As expected, the prison-industrial complex isn't going to allow the repeal of cannabis prohibition without a fight as the Oregon State Sheriff's Association (likely backed by Oregon's prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies) have formed a "No on 91″ PAC, aiming to defeat Measure 91, a measure that will sensibly legalize and regulate cannabis. It is a shame that tax dollars of Oregon citizens indirectly fund these efforts as state and local law enforcement officers are public officials that should carry out public policy and not try to direct it, especially when a majority of Oregonians support cannabis legalization.
From The Portland Mercury:
The campaign's director, according to the filing, is Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers, who has not returned a call for comment. The official phone number for the campaign, meanwhile, reaches Darrell Fuller, general manager of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association, a lobbying group for county lawmen. Fuller didn't answer.
The opposition has work to do. New Approach Oregon, the political group that landed Measure 91 on the ballot, has a big head start in fundraising, and is closing in on $1 million in contributions. Plus, polling suggests public sentiment might have turned in favor of legalizing pot after the decades of institutional racism enabled by the drug war.
And respected civic organizations are piling on. A City Club of Portland committee today released a report that largely recommends passage of Measure 91 (a minority component of the committee disagreed). The City Club is expected to vote later this month on a formal position. If that vote passed, the city club would join the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, the Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and retired state Supreme Court Justice R. William Riggs in supporting legalization.
Now that organized opposition will be promoting Reefer Madness propaganda across the state, it is imperative that cannabis law reformers in Oregon and across the nation support efforts to pass Measure 91. The measure won't only improve the lives of Oregonians, but will also help propel cannabis legalization measures across the country. You can certainly count on prohibitionists like Kevin Sabet to travel to Oregon to spread Reefer Madness at public forums and in interviews. Please do what you can to support this important effort to legalize cannabis.