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In 2012, Washington and Colorado voters made history when they approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Washington Initiative 502 “authorizes the state liquor board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age or older.”Since the vote in Washington, the Liquor Board has written a complex set of rules for the state’s new, legal recreational cannabis marketplace. The agency has also set limits on the amount of marijuana that can be grown. And the Board has begun to license growers, processors and retailers.For now, the Obama administration has signaled it will not interfere with Washington and Colorado’s legal pot experiment, unless there is evidence that legal pot is “leaking” to other states or children are getting access to the legal product. The feds are also watching to see if criminal organizations exploit the legal market.The first marijuana retail stores in Washington opened in July 2014.Recreational marijuana is also set to become legal in Oregon on July 1, 2015 after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

Oregon Pot Legalization Push Kicks Off Ad Campaign

New Approach Oregon

New Approach Oregon, the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon, kicked off a multi-million dollar advertising effort Monday.

The group appears to be following the same tactic used by the successful legalization effort in Washington state. The strategy seems to be that if you want to legalize pot, find someone like Richard Harris to make your case. He's the former director of Addictions and Mental Health Services for the state of Oregon.

"Marijuana isn't going anywhere,” Harris says in an ad for the Yes on 91 campaign. “We're not stopping it with the war on drugs.”

Harris probably isn't going to electrify the crowd at Hempfest. But his appearance in the Oregon ad is similar to pro-pot ads in Washington state. Those featured a mother who said she didn't like pot but supported state regulation of it.

The Oregon ads are online now and will hit the airwaves next month. The campaign said it will spend more than $2 million to air them. An opposition group headed by the Oregon Sheriff's Association hasn't reported raising any money yet.