Four measures are likely to appear on the ballots of all Oregonians this November.
July 2 was the deadline to turn in voter signatures for measures on the November ballot. Two initiative petitions appear to have sufficient signatures to qualify, and another two were referred to voters by the Oregon Legislature.
Here are the four issues voters should expect to weigh. The measures won't have numbers until they're officially approved by the Oregon secretary of state this month.
House Bill 2270: Increase the tobacco tax
What would it do? Add a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes and establish the state's first tax on nicotine vaping products.
Road to the ballot: By legislative referral. House Bill 2270, passed in 2019, included a compromise that allowed voters a say in whether to increase taxes on cigarettes.
Campaign: Oregonians for a Smoke Free Tomorrow have raised $12 million.
Opponents: Tobacco companies are expected to spend big. In 2007, tobacco companies spent $12 million to defeat an Oregon tobacco tax increase. In California in 2016, they outspent proponents more than 2 to 1 but still lost.
Senate Joint Referral 18: Limit campaign finance
What would it do? Amend the Oregon Constitution to allow limits on campaign contributions and expenditures. Oregon is one of only five states with no such limits. An Oregon Supreme Court ruling in April began chipping away at the constitutional protection of unlimited campaign spending. This measure would allow statewide requirements for disclosures and restrictions on spending.
Road to the ballot: The Oregon Legislature referred Senate Joint Resolution 18 in 2019.
Campaign: Supporters have raised $38,000, including $10,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
Opponents: Libertarians have opposed campaign spending limits passed in Portland and Multnomah County in advance of the constitutional change. Ironically, supporters of unlimited campaign spending have not mounted a well-funded campaign in recent years.
Initiative Petition 34: Legalize psilocybin therapy
What would it do? Make Oregon the first state to legalize the manufacture and use of psilocybin, the psychoactive component in hallucinogenic mushrooms, at licensed therapeutic clinics. The Oregon Health Authority would have two years to set up a licensing program.
Road to the ballot: Signature gathering. It's not yet certified to appear on the ballot, but the campaign spent more than $1 million as it gathered signatures in the midst of the pandemic.
Campaign: It's currently running a $70,000 debt from gathering signatures. But its supporters have deep pockets: Backers received $800,000 from Washington, D.C., political action committee New Approach, whose largest donors are the mental health-focused van Ameringen Foundation in New York and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap, a longtime supporter of drug legalization.
Opponents: Medical professionals say the science of psilocybin research is not well enough established to sanction.
Initiative Petition 44: Decriminalize drug possession
What would it do? Reduce possession of small quantities of narcotics from a misdemeanor to a violation—the equivalent of a parking ticket. Oregon would be the first state in the nation to do this.
Road to the ballot: Signature gathering. It's not yet certified, but the campaign has spent $2 million as part of qualifying.
Campaign: It's raised $1.6 million from Drug Policy Action, a political action arm of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit to legalize cannabis and end the drug war.
Opponents: The Oregon Education Association has raised objections that the measure would redirect cannabis tax revenue from schools to drug treatment programs.