Tuesday, July 8, was a historic day for Washington as the state's first legal recreational pot merchants swung open their doors.
And now, recreational marijuana advocates have their sights set on Oregon, calling an effort to put the issue before Oregon voters this November as the "new gold standard." In fact, one of the nation's leading drug policy reformers was in Oregon July 8, calling that state's effort to legalize marijuana as "the No. 1 priority."
This morning's Oregonian reports that Ethan Nadelman's organization, the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, has already contributed $650,000 to the so-called "New Approach" campaign, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana. Similar to Washington's plan, the proposed Oregon plan would be overseen by the state's liquor control commission.
But advocates say Oregon's initiative is a bit different from Washington's in that pot taxes would be lower to better position legal retailers to compete with the black market.
"I think what you are going to see in Oregon is a hybrid model that draws on the best of both systems," Nadelman told the Oregonian.