified people, buy the crop, and sell it at cost to pharmacies and medical researchers and for profit to qualified adults. Statutory. Chief petitioners: Paul Loney and
Douglas P. Stanford, Portland (campaign will pay people to gather signatures).

*ADULT POSSESSION: Would allow the state to regulate but not prohibit adult possession and cultivation of controlled substances. Would require repeal of criminal laws inconsistent with the measure. Would release some inmates or parolees for conduct made legal by the measure. Constitutional amendment. Chief petitioners: Floyd F. Landrath, Portland; Arthur H. Livermore Sr., Arch Cape (will not pay people to gather signatures).

*PRIVATE USE: Would permit people 21 and older to manufacture, possess and consume cannabis, including marijuana, in private. Would not affect laws prohibiting delivery of marijuana. Constitutional amendment. Chief petitioner: Carla B. Newbree, Eugene (will not pay people to gather signatures).


These proposals have not been approved:

PRESCRIPTIONS: Would make it legal for medical practitioners to prescribe or provide any herbs, seed-bearing plants and marijuana. Constitutional amendment. Chief petitioner: Stephen M. Sedlacko, Eugene (will not pay petitioners).

*MEDICAL USE: Would allow limited exceptions to laws that prohibit engaging or assisting in medical use of marijuana. Would require that use be necessary to mitigate symptoms or effects of debilitating medical conditions. Statutory. Chief petitioner: Richard Bayer, Portland (will pay people to gather signatures)

****Main Story****

This initiative season, Oregonians might decide to inhale.

They certainly will have the opportunity. Petitioners will be pushing as many as five marijuana-related initiatives in the coming months. Three are in circulation. Two more are on the way.

Not in recent history - if ever - has Oregon seen such a potluck of marijuana measures. And not since 1986 has a marijuana initiative qualified for the ballot.

"There are a lot of people in the nation who think Oregon is a hot spot as far as legalization is concerned," said Darin Campbell, a spokesman for the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, which opposes loosening of drug laws.

The association has set up a campaign committee, Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs, to battle the initiatives.

Sponsors of the initiatives are optimistic about qualifying their proposals for the Nov. 3 ballot. Signatures must be submitted to the secretary of state by July 2.

Why the effervescence? Sponsors say people have become less patient with ineffective drug laws and more understanding of marijuana's possible benefits.

"I think the public is becoming more aware," said Floyd Landrath, a Portland resident who is the director of the American Anti-Prohibition League. "They're paying more attention to drug-related issues."

Landrath is the chief petitioner of what might be the most sweeping of the initiatives. His proposal would amend the state constitution to allow adults to possess and cultivate controlled substances. The measure would apply to drugs such as heroin and cocaine, not just marijuana.

"We want to reform all drug laws," Landrath said. "We don't believe prohibition works. The marijuana movement is only a half-step."

Two years ago, Landrath worked on an initiative that dealt exclusively with marijuana. The proposal, sponsored by Portland political activist D. Paul Stanford, would have allowed the sale of marijuana through state liquor stores.

Stanford has been trying since the mid-1980s to put a marijuana initiative on the ballot. He was the petition coordinator of the 1986 measure that would have allowed adults to grow and possess marijuana for personal use. It was overwhelmingly defeated.

Since 1992, Stanford has been pushing the liquor-store version, a statutory, not constitutional change. He claims he has gathered 20,000 of the 73,261 signatures needed.

Stanford said that as more people try marijuana, more understand the need for reform. "They realize that to keep it illegal just isn't logical," he said.

Initiatives aren't Stanford's only political venue. A Democrat, he is running for the Oregon House seat being vacated by Rep. George Eighmey, D-Portland.

Stanford plans to pay people to gather signatures, an increasingly common enterprise.

Landrath said he will rely on volunteers. "We're going to plug away as best we can," he said. "We don't have a lot of financial resources to drop."

Neither does Stephen Sedlacko, a driving force behind two other marijuana-related initiatives. He is the sponsor of one that would make it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana and other seed-bearing plants, and he is the petition coordinator for one that would allow the private use of marijuana.

"For us, it's a question of individual choice," said Sedlacko, who lives in Eugene.

Perhaps the initiative most likely to reach the ballot is one not in circulation. Filed March 3 by Portland doctor Rick Bayer, it would allow patients with certain illnesses, such as glaucoma, cancer and AIDS, to use marijuana with a doctor's approval.

Bayer is allied with Americans for Medical Rights, the Santa Monica, Calif., group that backed the medical marijuana initiative approved by California voters in 1996. The group, which counts international financier George Soros among its benefactors, has promised the Oregon campaign money and expertise, Bayer said.

"I'm really not for the legalization of marijuana," Bayer said. "I'm for prescriptive access to marijuana."

Bayer said he doesn't approve of the more expansive initiatives, such as the one that would allow sales in liquor stores. "I really don't want to see marijuana to become the next Budweiser."

Campbell said a survey by the police chiefs association found that among drug-related proposals filed, the medical marijuana initiative is most likely to make the ballot.

"We'll do everything we can to kill it" if it qualifies for the ballot, he said.

Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs will raise money to promote a referendum to increase penalties for possession of marijuana. The 1997 Legislature passed the so-called "recriminalization" bill, but opponents gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

Campbell wants the referendum to pass but wants even more to stamp out the marijuana initiatives. If one passes, "it sets back on our agenda for tougher drug laws," he said.

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp
CRRH ; P.O. Box 86741 ; Portland, OR 97286
 Phone:(503) 235-4606   Fax:(503) 235-0120   Web:
The Therapeutic Model of Medicine
The Law Enforcement Model of Medicine

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