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Oregon's Pot Legalization Supporters Kick Off Ad Campaign

Richard Harris is seen this screen grab from an online ad by Oregon's Yes on 91 campaign.

The campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon kicked off a multi-million dollar advertising effort Monday.

New Approach Oregon 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.

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.