By Anthony Johnson
As more and more citizens favor patients’ access to medical cannabis and ending cannabis prohibition, these important issues have come to the forefront of the Democratic Oregon Attorney General race between Ellen Rosenblum and Dwight Holton. Both Rosenblum and Holton have the requisite resumes to be Attorney General, but only Ms. Rosenblum is in touch with Oregon voters, particularly Oregon Democrats, on the issue of cannabis law. The American Victory Coalition PAC, dedicated to protecting and improving our civil liberties, has endorsed Ellen Rosenblum in this race and will start running print ads supporting her candidacy next week.
Oregon was the first state to decriminalize personal amounts of cannabis in 1973 and the state was one of the early medical marijuana states, passing the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act in 1998. Furthermore, in 1998, Oregon voters defeated, through a referendum, an attempt by the Oregon Legislature to re-criminalize personal amounts of cannabis. Ellen Rosenblum has vowed to protect the rights of Oregon medical marijuana patients and to treat marijuana offenses as a low priority. Her opponent, unfortunately, believes that the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is a “train wreck“, helped lead federal attacks on Oregon’s medical law as a U.S. Attorney and doesn’t feel that Oregon’s chief law enforcement officer should be prioritizing serious crimes over marijuana cases.
While we, and everyone who supports common-sense cannabis laws, certainly appreciate Ms. Rosenblum’s stance on cannabis law, her long legal roots in Oregon is another reason to support her for Oregon Attorney General. Rosenblum has spent her entire legal career in the Great Northwest, practicing law for 14 years and serving as a judge for 22 in Oregon. Her opponent, on the other hand, has never tried an Oregon state case and while he brings legal experience of his own, it comes from the East Coast political establishment as his father was a Republican Governor in Virginia. Not surprisingly, since he just joined the Oregon Bar in 2009, most of Dwight Holton’s campaign donations have been raised by out-of-state interests, while Rosenblum has garnered a vast majority of her support from Oregonians.
The American Victory Coalition PAC is not alone in supporting Ellen Rosenblum’s candidacy. We are joining the endorsements of former Governor Barbara Roberts, former Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer, former Attorney General Hardy Myers, Congressman Earl Blumenaur, Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski, Basic Rights Oregon PAC, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC and a long list of other prominent supporters. The Bend Bulletin, Portland Mercury and Source Weekly have also endorsed Ms. Rosenblum.
As Oregon’s Democratic voters make their choice for Attorney General, we hope that they take the time to consider the best use of our limited law enforcement resources and tax dollars. Voter can choose a candidate likely to collaborate with federal law enforcement raids of medical marijuana providers and who doesn’t believe serious and violent crimes should be prioritized over marijuana case. Or voters can choose a candidate who will protect the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and realizes that we should direct our limited resources and tax dollars towards combatting serious and violent crime.
Oregon tax payers deserve an Attorney General who knows how to best allocate our limited resources and dollars to combat crimes that Oregonians most care about. If you believe that enforcing minor marijuana laws is a waste of police time, resources and jail space and that we should focus police on more important priorities, like violent crime, then Ellen Rosenblum is the Oregon Attorney General candidate for you. Please vote for Ellen Rosenblum and spread the word about this important race.
Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the American Victory Coalition. He also serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the patient advocacy non-profit Oregon Green Free. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri. Also in law school, Anthony helped lead a campaign (joined by the Christian Legal Society) to release Joe Amrine, an innocent man on Missouri’s death row. After passing the Oregon Bar, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties, including as co-author and chief petitioner of Oregon Measure 74, an attempt to legalize licensed and regulated medical cannabis dispensaries.
Article from The American Victory Coalition and republished with special permission