Proponents of legalized pot see Portland vote as launch pad

November 5th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND — Voters will decide Nov. 5 whether the city will join a growing number of states and municipalities that have legalized marijuana.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana in Portland have been using Metro bus advertisements to encourage voters to approve a Nov. 5 referendum.

A citizen-initiated referendum will determine if the city allows adults over age 21 to use pot for recreation and to possess up to 2.5 ounces of the drug.

That’s about enough to fill two sandwich baggies, or for 100 or so joints.

The referendum lets landlords ban marijuana use in their buildings. Its sale would remain illegal, and use or possession would still be illegal in public spaces and on buses and school grounds.

The City Council in July rejected a similar ordinance proposed by the citizens’ initiative, prompting the question of legalization to be put on the November ballot.

David Boyer, state political director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the referendum will pass.

The MPP, a national advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., is part of a broad coalition, Citizens for a Safer Portland, that in May submitted a petition with 3,000 voter signatures to begin the initiative.

The coalition says current law unfairly stigmatizes marijuana users and is inconsistent with rules allowing alcohol – which, the coalition claims, carries greater health dangers.

“Both alcohol and marijuana

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