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Marijuana Opponent In Charge Of Implementing Oregon Marijuana Legalization


new approach oregon marijuana legalizationThe battle for marijuana reform is never over, even after a state votes to legalize marijuana. Oregon is a great example of that. Yes, the biggest part of the fight was won when Oregon Measure 91 was approved by voters on Election Day 2014. However, now there is still significant work to do to ensure that the law is implemented properly. Influencing the implementation process is something that opponents always try to do, whether it be marijuana policy related or otherwise. Politics is a dirty business, and marijuana opponents have historically been very good at meddling.

That’s why it’s important that people in Oregon realize who’s in charge of overseeing marijuana legalization implementation - Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge. Per an amazing article written for the Huffington Post by valued TWB contributor Russ Belville:

In addition to being opposed to the measure he’s now tasked with implementing, Rob Patridge lacks the fundamental understanding of both the science of cannabis use and the language of Measure 91. As a Southern Oregon TV station KTVL reported, Patridge opposed Measure 91 in part for its lack of an unscientific DUID standard. “Just like .08 is there for alcohol, that is not included in this particular measure,” said Patridge, revealing his ignorance of how marijuana has no reliable equivalent to the 0.08 BAC used to determine alcohol impairment.

Patridge was also upset that there weren’t any limits on licensing written into Measure 91. “You can be a producer, a distributor and a wholesaler and sell, so you can … hold all four licenses,” said Patridge, without any hint of the irony that he runs a commission that applies those same licensing procedures to alcohol – Measure 91 copied that language from the existing liquor laws Patridge’s OLCC enforces.

Earlier in the year, Patridge was explaining to a Salem, Oregon TV station KDRV that he and the OLCC aren’t competent to do the job. “We lack the training; we lack the testing that may have to go hand-in-hand with this. We lack, frankly some of the legal obligations that would have to go with this,” said Patridge.

While I’m hopeful that Mr. Patridge will respect the will of the voters and keep with the intent of what Oregon Measure 91 drafters intended, every Oregonian will have to keep a close eye on the process to see how it goes down. Will Mr. Patridge try to sneak in a per se DUII standard, similar to what Washington and Colorado have? Will he try to meddle with the licensing requirements and rules? Or will we see a bunch of rules that don’t make sense, because after all, by Mr. Patridge’s own admission, he lacks the skill set to handle this matter? Only time will tell.


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Johnny Green


  1. Oh, shit, the utter stupidity of it all. He’s gonna make it impossible for the average joe to get licensed. And, yes, he will meddle into the legal driving limit for THC. And it won’t be science based. I only smoke at night before bed (probably because at my age it hard enough to drive safely already). I’m sure, however, that during the next day my blood/THC level will be over some limit.

  2. An unintended consequence of The Weed Blog is that I now remember the names of more counties in Oregon than anywhere else in the country, besides the state I live in and the state where I grew up. It’s weird – the things we commit to memory.

  3. Treason! When an elected official works against the stated will of the majority of voters we call it treason. If he refuses to obey the law as written he must be arrested for treason, and spend life in our private prison system.

  4. What the hell? They’re putting a bloody wolf in charge of the hen house? Note to folks writing the next Cannabis prop for California: Designate some folks who know what the hell they’re doing to run the show. For god’s sake don’t let it fall into the hands of someone like a Marquis or Partridge!

  5. What? A DA? The drug war continues as they’ll choke down the supply and up goes the blk mkt.
    I’m staying with the OMMP until they tear it from my cold, resin coated hands.

  6. Why is it considered legitimate for a lawyer to run a food and drug regulatory agency? He has no medical, chemistry, or business training. The only legitimate place for a lawyer is in court.

    I could care less about the persons political persuasion. A DA simply has no legitimate standing to decide which policies are proper. A DA only has legitimate standing to decipher if individuals are in compliance with established policies.

    OH. Don’t complain about a “per se” DUII standard for pot. Testing for THC is not different from testing for Blood Alcohol Content. You need to argue that impairment be the only standard no matter what (I.E. independent from the chemical content of one’s blood). That means I get to drive with a higher BAC than average people because I am more coordinated and therefore less impaired than they are at levels they are clearly not functional at.

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