marijuana prohibition
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana Enforcement Needs To Be Suspended In Oregon

marijuana prohibitionAfter marijuana was approved by voters in Colorado and Washington in 2012, prosecutors in Boulder, Denver, King County, and Pierce County came out publicly stating that they would drop some current marijuana cases even though the laws hadn’t taken effect yet. Their reasoning was that even though marijuana wasn’t technically legal at the time, it would be very soon, so what’s the point of prosecuting people for something that was soon to be legal? This is something that I was hoping would happen in Oregon, and expressed that desire many times on election night via Twitter.

It appears that the conversation is starting up among some Oregon prosecutors, as I had predicted would happen. Per Oregon Live:

“We are going to go through and look at every case individually and make a decision,” Horner said. “Some will continue and some we will be dismissing.”

As for whether prosecutors would take on new marijuana cases between now and July 1, 2015, when Measure 91 goes into effect, he said prosecutors will consult with police agencies in the county before making a decision.

This of course will not be the case everywhere in Oregon. Anti-marijuana crusaders like Josh Marquis and Tom Bergin will no doubt pursue every case to the end and try to convict as many people as they possibly can before the clock runs out on marijuana prohibition in Oregon. However, I’m confident that much friendlier counties will take a more sensible approach and take a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement. After all, it’s the responsible thing to do with taxpayer’s time and dollars, and it’s clearly what Oregon voters want to happen.

  • The NIH has said: Further research and especially, clinical trials will further
    demonstrate the usefulness of medical cannabis. As legal barriers fall
    and scientific bias fades this will become more apparent.

  • Drew Lunn

    Johnny; Would you happen to know why the wait is so long until possession is legal? Is it something written into the measure that dictates when the law takes effect? Or is it something that is already written into law that addresses this?

    • Pakalolo Dude

      From the text of Measure 91:

      [SECTION 82.(1) Sections 3 to 73 of this Act and the amendments to ORS 316.680, 475.525, 475.752, 475.856, 475.860, 475.864, and 571.315 by sections 74 to 80 of this Act become operative on July 1, 2015.

      SECTION 84. This Act becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is approved by a majority of the votes cast on it.] end Measure 91 text.

      Ballot measures in Oregon take effect 30 days after they are voted in, however, because of section 82…

      Note the word “operative” in section 82 and the word “effective” in section 84. The difference is that 82 means it will become “legally legal” so to speak on 7/1/15, and the wording of section 84 means “legal in theory”…so I can’t see why Law Enforcement would want to waste so much effort on busting people for possession. It is already a low priority for them so I would think people who get these kinds of charges would probably be like arrested for other crimes and had pot on them, etc.

      The People have spoken!

  • Drew Lunn

    Some state officials seem to forget that it is their duty to serve the interests of the people of this state, just as much as it is to enforce the law.

  • gabe

    over half the entire country wants it atleast decrim. but its not about what we the people want its about what corporations want..why it may get lelagalized here and there I don’t think cannabis will ever be used to its true POTENTIAL

  • Ras Ible

    Yea, there will always be negative nannies to cannabis. They’ll fade away to obscurity like temperance activists of yesterday.