In 1985, the Oregon Marijuana Initiative (OMI), with petitioners including Jack Herer, Paul Stanford, John Sajo and countless others, collected over 87,000 signatures necessary to place the issue of legalization on the ballot.
In 1986, the initiative officially became Oregon's Ballot Measure 5. The measure, which sought to legalize cannabis, united activists' from across the state. By some estimates, cannabis was Oregon's largest cash crop in 1986.
The ballot measure was ultimately rejected by Oregon voters with 279,479 "Yes" and 781,922 "No" votes, or 26.33% support.
It has been 25 years since that vote and societal attitudes have continued to change toward cannabis. The prohibitionist propaganda has faded with time and the debunking of racist mythology. We are clearer in educating ourselves and others about this valuable plant. Medicinal cannabis has become legal in Oregon and across the country. Farmers are beginning to see the value that hemp could bring to our economy as well with hemp food, fuel, clothing, paper, building materials and so much more.
Oregonians for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 are currently circulating petitions for Initiative 9, to make hemp and cannabis legal in Oregon.