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Oregon Sheriff’s Association Launches Marijuana Prohibition PAC


oregon measure 91 marijuana legalizationAs expected, the prison-industrial complex isn’t going to allow the repeal of cannabis prohibition without a fight as the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association (likely backed by Oregon’s prosecutors and other law enforcement agencies) have formed a “No on 91″ PAC, aiming to defeat Measure 91, a measure that will sensibly legalize and regulate cannabis. It is a shame that tax dollars of Oregon citizens indirectly fund these efforts as state and local law enforcement officers are public officials that should carry out public policy and not try to direct it, especially when a majority of Oregonians support cannabis legalization.

From The Portland Mercury:

The campaign’s director, according to the filing, is Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers, who has not returned a call for comment. The official phone number for the campaign, meanwhile, reaches Darrell Fuller, general manager of the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association, a lobbying group for county lawmen. Fuller didn’t answer.

The opposition has work to do. New Approach Oregon, the political group that landed Measure 91 on the ballot, has a big head start in fundraising, and is closing in on $1 million in contributions. Plus, polling suggests public sentiment might have turned in favor of legalizing pot after the decades of institutional racism enabled by the drug war.

And respected civic organizations are piling on. A City Club of Portland committee today released a report that largely recommends passage of Measure 91 (a minority component of the committee disagreed). The City Club is expected to vote later this month on a formal position. If that vote passed, the city club would join the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, the Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and retired state Supreme Court Justice R. William Riggs in supporting legalization.

Now that organized opposition will be promoting Reefer Madness propaganda across the state, it is imperative that cannabis law reformers in Oregon and across the nation support efforts to pass Measure 91. The measure won’t only improve the lives of Oregonians, but will also help propel cannabis legalization measures across the country. You can certainly count on prohibitionists like Kevin Sabet to travel to Oregon to spread Reefer Madness at public forums and in interviews. Please do what you can to support this important effort to legalize cannabis.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. Civil forfeiture law allows police to confiscate cars, boats, and houses without even going to trial. These terrorists masquerading as sheriffs need to be fired.

    These so-called sheriffs are much more of a threat than ISIS.

  2. From FLA myself, Lake County originally. Unfortunately, the reading I’ve been doing on FLA’s progress (or lack) re MMJ has mostly stated that only cannabis with no or nearly no THC, only CBD’s etc. To prevent anyone from getting “high”, I guess, they just don’t get it. Too bad so many conservative and bigoted officials only begin to support civil rights issues, and I do believe this is one, when they or family members are affected by the laws against them. THEN they want to lobby for the liberal option…remember Cheney? Dead set against gay rights, til his own daughter was affected by the lack. Hmm. What no compassion unless you or yours are directly involved?

  3. It is an official conflict of interest for blocks of law enforcement to lobby for any particular law, and God knows the prison “jobs program” doesn’t want to give up the bread and butter that the prohibition of cannabis. People also need to educate Bruce Jenner- I know he’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but recently on an episode of kardashians (of course I don’t watch this) he reamed, insulted, and embarrassed his poor mother in law who has been wracked with pain for years and was taking prescribed, cannabis-infused, gummy bears. He “didn’t want that stuff in the house, we have teenagers” and he didn’t want them “influenced”. Are u kidding? Their family money and fame is built on a sex video done by Kim that went public several years ago, you guys drink and are frequently drunk, and keep alcohol in the house- yes, around those teenagers. He needs to be educated before he goes off insulting MMJ patients and recreational users alike. Get off your high horse, get educated. Have another beer, Bruce. And BTW, I think it is illegal for a law enforcement entity to fund a PAC…conflict of interest.

  4. I agree I don’t care what shit comes out of their mouths or opinions I just think a PAC should be illegal for them to engage as a law enforcement agency. They should have a union if they want. When law enforcement and religious people get involved in pacs they doing an end run around state and federal constitutions. I think that PACs should be illegal period. States and the federal government should both have a formula provide only set amount of money that any candidate would receive when they run and is paid by state and federal government from general revenue funds. That would stop people from buying their office and also all of the money various groups give to candidates that embrace their “Cause” . That way Ideas instead of special interests would drive governments. Republicans always sell out to big business like a cheap whore.

  5. Why? They have every right to voice their opinion. It’s OUR duty as the electorate to defeat what they’re saying. But they have EVERY right to say what they believe. We need realize that they’re really protecting their budgets! Without marijuana prohibition, the “Industrial Prison Complex” doesn’t GET those Blackhawk helicopters, MRAP (Mine resistant Armor Protected) vehicles, Tanks and Armored Personnel Carriers, etc… They’re ņo different than any other agency. They want the MOST they can get for the LEAST amount of work!

  6. Thank you for the best of luck wishes here in Florida. Florida will a major tipping point, as will be D.C.
    You are correct, that if it a close vote, it can get scary given the voting history here. So far it looks like a done deal. They have already started to put in place regulations, expanding on the CBS bill that passed in preparation for the passage of Amendment 2. Everybody’s position on Gov. Trick Scott is that he is nothing but a memory. But given that this is Florida, the cliché is ” It’s not the votes that count, it’s the people counting the votes that count” i hope all go’s well for everyone in every state.

  7. A sheriff is an elected official……..Time to recall him……..Never vote for someone who wants weed illegal

  8. Assholes, they are supposed to ENFORCE laws not try to make them. It should be illegal for a law enforcement entity to fund a PAC their job is enforcement and to follow orders and nothing more.

  9. stellarvoyager on

    It is good that you have at least some reasonable sheriffs in Florida. Unfortunately now I just read that you will have to overcome the opposition of the Jeb Bush political machine, which as everyone knows, stole the 2000 election for president. I worry that they’ll try to pull the same vote-rigging scheme in 2014 in the vote for governor, and in the measure 2 vote. I don’t think they’ll get away with it though, because in order to be able to get away with it, the vote has to be pretty close, and the polling I’ve seen suggests the vote will be a blowout in favor of measure 2. I also really hope you guys oust that a-hole Rick Scott.

    Here in Oregon, to the best of my knowledge, all 36 county sheriffs oppose both recreational and medical legalization. They have been fighting the MMJ program since its inception a decade and a half ago, and are now forming organized opposition to the recreational legalization measure this year. Washington and Colorado did not have to deal with this sort of pig-headed intransigence from law enforcement. In those states, LE worked with the campaigns to legalize in order to give themselves a voice in the process. Here, they initially pretended to work with us, gave all kinds of input that was incorporated into the language of the measure, then turned around and stabbed us in the back. Hence, my position on voting “no” on any and all future law enforcement funding measures.

    Best of luck to you in Florida!

  10. Typical brain-dead cop-thinking…. Don’t they understand that 91 will make their jobs EASIER ? Oh, wait… NOW they’ll have to go after ACTUALLY DANGEROUS meth heads, thieves, robbers and rapists… people who will actually put up a FIGHT, instead of mellow, non-aggressive pot smokers !

  11. Here I Florida, in regards to Amendment 2. I find myself somewhat fortunate given the fact that our County Sheriff (Flagler) did not sign on or support the Sheriff’s Associations anti Amendment 2 campaign.
    Just the opposite, he is now a member of an ad hoc committee to help the state set up proper monitoring regulations when it passes in November He quotes personal experience’s of family members greatly helped by it’s use and that many can be helped by it’s use also.. His position is to do things right in monitoring from a Law Enforcement perspective. “At lest if we are going to do it, let’s do it right, to benefits those of whom it can help”. You cant ask for a better position from a L.E.O. than that statement.
    The committee is made up of some top people from various professional positions. People that have a standing in the state and their guidance and opinions will not go unheard. He is one of 63 Sheriff’s in Florida, that did not sign on (2 did not sign on) and is catching some flack from other Sheriffs, because of his position. He will definitely get my vote in any up-coming elections for any elective office. Not because of his position on amendment 2, but because he shows he does not go with the flow of Florida Politics.
    And we all know how Florida politics and voting works.

  12. Indeed! Rick Santorum had a few PACs backing him, despite the fact that Howdy Doody had even worse odds than Palin. The great thing about PACs is they’re held to no standard of success. If their issue or candidate fails, their excuse is always the same: “We needed more money.” Since there is no correlation between how smart you are and how much money you have, there will always be idiots who have more dollars than sense who are willing to blindly throw money at a losing cause.

  13. stellarvoyager on

    Ah yes. Remember SarahPac, which was supposedly to fund Sarah Palin’s “presidential bid”?

  14. Hopefully, like most PACs out there, this is just another group of politically savvy opportunists looking to make some bank off of the wealthy vested interests that would like nothing more than to see 91 fail. Money talks, as they say. There were dozens of PACs created in 2012 that had no actual political bent, they just wanted a cut of the millions of dollars floating around before that election. I guarantee there were Pro-Romney Super PACs formed by people who had no intention of voting for him or helping him win the White House — just a lot of people willing to accept compensation to play their part in a losing strategy. Frankly, “you didn’t build that” had a better chance, IMHO, than the anti-91 crowd has in Oregon.

    Although we ought not waste this opportunity. What can most help cannabis legalization efforts across the nation is observing the tactics employed by the anti-91 PAC. If the best they can manage is stirring up old prejudices and revitalizing 1980s propaganda, then I’d like to pre-emptively congratulate Oregon for successfully passing 91. At best, lies only work on the willfully ignorant. I’ve yet to see/hear any arguments from the opposition that are the least bit compelling. No doubt they’ll sway lots of the low-hanging fruit by stimulating their pre/misconceptions, but all analysts worth their salt know elections are won and lost by informed independent voters with no party affiliation (the fastest growing voter block since the internet’s conception — go figure).

    Money can buy some very pretty and appealing lies, but that’s just a “messaging” campaign — they can’t alter what is objectively true or false. Just for fun, try convincing someone that something they *know* is true is actually false — your friend will reach for Google within minutes, I promise. Lying is an uphill battle when the world is saturated by information. No matter how much money the anti-91 PAC rakes in, it won’t be enough to reshape reality in Oregon. Their “messaging” campaign will fail.

  15. stellarvoyager on

    And this is why I will continue to vote against each and every law enforcement funding measure that is placed on the ballot. If law enforcement resources are so scarce that they have to release violent criminals back into the community, can’t arrest the car thieves that roam the Oregon coast, or cannot respond to a stalking in progress in Jackson county, that resulted in a rape, then they surely must not have additional money to spend on political campaigns against cannabis, right? As always, to see who’s backing prohibition, just follow the money.

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