Law approved by more than 56% of voters in November 2014 takes effect Wednesday, July 1; voters in at least five states are expected to consider similar measures in November 2016
* Statement below from Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting ballot initiative efforts around the country *
SALEM — Marijuana became legal for adults in Oregon on Wednesday when the ballot initiative approved by more than 56% of voters in November 2014 officially took effect.
The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act, which appeared on the ballot as Measure 91 and was backed by New Approach Oregon, allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four marijuana plants. State officials are in the process of establishing a regulated system of commercial marijuana cultivation and sales.
Possession of limited amounts of marijuana is legal for adults in three additional states — Alaska, Colorado, and Washington — and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington have established regulated marijuana markets for adults 21 years of age and older, and Alaska is in the process of establishing one.
Voters in at least five states are expected to consider similar ballot measures in November 2016. A voter initiative has officially qualified for the ballot in Nevada, petition drives are underway in support of initiatives in Arizona and Maine, and initiatives are in the process of being drafted in California and Massachusetts.
Statement from Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting ballot initiative efforts in five states:
“Marijuana is less addictive than alcohol and it’s far less harmful to the body. Adults who prefer to use marijuana instead of alcohol should not be punished for making the safer choice. In Oregon, they no longer will be.
“As more and more Americans recognize that marijuana is safer than alcohol, more and more states will adopt laws that treat it that way. States like Oregon that have ended prohibition and are moving toward a system of regulated sales and cultivation are demonstrating that there is an alternative to prohibition. Regulating marijuana works. It is working in Colorado and Washington, it will work in Oregon and Alaska, and it won’t be long before other states follow suit.”