Hundreds of people packed Living Hope Christian Church in Madras Thursday for the Statewide Marijuana Summit. Several speakers offered insight on Ballot Measure 80, which would legalize marijuana in Oregon.
"I really want to educated my whole family, so I brought all my kids," said one attendee.
"Warm Springs is taking a really strong stance on prevention, intervention and education," said a therapist from Warm Springs.
"I just think it's really important for me and other kids my age to actually know its effects," a 20-year-old participant said.
A panel of sheriff's deputies, detectives and addiction specialists talked about what they believe to be the dangers of legalized marijuana, such as more people driving under the influence and rising crime rates.
"There may be 500 votes that decide if Oregon has a bright future or a cloudy future," Umitilla County Sheriff John Trumbo said. "Everyone needs to go vote, and they need to vote no."
Unlike Washington's marijuana measure, which regulates how many ounces a person can have but forbids growing at home, Oregon's measure does not restrict the amount of marijuana people can possess or even grow.
"So if we pull out all the stops, with no limits, and people can grow as much as they want, possess as much as they want, that would very likely lead to an increase in adolescent consumption of marijuana," addiction specialist Eric Martin said. "We've already seen it with medical marijuana."
But outside the summit, many supporters were also talking about why they'll be voting yes on Measure 80,
"I have no problem with it, because I have friends who use it medically, who seriously need it," said one voter. "I have no problem with it."
"It seems like a lot of people are doing it anyways, so why not legalize it?" asked another voter. "We should stop persecuting people who are going to be using it anyway."
Even if Oregon voters pass the measure, it still would be deemed illegal by the federal government.