Kevin Sabet once told me on Twitter that marijuana decriminalization should be enough, and that there is no need for further reform in Oregon. After explaining to him that I was charged with marijuana possession under Oregon’s decriminalization law before, and that it resulted in a hefty fine and the temporary loss of my license, he quit responding to me. That’s because deep down Kevin Sabet knows that decriminalization isn’t enough. Oregon has liberal marijuana laws compared to some states, but it’s far from an ideal situation. Another thing Kevin Sabet always tries to pass on as being true is that people don’t get arrested for marijuana use. That’s a myth. Below is a breakdown from the New Approach Oregon campaign:
Police bust people for marijuana use in Oregon all the time. According to the Oregon State Police, police arrested and issued citations for 12,808 people for marijuana in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. (Source: Oregon State Police, (PDF) page 4-10).
That’s like one person every 39 minutes. These arrest numbers have risen by 45 percent in recent years, according to a report by the ACLU on state crime reports.
An analysis by the Oregon ACLU of Oregon State Police data (PDF) also found that 90 percent of the marijuana possession incidents in 2010 involved less than one ounce.
Oregonians are constantly being arrested under Oregon’s current, broken drug laws. Learn more about our initiative to legalize and regulate here.