People of color in Oregon are 100 percent more likely to face legal punishments for marijuana than white people, despite equal rates of use. The current system is failing, and the following groups today are endorsing Measure 91 because it removes unfairly harsh punishments that disrupt lives.
The new groups to endorse Measure 91 are:
- Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), which has worked for social justice for more than 15 years and continues to evolve as Oregon's leading Asian and Pacific Islander grassroots advocacy organization.
- Partnership for Safety and Justice, which works to reform the criminal justice system and achieve a more balanced approach to public safety. They join the ACLU of Oregon and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association as other criminal justice organizations endorsing Measure 91.
- Western States Center, which has worked for 27 years on community organization to challenge and transform individuals, organizations and systems to achieve racial, gender and economic justice.
- The Rural Oregon Project, which represents tens of thousands of Oregonians in small towns and rural communities in all 36 of Oregon's counties.
"Too many people have been punished, and too many of them have been youth and people of color," said the Partnership for Safety and Justice in a statement. "Too many tax dollars have been wasted without increasing public safety. Too many public resources have been diverted that could have been used to help crime victims and address unmet community needs across Oregon.... We believe that it is time to start addressing marijuana realistically as a health, education and economic issue. Measure 91 would do just that."
Every day the encompassing list of groups embracing Measure 91 as a better approach to marijuana regulation is growing. They represent hundreds of thousands of Oregonians with a wide range of concerns.
Measure 91 will regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and over in Oregon. Revenue raised from a regulated market will fund schools, state and local law enforcement and drug treatment and prevention programs.