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Former Oregon treatment executive aligns with marijuana legalization backers

August 18, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A longtime treatment facility administrator and former state official in Oregon has aligned with backers of the state's November ballot initiative to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use.

The Yes on (Measure) 91 campaign announced Aug. 18 that the first television ad in favor of the legalization measure begins appearing on the air this week, featuring retired Central City Concern executive director Richard Harris. Harris is quoted as saying about marijuana policy, “Criminalizing marijuana ruins lives and wastes resources.”

He adds, “Right now, there is no state appropriated money in Oregon for drug and alcohol prevention programs, including for marijuana, but Measure 91 would change that.”

Harris also formerly served as director of the Addictions and Mental Health Services agency in Oregon. Central City Concern is a human-services agency with an addiction services specialty.

Yes on 91 organizers have launched a $2.3 million advertising campaign to promote the measure's passage. The ad featuring Harris is the first televised spot.