Good news for advocates of ethical political campaigns.
Willamette Week is reporting that a planned Oregon Marijuana, Alcohol, and Other Drug Summit in Madras on October 1-2 has been cancelled. (See the blog post I wrote yesterday about the summit and associated tour.)
The sponsor of a government-funded anti-drug summit has cancelled the event after WW first reported it had been set timed to coincide with the fight over Measure 91, the marijuana legalization measure.
BestCare Treatment Services said late Thursday it was withdrawing from the summit, which was scheduled to include anti-drug activist Kevin Sabet. WW's story raised questions about the timing of a tour that would include Sabet within weeks of voters receiving their ballots for the general election.
I just left a comment on the Willamette Week story.
I hope the whole Oregon Marijuana Education Tour is cancelled also. Last night I called this the "Reefer Madness Tour" in a blog post about this underhanded attempt to get around campaign finance laws.
Oregon's drug abuse treatment community needs to realize that going ahead with the tour will forever associate them with anti-marijuana legalization fanatics like Kevin Sabet and Josh Marquis.
Sabet and Marquis should openly debate Measure 91 proponents, not hide within forums where only opponents of Measure 91 are allowed to speak -- supported by taxpayer funds, outrageously.
A KOIN piece shows how politicized the taxpayer-funded Oregon Marijuana Education Tour really is.
“Fatalities are on the rise in Washington after they legalized marijuana,” said Matt Shirtcliff with the Oregon District Attorneys Association.
[Note: Googling this claim, I couldn't find any evidence for it. But traffic fatalities in Colorado, which also legalized marijuana in 2012, are at an all-time low.]
A spokesperson for the association said some members plan to join a “Marijuana Education Tour” that is put on by the same group that recently took out a full-page, anti-marijuana ad in the New York Times.
Anti-drug activist Kevin Sabet will lead the tour, which is funded by a federal grant, through Oregon a month before Election Day and talk about marijuana. The tour is not campaigning against Measure 91.
“Sure it’s around election time, but it’s also to educate the citizens,” said Shirtcliff.
Zuckerman said he’s not buying that argument.
“Calling this an education tour is preposterous,” he said. “Taxpayer money should not be covertly used to influence an election.”
Like I said in my comment, drug abuse professionals should be very cautious about being connected with an underhanded anti-Measure 91 effort. Their credibility will be much diminished if citizens view this "marijuana tour" as a biased attempt to mislead voters about the dangers of legalizing pot.