Back when we voted to allow the Oregon Lottery, we voted to allow scratch-off tickets. That was it. But over time, it's morphed into an entirely different beast - and beast is exactly the correct descriptor:
A 2010 article by The Oregonian reported, "Half of lottery profits from video games come from about 10 percent of its players, who lose $500 or more every month," and video lottery makes up almost 90 percent of lottery earnings. That means that much of the $830 million of Lottery funds in the state budget is coming on the backs of people struggling with gambling addictions.
And the state has grown as dependent on those funds as the addicts are to video poker and video slots. Now, we're poised to become dependent upon another sort of addiction, as Oregon voters have legalized recreational pot.
The American Lung Association in Colorado, where marijuana was recently legalized,reports that nationally "9 percent of those who try marijuana will become addicted" and that about "2.7 million people in the U.S. meet clinical criteria for marijuana dependence."
It's worth noting that their reported figure roughly coincides with the percentage of people who become addicted to video gambling. We are in the process of cementing into place a state government that's run by self-described "progressives" who depend upon dependence as a source of funding.
How "progressive" is that?