EUGENE, Ore. - Medical marijuana advocates are trying to make it easier for Oregonians to get marijuana.
They are pushing an initiative petition to get a ballot measure to voters in November that would expand Oregon's medical marijuana law to include a supply system with producers and dispensaries.
Supporters of the measure carried another batch of petition signatures to the Secretary of State's office in Salem on Thursday.
One of the main proponents of the initiative, John Sajo, is the director of the Voter Power Foundation.
"We believe that patients that have qualified for this program should be able to go and buy their medicine if they need to," he said. "Appropriate regulation of this system will make it work well for everyone involved."
Sajo said this new initiative will make life easier for some medical marijuana patients. "The biggest problem with the current law is that it expects those sick people to produce their own medicine which is a big headache for many, doesn't work for some," he said.
Oregonians voted to make medical marijuana legal back in 1998 but rejected a proposal to allow dispensaries in 2004.
Backers of the initiative need 82,769 valid signatures to put the measure on the ballot. So far, they said they've got more than 100,000. The Secretary of State's office still needs to validate those signatures.
Supporters said more than $100,000 has been spent on this petition drive, with more than a third of that coming from out of state.
While they're confident they'll have enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot in November, they fully expect opposition.
Sajo said the main opposition comes from law enforcement.
"There are certainly elements of law enforcement that continue to deny that this is medicine and fight it at every possible step," he said.
The deadline for gathering the required number of valid signatures is July 2.