In Response To Susan Nielsen's Article On Oregonlive.Com
Earlier today it was brought to my attention that my home state of Oregon had an article appear on the website of the main news outlet 'The Oregonian' talking about the Oregon medical marijuana community's vocal opposition to Oregon Attorney General candidate Dwight Holton. I want to thank 'The Oregonian' for taking notice of a very, very important issue. I have seen articles on CNBC, NPR, and other large media outlets such as 'The Oregonian' popping up, and I couldn't be happier. The entire nation needs to be aware of what's going on.
I would like to clarify some things in Susan Nielsen's article that I find inaccurate. Often when reporters cover medical marijuana related issues, they are not speaking from within the community, they are simply trying to capture what they observe in words. Let me be clear - I speak from within the Oregon medical marijuana community, but not for the Oregon medical marijuana community. I am a patient, and an activist, and I will fight Dwight Holton's campaign with everything I have because it means that much to me.
I don't have elite East Coast connections like Dwight Holton. I don't have powerful friends with big piles of money that can be used to buy elections and try to swindle voters like Dwight Holton. But what I do have is the truth. And thanks to all of the loyal TWB readers, I also have a platform that I can shout at the rooftops from and apparently get people to notice (for better or worse). I feel that what my friends and I in the Oregon medical marijuana community have done with the anti-Dwight campaign is noble. We have received some flack inside and outside of the medical marijuana community, but fact of the matter is, it's bringing awareness to an issue where there otherwise was none, and we are getting people motivated to vote when they weren't planning on doing so.
Even after it's apparent that this is a popular issue in Oregon, as admitted in the article, mainstream media continues to try to downplay it. Let's dissect Susan Nielsen's article piece by piece. I will put her words in bold, and my response below in plain font:
"Rosenblum and Holton are both Democrats, former federal prosecutors and on record as supporting the intent of Oregon's voter-approved medical marijuana law."
This is simply not true. Please listen to the audio clip at the following link, which is Dwight Holton's own words at a Eugene campaign event in which he says he will go against the will of the voters and go after the OMMP because it's a 'train wreck.' If Dwight Holton supported the intent of Oregon's voter-approved medical marijuana law, he wouldn't have raided medical marijuana gardens in Southern Oregon, and he wouldn't have sent harassing letters to law abiding collective owners and their landlords. How Susan Nielsen could have missed that is beyond me...oh wait, she refers to it later in the article...even more mysterious how that quote above in bold snuck into the article...
"So yes, the two candidates show real differences of both style and substance on marijuana. Still, I'm not convinced their approaches as attorney general would wildly diverge. Holton says he would "happily enforce and uphold the state law," which he says voters approved for compassionate reasons."
Once again, listen to the audio clip at the following link, which is Dwight Holton's own words at a Eugene campaign event in which he says he will go against the will of the voters and go after the OMMP because it's a 'train wreck.' And once again, if Dwight Holton supported the intent of Oregon's voter-approved medical marijuana law, he wouldn't have raided medical marijuana gardens in Southern Oregon, and he wouldn't have sent harassing letters to law abiding collective owners and their landlords.
"In true Oregon fashion, both appear more willing to join a conversation than lead a crusade."
I sent Dwight Holton's campaign an e-mail, as well as a follow up phone call that went un-returned asking him to 'join a conversation.' Guess what Susan Nielsen, Dwight Holton is full of you know what. If he really wanted to join the conversation, I'd welcome him now just as I did before, but I guarantee he will never accept because deep down, just as Susan Nielsen quoted me saying in her article, Dwight Holton is 'one of the most raging anti-medical marijuana crusaders on the planet.' Prove me wrong, with facts please... I provide links to my claims, not just words.
"If voters want those things, fine (in reference to dispensaries and legalization). Oregon will deal with it. But we could all stand to drop the euphemisms and aim for a more honest approach."
The 'honest approach' is to tell Oregonians the truth instead of spreading false information that is easily found on the NotDwightHolton.Com and BeatHolton.Com websites that were referenced in your article. Even the article that Susan Nielsen quoted me from clearly explains the facts, which were not presented in Susan Nielsen's article.
For anyone that is wondering how Ellen Rosenblum REALLY feels about marijuana policy in Oregon, I will include an interview that Ellen did for The Weed Blog. It always seems like people forget that this is out there, but luckily I don't forget, and I provide links! Do you think that it's weird that 'The Oregonian' would print such obviously inaccurate information?
I don't. That's because Susan Nielsen's article posted at 6:12 AM on The Oregonian, on the same day that The Oregonian outlet endorsed Dwight Holton earlier in the morning at 12:47 AM. Hmmmm, coincidence? I'll let readers, and those that are watching, decide. Shame on you Oregonian, I hope you do a follow up piece telling the truth about what is going on here.
THIS ELECTION IS NOT IN NOVEMBER IT'S ON MAY 15TH IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY AS THERE IS NO GOP CANDIDATE. YOU MUST REGISTER AS A DEMOCRAT BY APRIL 24TH, BALLOTS START GOING OUT IN THE MAIL ON APRIL 27TH. Dwight Holton has used this to his advantage. While news media outlets like The Oregonian have stuck their head in the ground and failed to provide this important information to the public, I will continue to do so here. CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER AS A DEMOCRAT IN OREGON, IT'S VITAL!
Below is Ellen Rosenblum's interview questions (Q in bold, Ellen's answer in plain font). The same questions that I sent to Dwight. If Dwight truly wants to join the conversation, he can start by answering the questions that I e-mailed him. I have the e-mail saved in my 'outbox' in case he tries to lie and say he never got it :)
Q: If marijuana is confiscated from a medical marijuana patient, and it is determined that the patient committed no crimes, would you instruct law enforcement to return the medical marijuana that was seized?
Yes. The law on the books in Oregon currently requires the return of seized marijuana under certain limited circumstances. As Attorney General, if those circumstances exist, I would advise law enforcement agencies to return marijuana to card-holding patients.
Q: Last year many medical marijuana gardens were raided, and many threatening letters were sent to medical marijuana businesses. Should we expect similar actions if you are elected, or will you take a different approach?
I will take a different approach. I strongly support the right of patients to obtain the medicine they need to help them cope with their medical conditions. The voters of Oregon enacted the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA), and I support their decision. Additionally, I do not see the enforcement of laws against marijuana an effective use of our limited public resources. The priorities of the next Attorney General should be protecting children, families, and the elderly from abuse and fighting for consumers by taking on criminals, scammers, and corporations that break the law – not marijuana enforcement.
Q: Oregon will likely join Colorado and Washington with a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in the 2012 election. What are your thoughts on this type of initiative?
Marijuana should be the lowest priority of law enforcement. My position would of course depend on the language of the initiative, but I support directing our scarce public safety resources towards other purposes.
Q: If Oregon voters approved marijuana legalization at the ballot box, would you respect the will of the voters, or would you uphold the will of the federal government?
As Attorney General, I will defend the laws of Oregon adopted by the voters or the Legislature.