Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber, of Oregon, is saying that he “hears the drumbeat” of marijuana legalization coming his state’s way from nearby Colorado and Washington state. In Oregon, support for legalization stands at 58%.
The Governor added, “I want to make sure we have a thoughtful regulatory system. The legislature would be the right place to craft that”. In saying so, Kitzhaber seems to be endorsing the legislative approach to legalization, rather than a referendum. In 2012, the state of Oregon voted on ballot measure 80, or the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, which would have, “allowed personal marijuana and hemp cultivation or use without a license and created a commission to regulate the sale of commercial marijuana,” in the state. The measure suffered a close defeat, garnering 810,538 votes, but failing 53-47.
It seems like with several issues- gay marriage, legalization, war and peace, public opinion is moving rapidly in one direction, leaving the conservative base in its wake every time. Oregon, which has already decriminalized marijuana and legalized it for medical use, will certainly be among the next domino’s to fall along the road to national legalization. Importantly, “Support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has grown to its highest point ever in recent months: 58 percent of Americans now back legal weed, Gallup’s latest poll.”