Article by The Editorial Board, Portland Press Harold
Sometimes it’s the leaders who need leadership. For decades, politicians have been clinging to outdated ideas about drug policy because they didn’t want to appear soft on crime.
We support the citizen-initiated Question 1, an act to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol, because it would tell lawmakers to change course.
A “yes” vote says that there is such a thing as responsible, adult use of marijuana. The current law makes criminals out of people who are otherwise law-abiding and dumps millions of dollars into a tax-free black market. Legalization would put low-risk marijuana use on the right side of the law, and focus resources where they are more needed.
Our support for the ballot question does not mean that we consider all use of marijuana to be benign, or that we think its use is appropriate for everyone.
Our editorial board was divided on this referendum, especially because of a concern that passage of the proposal would send a confusing message to young people about drug use.