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In Fundraising, Oregon's Pro-Pot Campaign Lags Washington's

SALEM, Ore. – This November, voters in Oregon and Washington will decide whether to legalize marijuana. The Washington effort is backed by some deep-pocketed national donors. But Oregon's campaign is struggling to raise even a bare minimum of cash.

Washington’s Initiative 502 would allow adults to buy marijuana at state-licensed stores. Oregon's Measure 80 would do that too, and would allow people to grow their own pot. The Washington backers have rung up more than $3 million in donations, allowing them to hit the TV airwaves.

But campaign organizers in Oregon have reported just $13,000 in donations since their more permissive measure made the ballot in July.

Some Oregon pot activists including Sam Chapman have started a separate fundraising group. Chapman says he wants skeptical donors to take another look at the Oregon campaign, which was trailing in a recent poll.

"One of the numbers that we are looking to capitalize on is the large amount of undecideds."

Chapman's independent political action committee also gives national supporters the chance to donate to a group headed by someone other than chief petitioner Paul Stanford, who made headlines last year when he pleaded guilty to income tax evasion.

On the web:

Oregon's Measure 80: http://oregonvotes.org/irr/2012/009text.pdf

Washington's Initiative 502: https://wei.sos.wa.gov/agency/osos/en/press_and_research/PreviousElections/2012/General-Election/Documents/I-502_complete_text.pdf

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Washington's effort to legalize marijuana is backed by some deep-pocketed national donors. But Oregon's campaign is struggling to raise even a bare minimum of cash. Photo by New Approach Washington
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Washington's effort to legalize marijuana is backed by some deep-pocketed national donors. But Oregon's campaign is struggling to raise even a bare minimum of cash. Photo by New Approach Washington

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.
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