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Oregon Looking to Legalize Pot

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By Kamika Dunlap on April 13, 2010 1:45 PM

Oregon could be following California's lead as it is looking to legalize pot by putting a measure on the November ballot.

Marijuana advocates have begun collecting signatures for a measure that would legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana, Stateline.org reports. A percentage of pot sales would be used to promote industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber, protein and oil. Also, through a structure set up of state-run stores an estimated 90% of total proceeds would go to Oregon's general fund.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is working to gather the nearly 83,000 needed by the July 2 deadline in order to make the November ballot.

Several other states including California are weighing the idea to legalize pot to find a new source of revenue. New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Washington are considering loosening their marijuana laws.

Pot backers in California have collected 700,000 signatures to put a measure to legalize marijuana on the California ballot for November, 2010. The initiative, known as the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 would allow cities and counties to adopt their own laws to allow marijuana to be grown and sold.

The State Board of Equalization has estimated that California could raise $1.4 billion if voters approve to legalize pot and tax it.

As previously discussed, the Department of Justice released new guidelines addressing the enforcement of marijuana laws and medical marijuana. As a result, any legalization of marijuana would run counter to federal law.

Oregon became the second state to pass a marijuana law in 1998, following California.

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