On Election Day, after victory was declared for Oregon Measure 91 which legalized marijuana, I sent out a tweet with my hope that Oregon counties would suspend marijuana enforcement. A similar policy change occurred in some counties in Washington and in some cities in Colorado after they legalized. I’m happy to report that the first county in Oregon has announced such a change – Oregon’s largest county too, Multnomah County. Per Oregon Live:
Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill’s office released a statement to The Oregonian on Monday afternoon, saying prosecutors will dismiss a total of 50 pending marijuana cases. All involve marijuana-related activities that will be legal when the new law becomes effective for possession and cultivation July 1, 2015.
Of the 21 cases reviewed by the office, 18 are violation-level offenses — possession of less than an ounce has been treated as a non-criminal violation. The remaining three were charged as crimes.
Another 29 involve warrants for marijuana-related crimes, including 23 violation-level possession offenses. Those 29 warrants also were dismissed.
I’m hopeful that other counties will follow Multnomah County’s lead. In Oregon, Multnomah County is easily the most liberal, so it’s no completely surprising to see such a move, but it’s still significant. There are some counties in Oregon, especially where Tom Bergin and Josh Marquis are located, that will likely hold out until the end and prosecute as many people as they can. I live in Marion County, which is fairly conservative for being along the I-5 corridor of Oregon, but I’m hopeful that we will suspend enforcement and drop cases sooner than later. Why continue to waste money on a policy that voters have rejected? Below is the full statement from the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office, courtesy of Kyle Iboshi’s twitter page: