Ballot Measure 110, the 2020 effort to decriminalize drugs, is still the subject of intense and divisive debate.
Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade rendered a decision on January 3 in relation to a disagreement involving Initiative Petition 47. Four initiatives were submitted last year with the intention of overturning Measure 110, including this petition. It is one of the two projects that the opponents are presently trying to advance.
The primary issue pertained to the full text requirement, which requires petitioners seeking to amend a law to present the entire text of the statute in their submissions.
This condition caused campaign financing reform plans to be blocked in 2022 following a judicial struggle.
Steve Berman, a well-known progressive elections lawyer, wrote to Griffin-Valade on December 22 expressing his worries regarding IP 47. As noted by Berman, the initiative did not include the current versions of the statutory sections that it sought to modify.
Responding on January 4, Aaron Landau, the petitioners’ attorney, disputed Berman’s claim, claiming that there would be minimal distinctions between the laws described in IP 47 and those in effect on November 20, 24.
Landau’s reaction was ultimately moot because on January 3rd, the state’s chief elections officer, Griffin-Valade, concluded that the proposal complied with all constitutional criteria.
The Oregon Department of Justice will make available two ballot titles on January 10: one for IP 47 and the other for IP 48.
Supporters of repealing 110 will likely examine the ballot titles to see which one gives them the best chance of passing. They might also use the prospect of a ballot fight to pressure legislators to alter Measure 110 in the next brief session, which starts on February 5.
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