Initiative 91, which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults in Oregon, now has the support of the two largest papers in the state. Last month the initiative was endorsed by The Oregonian, the states largest paper, and recently the second largest daily, The Register-Guard, endorsed it as well. Their editorial concludes:
Though the tide of public opinion has shifted in favor of legalization, many remain apprehensive about the social effects of placing marijuana alongside alcohol and tobacco as legal drugs. It’s likely that marijuana will prove to be the least damaging of the three, but pot can cloud people’s judgment, sap their ambition and result in addiction. Society is already feeling those effects, because marijuana is so widely used. Prohibition compounds the social effects by adding unwanted legal and economic consequences.
It’s time to strip away those consequences and address the issues of drug use more rationally and effectively. Measure 91 deserves a “yes” vote.
The Initiative 91 campaign rolled out an impressive set of institutional endorsements in the lead-up to the election, but the race remains close.
The latest public poll shows the yes side with a small advantage but too close to call. It has 44 percent of likely voters certain to vote Yes and 40 percent certain to vote No. Whether are not young people turnout in large numbers for a non-presidential election to back marijuana legalization could make the difference.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy