PORTLAND — Roadside campaign signs have begun appearing in Portland expressing opposition to a ballot question seeking to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Voters in Portland are being asked next Tuesday whether they want to make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess — but not purchase or sell — up to 2.5 ounces of pot in the city.

There hasn’t been any organized opposition to the referendum, but campaign signs this week have popped up saying: “Future = Portland. Vote NO on Question 1. NO to POTland.”

The Portland Press Herald reports that the identity of the opposition is a mystery and that the signs don’t indicate who paid for them.

Any group that spends more than $5,000 for a campaign must register as a ballot question committee and file campaign reports, but nobody has filed paperwork at City Hall. Furthermore, any campaign literature that expresses a position on a ballot question and costs more than $500 must have the name and address of the sponsor conspicuously printed on it, although it’s not clear if the signs cost more than that amount.

City Councilor David Marshall, a Green Independent who supports the referendum, said he doesn’t believe the signs will affect the outcome of the election.

“Signs are like cheerleaders in the game. They get people excited and remind people to vote,” Marshall said. “As far as changing people’s minds, I don’t think signs are designed to do that”

Regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s vote, marijuana use will remain illegal under state and federal law.


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