SALEM, OR — Oregon’s marijuana legalization Measure 80 trailed in the polls, trailed in the early returns Tuesday night, and never got the momentum it needed to push it to victory. But it’s not a complete loss – the underfunded grassroots campaign didn’t lose by much: 46-54% with a little more than half the votes tallied.
And despite early battles to get on the ballot and stay there, the “Little Measure that Could” almost succeed, and is sure to inspire other states to follow suit.
Measure 80, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), would have created an Oregon Cannabis Commission to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana, but not industrial hemp, which would be allowed, but not regulated by the commission.
The commission would grant licenses to cultivate marijuana for sale to it by “all qualified applicants” and would sell marijuana at state retail stores at prices it determines. Medical marijuana patients would have their medicine provided at cost.
OCTA would supersede all state and local laws regarding marijuana, except for impaired driving laws, leaving personal possession and cultivation by adults unregulated.
Measure 80, which came late to the ballot and which has been chronically underfunded since making the ballot, has trailed consistently in the polls.