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Oregon: Group Launches New Effort To Defend Marijuana Legalization

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The successful campaign to legalize marijuana in Oregon has launched a new effort to defend Oregon’s marijuana law from those who are trying to undermine the measure.

“We want a marijuana policy that reflects the will of the people,” said Anthony Johnson, chief petitioner for Measure 91. “Instead of making major changes, the state first needs to get the basics of implementation right -- like childproofing, labeling, testing, packaging, auditing, inspecting, taxing, licensing and background checks.”

In places like Colorado, marijuana retail sales began before comprehensive rules for edibles and packaging were completed and in place, contributing to difficulties in implementing the new marijuana law.

“We don’t want to see that happen in Oregon,” said Leah Maurer, who led the Moms For Yes On 91 group.

New Approach Oregon announced it "will now work as the watchdog for the new marijuana law."

"From time to time, we will let you know what you can do to make sure we finish the job and get Measure 91 implemented effectively," the group announced in a prepared statement. "We will update you on what is happening with implementation and alert you about threats to Measure 91."

New Approach will host a 15-minute press conference at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 5, at the ACLU of Oregon, 620 SW 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

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

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