Cash is flowing into Oregon in an effort to legalize marijuana and voters seem to be reacting positively. Portland’s Fox 12 News conducted a poll last week in which Portland voters ranked marijuana legislation as the second most important issue this November, only losing out to Jobs & Economy. The poll was conducted October 8 through October 11 with over 500 likely voters.
Just two years ago, a separate measure to legalize marijuana failed 53 to 47 percent. Although the numbers were close, the failure to pass the ballot measure boiled down to one thing: lack of funding. While Oregonians struggled to pass the measure back in 2012, out-of-state cash flowed into both Colorado and Washington helping each state secure a victory for the legalization team. The defeat is still fresh in the minds of Oregonian legalization proponents while their neighbors to the north are enjoying a renewed sense of personal freedom. Perhaps that’s why Oregon has gotten serious with their campaign this fall and taken on serous funding.
Although earlier polls pegged the number of supporters as much lower (44% supporting and 40% opposing) it looks like there is growing support for legalization. According to Fox 12’s more recent poll, it looks like legalization is leading by several percentage points for November’s vote.
The state’s legalization campaign, New Approach Oregon has now raised over $3 million in cash and contributions to support the campaigns efforts with education and a wave of statewide ads. Among top contributors to the cause are George Soros who gave over half a million through Drug Policy Action (the political arm of Drug Policy Alliance) and the late billionaire Peter Lewis who gave $300,000 just last week.
Opponents of the measure have not faired as well in their efforts to halt legalization. The Oregon State Sheriff’s Association was the largest contributor to the Vote No on 91 campaign which has raised just $168,337 with $145,000 of that coming from the State Sheriffs’ Association. If funding is the biggest indicator of ballot results, it looks like the pro-legalization team has this one in the bag. Read below for some of the top donors to each campaign.
The Top five cash donors to New Approach Oregon:
1. Drug Policy Action,* $940,000
2. New Approach PAC,* $750,000
3. Drug Policy Action Fund for Oregon, $150,000
3. Philip Harvey,* $150,000
5. Henry van Ameringen,* $100,000
The Top five Cash Donors To No On 91:
1. Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, $145,000
2. Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association, $20,000
3. Save Our Society from Drugs,* $500
4. Shirley Morgan, $500
5. Tiffany Hicks, $500
* Denotes out-of-state contributor
Photo Credit: Oregonlive.com