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Why Do Oregon Cops Fight So Hard Against Marijuana Legalization?


cops law enforcement special needs students entrapmentNext month, my home state of Oregon will be voting on marijuana legalization, again. Unlike previous attempts, this year’s initiative has a stellar chance of passing. There are not too many people leading the fight against the initiative. In fact, if you were to take away cops, rehab owners, and propaganda profiteers like Kevin Sabet, there’s almost no one left. Oregon law enforcement has largely led the way, ponying up over 98% of the money for the No on 91 campaign, as seen in this graphic at this link here, courtesy of Russ Belville.

Oregon cops are not supposed to campaign for political causes (for or against), marijuana or otherwise. And most of the time they don’t. However, when it comes to marijuana reform, they seem willing to bend every rule (putting it kindly) and do whatever it takes to keep marijuana prohibition in place. Why is that? Fire Dog Lake gives a great explanation:

This year the only serious financial opposition to the marijuana legalization initiative in Oregon is coming from the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association which so far has donated $145,000 against it and the Oregon Narcotics Enforcement Association which contributed $20,000 against it. This is not too surprising given that besides illegal drug dealers, almost no other group financially benefits more from marijuana prohibition than local law enforcement agencies.

The reason is our nation’s obscene asset forfeiture laws. These laws allow law enforcement agencies to take money and property that they believe was involved in a crime, most often drug crimes, and keep much of it to spend at their discretion. Individuals don’t even need to be convicted of a crime to lose their property. Under civil asset forfeiture the government brings proceedings against the property, not its owner. This makes proving “guilt” much easier, so they get to keep the property.

Last year in Oregon over $2.3 million in cash was collected by law enforcement agencies thanks to civil and criminal asset forfeitures. This is according to the report from the Asset Forfeiture Oversight Advisory Committee to the Oregon Legislature. Over 90 percent of seizure cases were for controlled substance violations, of which roughly two fifths involved marijuana.

It’s pretty clear what is motivating Oregon cops when they so strongly oppose marijuana reform. They don’t want to lose money. They are not doing it because it’s the right thing to do, or because they want to ‘save the children.’ They do it because they have dollar signs in their eyes. I can’t wait until marijuana is legalized next month in Oregon, so that we don’t have to see public officials in law enforcement try to influence laws, and will instead have to just focus on enforcing them, which after all, is their true job.


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Johnny Green


  1. LArcdeTriompheOnTiEsTo on

    People it’s their cash cow, AND many of them are ultra religious fanatics. The drug war essentially funds their desire to foist their fanaticism on others. Romney said he wanted to fight MJ “tooth & nail” cuz Mormons make HUGE, and I mean HUGE, cash off illegality through rehab private prisons and big guv. The Oregon cops are much the same, perhaps.

  2. of course they need to learn how to find the proper beam tested thc rotation
    that truly enhances their life, making them more aware, rather than trying any ole years old thing, full of cbd which would put them to sleep, just to be fair

  3. maybe they haven’t had the pleasure of trying it for themselves to see how pleasant the world can be
    no matter what they do, at work, or at home, listining to music, or watching david letterman, and paul shaffer or cartoons, or whatever on tv
    if they are wanting to enhance their life
    cannabis for me anyway has been positive, and reduces all strife

  4. Hope you get it worked out. Without totally destroying your life. Your right the system is so messed believing that destroying peoples lives is beneficial to society as a whole makes no sense. I’ve never seen the cops busting someone for possession of peanut butter it kills hundreds of people every year. Why the fanatical enforcement of a herb that doesn’t.

  5. There is a good reason for focusing on Oregon right now. It is pivotal to the success of reform, nationwide. Of the three or four major reform initiatives on November’s ballot, success in Oregon’s will go the furthest to knocking down the wall for everyone – not just in the U.S., but the entire world.

    Alaska’s remoteness and small population, Washington D.C.’s limited and likely long-stalled implementation, and Florida’s medical marijuana don’t even come close.

    If Oregon wins, it will be a huge boost to other states, mostly California. If California wins in 2016, it will be all over but the shouting. Cali’s huge population and vast resources make it the tenth largest economy in the world – all by itself.

    That’s why all reformer’s eyes are rightly focused on Oregon.

  6. Hell Awaits these pricks. I live in Louisiana and am currently facing charges for an empty “pot bag” I stupidly had with Excedrin in as I have frequent headaches and can use the energy while working..and that was pizza delivery at the time so you know im rolling in the money. Pulled over for having my bright lights on as one of my dimmers wasn’t currently working as I didn’t have the money to fix as of still. So while on my last delivery of the night, this DEMON SHERIFF decides to pull over his next prey…as in Lake Charles theres nothing much more important this asshole have to do. So he sees the bag in my console and request to look at it closer. I handed it to him unaware there was some dust still in the corner. yes I know im a fool for using the bag but oh well we all make dumb choices. Ends with him searching the car to find nothing but to still writes a tix for MARIJUANA POSS…I get fired. and now await my sentence.
    THIS IS WHY WE MUST LEGALIZE THIS MEDICINE. As I am a casual user that allows me to focus and help myself rise above this life experience which seems to be stupid shit one week to the next. Life is tough enough without having to deal with the plague of these DOMESTIC TERRORIST. DAMN THEM ALL and my God have mercy on their souls.
    I dream of the day that these backwoods Cajun dipshits will legalize but I feel we will be the last of the 50 to do so…Oregon, DC, and the other states had BETTER make the right choice coming up. And every state I pray will do the same in the future.

  7. Hey Johnny, while we certainly appreciate your up close insights in Oregon, I only want to say what about the other 49? You have written many good articles and lately a LOT on Oregon but there are so much more going on out here that you could cover also. Like what are all these states that fall farther behind in the process of decriminalization and legalization doing to help or not help for example. I live in a state that is not following suite readily and holding out on a public stand about cannabis and I desperately would love to hear more about progress outside of the west coast region. This blog is great for information I was just thinking how super it would be to read about something or someplace closer to my home that might really matter to me. Sure it is awesome to read about all the people enjoying the benefits of cannabis but if it never reaches me then well what’s the real point. In today’s economy moving to the west coast is not an option unfortunately.

  8. Interesting statistics Oregon cops would rather you not know…
    according to the World Health Organization (WHO),
    Fatality stats of the 3 most popular drugs for the 20th century:
    Alcohol – 66 million deaths (currently 3.3 million deaths per year)
    Tobacco – 100 million deaths (currently 5 million deaths per year)
    Cannabis – 0 (zero, zilch, nada) deaths
    Cannabis should never have been prohibited,
    it is far safer than most “drugs”…

  9. Few understand the implications of todays forfeiture laws till they run afoul of them. They believe they are only used against criminals , drugs lords or drug dealers. The reality most seizures are nickel and dime. There is no set amount of how little cash on a person can be seized as drug proceeds. It’s not the officers need to prove that it’s from or for drug purchases. He just has to have a belief or the slimmest possibility it could be. Possessions and cash have no rights and taking items from citizens is just considered an inconvenience. Not a crime. Once seized it’s now on the citizen to prove the items or cash wasn’t from drug sales or purchases. Most people think oh my bank receipt or my pay stub. Nope you have to hire a lawyer. Some states the laws are so corrupt on their seizure laws it will go before a judge without you or your lawyer present. Once that happens it’s usually if not difficult but almost impossible to get the hearing without costing $10,000 to $15,000 just to get on the docket. That why it’s such a attractive law. The ability to take and keep what they want. With laws protecting many officers from legal ramifications or fallout. Some states the officers have contests as to who collects the most from seizures yearly. Many still don’t get it. Simply this if a officers stops you and wants what you have. Many states he can just call a tow truck or make you empty you pockets . No ticket no arrest just bye have a nice day thanks for your stuff. It happens hundred’s of times every day across the nation

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