May 10, 2012

Political Candidate Calls Out National Cannabis Coalition In Fund Raising Pitch

May 10, 2012
national cannabis coalition

national cannabis coalitionDwight Holton, Anti-Medical Cannabis Attorney General Candidate, Calls Out The National Cannabis Coalition In Fund Raising Pitch

By Anthony Johnson

The National Cannabis Coalition is proud to have made the radar of Oregon Attorney General candidate Dwight Holton, who dropped our name in a fund raising pitch to his campaign email list. A dedicated Oregon cannabis activist, keeping tabs on the Holton campaign, forwarded along his pitch for cash to us.

The pitch misrepresents the campaign promises of his opponent, Ellen Rosenblum, but that is to be expected by a slick politician like Holton. Also unsurprising is the fact that Mr. Holton continues to run from his anti-medical cannabis position that he was so proud of as a federal US attorney and early in the campaign. Though pressure from Oregon cannabis activists forced Holton to soften his incendiary rhetoric towards the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, we aren’t about to let him whitewash his past actions and fool Oregon voters.

Holton’s fundraising pitch states: “[Rosenblum’s] promise to make enforcing Oregon drug law a ‘low priority’ more national weed money is coming in for Ellen every day. The National Cannabis Coalition just formed a new Political Action Committee in Oregon to raise money for Ellen’s campaign.”

Where does one begin? First of all, Judge Rosenblum hasn’t promised “to make enforcing Oregon drug law a ‘low priority.’” She has promised to “make marijuana enforcement a low priority, and protect the rights of medical marijuana patients.” We suspect that Holton’s political handlers have probably seen polls similar to ours, which demonstrate that over 80% of Oregon Democrats support prioritizing more law enforcement resources towards fighting serious and violent crime over marijuana cases. Consequently, Holton is attempting to portray Judge Rosenblum as a candidate who would treat all drug offenses equally, when it is clear that she only refers to marijuana offenses.

For Dwight Holton to attempt to paint Judge Rosenblum as beholden to out-of-state interests is simply laughable coming from a candidate funded prominently by donations coming from out-of-state. Judge Rosenblum, by comparison, has raised a vast majority of her campaign funds from in-state donors. Of course, it isn’t surprising that Judge Rosenblum would be supported by actual Oregonians–she startedpracticing law in Oregon in 1975. Holton, meanwhile, didn’t get admitted to practice law in the state until 2009.

Holton’s plea for dollars may also seem to imply that our PAC was fined for “election fraud” as it mentions “the the leader of the main PAC supporting Ellen and attacking Dwight just got slapped with a $65,000 fine from the Secretary of State for election fraud – the largest such fine in state history.” Just to be clear, this fine has absolutely nothing to do with NCC, is a preliminary fine that may be reduced, and the alleged “fraud” is paying signature gatherers per signature, which was only recently made illegal in Oregon and is accepted practice in many other states. It’s hardly a major fraud case as Holton implies, but, once again, such exaggerated rhetoric can be expected from a politician engaged in a tough political battle. Unfortunately for Mr. Holton, he may have some campaign issues of his own to deal with.

Holton’s fund raising email demonstrates that the cannabis law reform community has him running for his political life. An office that he was expecting to waltz into with his East Coast political establishment connections won’t come nearly as easily as he believed. Now, he has been forced to backtrack, or lie about, his real stance on medical cannabis and mischaracterize Judge Rosenblum’s position of prioritizing violent and serious crime over minor marijuana cases.

We consider it a badge of honor that Dwight Holton named us by name and we won’t be intimidated from exercising our free speech rights to help inform Oregon’s voters about the different cannabis law policies between Holton and Judge Rosenblum. It is clear that Oregon Democrats, and a majority of all Oregon voters, support prioritizing the fight against violent and serious crime over the fight on cannabis. Hopefully, on May 15, Mr. Holton and attorney general candidates across the country will realize that it is a political mistake to attack medical cannabis laws and fail to realize the importance of properly prioritizing limited law enforcement resources and hard-earned tax dollars.

Please make a donation to help us continue getting the word out about this important race with national implications. Also, if you prefer, you can donate directly to Judge Rosenblum, whose campaign website states that, “The priorities of the next Attorney General need to be wisely using our limited tax dollars — protecting consumers and prosecuting dangerous criminals. I do not believe that prosecuting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana represents the best use of our resources. A better use of those resources is providing more treatment options for people with drug and alcohol addiction.”

Full text of Dwight Holton’s pitch for cash:

We’re down to the wire. With only 7 days to go before final votes are turned in and counted, your support is more critical than ever.

Based on her promise to make enforcing Oregon drug law a “low priority,” more national weed money is coming in for Ellen every day. The National Cannabis Coalition just formed a new Political Action Committee in Oregon to raise money for Ellen’s campaign. This is in addition to the pro-legalization groups running thousands of dollars worth of radio and online ads attacking Dwight for the last few weeks.

It is surprising that someone who has spent the last 22 years as a judge is willing to sacrifice her legal credibility by effectively promising NOT to enforce the law if she’s elected Attorney General — but that’s precisely what Ellen has done. In fact, the leader of the main PAC supporting Ellen and attacking Dwight just got slapped with a $65,000 fine from the Secretary of State for election fraud – the largest such fine in state history.

Ellen’s emphasis on courting drug legalization forces has cost her politically but there can be no doubt that the pandering is raising her money from outside groups. It’s no surprise that drug proponents see an opportunity to buy backdoor legalization through an Attorney General rather than run another ballot measure.

This discussion is not about medical marijuana. Dwight is committed to supporting and defending Oregon’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. What he won’t do is promise not to enforce Oregon’s drug laws to garner campaign contributions. That is something we cannot afford in an Attorney General.

So here’s the real question:

Can you make a donation of $250, $100, or even $50 today to help us make it across the finish line and respond to the attacks being waged against Dwight?

Simply put, if you believe Oregon deserves an Attorney General with the integrity to enforce the law fairly and respect the will of voters, it’s up to you to act now.

Thank you for your time and support.


Evyn Mitchell
Campaign Manager


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