Salem, OR: Proponents of a measure to establish statewide regulations for the legal production and distribution of medical marijuana have collected an estimated 130,000 signatures from registered voters in an effort to qualify the proposal for the November 2010 ballot.
The measure, known as I-28, needs approximately 83,000 valid signatures to qualify for the fall ballot. The Secretary of State's office is presently in the process of verifying proponents' signatures.
Initiative 28 seeks to allow for the state-licensed production and non-profit distribution of cannabis to authorized patients. Under the plan, both dispensaries and private producers would be subject to inspection and auditing by the health department.
In 2009, voters in Maine approved a similar measure to legalize and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries.
Lawmakers in Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC have enacted regulations overseeing the state-authorized distribution of marijuana. However, to date such regulated facilities only exist in Colorado and New Mexico.
Oregon voters initially legalized the physician-authorized use of marijuana in 1998. Patients may grow their own marijuana under the law or designate a caregiver to cultivate for them.
For more information, please visit: http://coalitionforpatientsrights2010.com/.