SALEM, Ore. – Oregon and Washington are contemplating a dramatic shift in drug policy this November. But the initiatives to legalize marijuana are getting little attention from state lawmakers on the campaign trail.
Washington’s Initiative 502 would allow adults to buy marijuana at state-licensed stores. Oregon's Measure 80 would do that too, and allow people to grow their own pot.
Few elected officials in Oregon have taken a public position on the initiative. Democratic Representative Peter Buckley is one of them. He co-chairs the legislature’s budget-writing committee.
A marijuana plant growing in North Cascades National Park Complex. Photo by David Snyder/National Park Service
Buckley says he supports legalization, but understands why many Oregon politicians don't want to talk about it.
"I think there's a certain stigma that's been part of marijuana for many, many decades. I think if we're actually honest about it, we have to get past that."
By contrast, the marijuana legalization initiative in Washington has amassed a long list of supportive state lawmakers. Both of the leading candidates for governor in Washington say they're against the proposal.
On the Web:
Initiative 502 - full text:
Oregon Measure 80 - full text:
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