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Oregon Sheriffs Make A Large Donation To Anti-Marijuana Summit


new approach oregon marijuana legalizationLaw enforcement is supposed to be impartial when enforcing Oregon laws. They are not supposed to carry out their own agendas or infuse their own political beliefs into their jobs. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially when it comes to marijuana. In my home state of Oregon, the Oregon Sheriffs’ Association seems to always lead the charge when it comes to anti-marijuana politics.

There was supposed to be an anti-marijuana summit in Madras, Oregon, but after it became known that taxpayer dollars were going to fund the politically motivated event, the event sponsor pulled the plug. This left marijuana legalization opponents scrambling to find funding for the event. The Oregon Sheriffs’ Association announced Monday that they would be helping fill the funding void by making a $10,000 donation to the event. Per the Oregonian:

The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association on Monday donated $10,000 to organizers of an event in Madras that will kick off a series of “marijuana education” talks statewide.

The infusion of cash comes as Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche scrambles to raise money to keep the Madras event going. The event is part of a series of community forums on marijuana. Its future was unclear after BestCare Treatment Practices, a non-profit that runs treatment prevention for Jefferson County, ended its sponsorship.

BestCare originally planned to use $15,000 in federal dollars to help put on the Madras event. The agency pulled out after pro-marijuana legalization advocates questioned the use of federal funds to underwrite what they see as a political event within weeks of the November election.

The President of the Oregon Sheriffs’ Association is Gilliam County Sheriff Gary Bettencourt. Mr. Bettencourt has made claims that legalization will tear apart families and cause more deaths. He also made claims that he has responded to many calls where people were high on marijuana and were hallucinating, and that people high on marijuana feel they have the ability to stop a moving train. If Mr. Bettencourt could back of any of these claims with facts and evidence, I’d love to see it. I can’t wait until marijuana is legalized in Oregon so that the Oregon Sheriffs’ Association can find something else to do with their days, preferably fighting crime instead of trying to influence the political process.


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  1. Perverted sheriffs are upset that they won’t be able to pornographically finger vaginas and rectums searching for marijuana. They also know that without civil asset seizure, they will have a difficult time replacing their worn out jungle gyms.

  2. Poor Maureen. She is smart enough to write for one of the most important newspapers on the planet, but too stupid to read the damn directions.

  3. Steps are detailed on page 2 of the form, there is an email address to send it to.
    Thanks for helping.

  4. Someone can smoke some pot one time a week before and when tested THC is found and that IN NO WAY indicates an impairment. News Media people are just looking to make their stories sensational when they are not. Booze doesn’t show up a week later so the true scale of this remains hidden. Besides, pot doesn’t impair people in the same way. Pot does not affect coordination like Alcohol does or lack of sleep.

    People driving cars,trucks,trains,busses,boats,ships,and planes should not be under the influence of any drug. People that use drugs including Alcohol while operating machinery or driving any type of vehicle should have Harsh penalties that could not be plea bargained away.

    “and the lives of the children growing up in that influence”
    The same thing could be said for Alcohol. The captain of the exxon Valdez was drunk and many train drivers and boat captains as well. What about the kids that have to grow up around alcoholic fathers and mothers that beat on them and each other. What about that cost to society. Families where the parents smoke pot around their kids find often that the kids rebel against anything that the parents are “For” and most of those kids grow up and never use. There will always be irresponsible people but the light should not JUST be shined on pot users and not the alcohol users. The social differences of these two drugs are vast and it is disingenuous of anyone to say that they are close on any level.
    So do us all a favor and try to learn about this stuff instead before stumbling in blind and making ludicrous statements with no facts to back them up. I think that you are lurking here to sow dissension here but most of the people on this site can not be bullshited and be a victim of your nonsense.

  5. people get scared when this happens and go to the emergency room but all they have to do is wait it out. it’s actually a theraputic dose that has had unpleasant side effects because you’re not used to the dosage. not only does it not hurt you but is beneficial to many bodily systems. hopefully you will quickly learn you didnt like the side effects and you will be more careful in the future. anti-legalization folks put this up as some kind of terrible consequence of the ‘drug’ but it’s just the result of prohibition and poor dessemination of information by conventional media. it’s also new to a lot of people(kids) so they do dumb things with it. But this is absolutely no reason to prohibit a substance that that has such unequaled abilty to heal and ease suffering.

  6. It is only retired law enforcement that has backed legalization, and if we want current officers to join our side, don’t we have to also let them join the other side?

  7. My understanding is that they have been using taxpayer money and their status as public officials to promote and organize these events. You do not see public school teachers getting their school districts to pay for political campaigning, or to organize events that promote their issues, on the taxpayers’ dime. I think if you did, there would be a public outrage. You don’t see a state district court judge using the court’s time as a platform to air his or her political views. These sheriffs need to be held to the same standard that all other public employees are.

  8. Gilliam County Sheriff Gary Bettencourt needs the axe taken to his employment status. Maybe he could live on begging and food stamps.

  9. Good to know, thanks. But, isn’t that what these cops are doing? I guess I’m confused…

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