OREGON: The campaign behind an Oregon ballot measure that would legalize marijuana for adults said Monday it will buy $2.3 million worth of television advertising in what is shaping up to be a lopsided debate.
The former head of addictions and mental health for the Oregon Health Authority urges voters to support marijuana legalization in a YouTube video that proponents say will form the basis for their first television commercial. Richard Harris says marijuana “is a pretty benign drug” compared with drugs like alcohol and heroin, and efforts to control it through the criminal justice system have failed.
Support from addiction experts like Harris can help legalization advocates rebut charges that decriminalizing the drug would fuel addiction problems. Marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington state.
Other mental health experts and the law enforcement community oppose legalization, but nobody with deep pockets has stepped forward to make the case against it.