Oregon Officials Face Off Over Marijuana

OREGON:  After a week of growling at each other in the press, one of Oregon’s most outspoken district attorneys against marijuana legalization and the legalization-supporting congressman who represents the Portland area had their first chance Friday to trade barbs in person.

Mostly, they traded numbers.

Oregon would take in at least $10 million in revenue, 25 percent would go to law enforcement, and no people have died of a marijuana overdose, said U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.

“This is an opportunity to get our priorities straight,” Blumenauer said. “These are the same arguments we heard 90 years ago about alcohol.”

There are fewer than 100 people in prison for marijuana in Oregon and 60,000 medical marijuana patients, and Denver is awash in 600 retail marijuana stores since Colorado legalized the drug, replied Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis.


Oregon Marijuana Events Should Be Investigated By Feds, Rep. Earl Blumenauer Says

OREGON:  Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer on Friday called for a federal investigation into whether taxpayer dollars are being improperly spent on marijuana education events that he said appear to be aimed at influencing voters to oppose the November ballot measure that would legalize the drug.

In a letter to White House drug czar Michael Botticelli and another top federal administrator, the Portland Democratic congressman weighed into a flap over the propriety of a series of October events in Oregon that prominently feature Kevin Sabet, a national opponent of legalization.

“The bias of the speakers selected, the overall one-sided focus of the events, and the proximity between these events and the upcoming elections are cause for concern,” wrote Blumenauer, who has been one of the chief supporters of marijuana legalization in Congress.

Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis, the chief spokesman for the campaign opposing marijuana legalization, charged that Blumenauer and other pro-legalization advocates are attempting to “bully” people to keep them from discussing the potential harms of marijuana use.