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Oregon: Marijuana Legalization Activists Send Open Letter to Oregon DAs

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Oregon marijuana legalization activists involved in the successful campaign for Measure 91, which legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older in the state, on Thursday sent an open letter to district attorneys statrewide.

Open Letter to Oregon District Attorneys

Criminal justice advocates and leaders call upon you to start now on implementing important drug policy reforms.

Although Oregon voters passed Measure 91 with a 12-point margin, implementation of this better, smarter approach to marijuana policy will not be complete until the first half of 2016. We don't have to wait until then to start to mitigate the damage done by decades of criminalization, wasted law enforcement time and squandered taxpayer money.

Prosecutors in Oregon's largest county have already decided to dismiss, and stop prosecuting, marijuana-related offenses that would no longer exist under Measure 91. Other county prosecutors should follow Multnomah County's lead.

A strong majority of Oregon voters have directed the state to stop treating marijuana as a crime and to better prioritize our limited law enforcement resources. With so many lives and so much money at stake, waiting would be unreasonable and clearly damaging to Oregon's communities. We should work quickly to limit the damage already caused by a feckless war against marijuana.

We urge you to cease enforcement of marijuana laws that will no longer exist when provisions of Measure 91 take effect in July.

Respectfully,

Anthony Johnson, Director, New Approach Oregon, Chief Petitioner of Measure 91

Oregon: 30 Law Enforcement Officials Endorse Marijuana Legalization Measure

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Six days to go: Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, former Multnomah County Sheriff Don Clark and former Denver Police Department Lt. Tony Ryan among the supporters of Measure 91

With only six days left before ballots are due, 30 law enforcement officials from across the western half of the United States have endorsed Oregon’s Measure 91 to regulate marijuana.

The endorsers include former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, former Multnomah County Sheriff Don Clark, former Denver Police Department Lt. Tony Ryan and Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Stephen Downing.

The Yes on 91 campaign announced their support as part of a press conference today featuring former U.S. Attorney Kris Olson; former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs; 30-year law enforcement veteran Paul Steigleder; and Partnership for Safety and Justice director Cassandra Villanueva.

“Marijuana prohibition has a disproportionate and disparate impact on people of color and youth -- fueling their existence and penetration in the criminal and justice systems,” Villanueva said. “It is not an effective use of taxpayer dollars or reflect the value of Oregonians.”

Washington Sheriff Endorses Oregon Marijuana Regulation Measure

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Second sheriff endorses Measure 91: “The evidence keeps coming in: Our new approach is working”

The Sheriff of King County, Washington, which includes the greater Seattle area, has taken the unprecedented step of endorsing a marijuana regulation measure on the ballot in the state next door.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart supported I-502, Washington state’s successful 2012 initiative to regulate marijuana, and he said he supports Oregon’s Measure 91 because, he said, Washington state’s regulated approach to marijuana is working.

“Month by month, tax dollars are going to schools and police, not the drug cartels,” Urquhart says in a new ad from Oregon’s Yes on 91 campaign (you can view the ad at the bottom of this article). “Wasteful arrests are way down. DUIs are down. Drug prevention programs are getting funds. Strict regulations are working.”

Oregon: Retired Chief Federal Prosecutor Says Vote Yes To Legalize Marijuana

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Measure 91: Kris Olson, one of Oregon's most respected prosecutors, endorses campaign

Oregon's former U.S. Attorney, one of the most respected prosecutors in the state, has endorsed Measure 91, which would regulate, legalize and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older.

Kris Olson has worked in justice and law enforcement for more than 40 years."I enforced our marijuana laws, and they don't work," she said.

"Filling our courts and jails has failed to reduce marijuana use, and drug cartels are pocketing all the profits," Olson said.

Olson joins several other high-profile supporters of Measure 91, including former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs and former Addictions and Mental Health Services of Oregon director Richard Harris.

Hundreds of other Oregonians and some of the state's most prominent organizations have also endorsed the measure.

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