An Arizona government official received a lot of backlash on Wednesday, September 28 after he forwarded an anti-Proposition 205 email through his public email address. Now, supporters of Proposition 205 are asking that he also forward an email that supports cannabis as well so that everyone who receive the emails can see an equal representation of information both for and against Prop 205.
The Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), Director Timothy Jeffries, had forwarded an email that originated from the leader of a committee that formed to oppose Prop 205. That email’s subject line read “Alcohol ‘safer’ than marijuana???????” and offered links to information on cannabis and alcohol.
The following day, the chairman of the group that was created to support Prop 205, J. P. Holyoak, sent an email in response, requesting that Jeffries share new information:
“We appreciate your interest in Proposition 205 and your desire to provide information to your subordinates about the measure. In order to ensure that you are not attempting to influence the outcome of the election, we hope you agree it is appropriate to distribute to that same email list the information that we have compiled on the same topic covered in the email you forwarded from Seth Leibsohn of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. To be fair, we have made the subject of this email similar to Mr. Leibsohn’s so that you can simply forward it in a similar manner. Thank you in advance for providing equal treatment to both sides in this debate.”
A recent Prop 205 press release goes into detail regarding Jeffries’ use of “public resources” by utilizing an email distribution list of around 7,000 employees. Holyoak presented an honest statement about the situation and why equal representation is important among government officials:
“By circulating ‘information’ heavily slanted against Prop 205, Director Jeffries has clearly acted in violation of the Attorney General’s July 2015 opinion prohibiting the use of public resources to influence the outcome of an election. To rectify the situation, we have asked him to circulate a link to facts we have compiled on same topic as the earlier email—the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol. In truth, virtually every objective study ever conducted has concluded that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol. Marijuana is less addictive, less toxic and far less likely to be associated with violent behavior. By providing this additional information, Director Jeffries will expose employees to both sides of this important issue so they can judge the facts for themselves.”
Currently, no news has been reported regarding if Jeffries agreed to forwarded the email that was sent by Holyoak, but one can only hope that Jeffries is willing to offer an equal perspective to all who he comes into contact with via email.