So far, there's no organized opposition in Oregon to a marijuana legalization measure that New Approach Oregon wants to put on the November ballot.
New Approach has been raising big money from the same national funders who passed legalization in Colorado and Washington in 2012 and is following a similar playbook to the one that worked in those states.
So what could go wrong in weed-loving Oregon?
The current edition of The Nation raises an intriguing prospect: that the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture prescription painkillers could be the single economic interest that has the means and motivation to contest legalization.
The magazine examines the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America, one of the leaders of the fight against legalization:
It’s more than a little odd that CADCA and the other groups leading the fight against relaxing marijuana laws, including the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America), derive a significant portion of their budget from opioid manufacturers and other pharmaceutical companies. According to critics, this funding has shaped the organization’s policy goals: CADCA takes a softer approach toward prescription-drug abuse, limiting its advocacy to a call for more educational programs, and has failed to join the efforts to change prescription guidelines in order to curb abuse. In contrast, CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids have adopted a hard-line approach to marijuana, opposing even limited legalization and supporting increased police powers.
Although non-profits typically do not disclose their funding sources, The Nation got hold of some documents.
The Nation obtained a confidential financial disclosure from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids showing that the group’s largest donors include Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, and Abbott Laboratories, maker of the opioid Vicodin. CADCA also counts Purdue Pharma as a major supporter, as well as Alkermes, the maker of a powerful and extremely controversial new painkiller called Zohydrol.