Country singer, Willie Nelson, is a supporter of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2012 , which intends to eliminate prosecution of marijuana users, carriers, and dealers. Mr. Nelson is supported by groups such as Schools For Sensible Drug Policy , The Commonwealth Club of California , Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and several more. Legalizing marijuana would allow residents to farm, sell and use marijuana statewide. Currently in Oregon, if a user owns a medical marijuana card that’s regulated for medical purposes only, he or she can purchase the drug from a local shop. Oregon residents are divided as to whose advice they should consider. Community members argue against legalization of marijuana which stems from the concept that the quantity of new consumers will increase because of the hype, and encourage other users to move to Oregon, changing the culture from a health conscious society to a drug oriented city. Downtown business districts would agree that allowing a commodity, that attracts a certain social level of clientele could decrease the livability of the city of Portland and its surroundings. Portland’s downtown business district located between Chinatown and SW Madison and 2nd Ave., is already riddled with drug trafficking. Although workers and businesses have tolerated the illegal daytime actions, the majority actually happens after dark. An eye sore addition to Portland’s beautiful high rent district is the Allied Health Services located at 808 SW Alder St., which distributes methadone. At the sidewalk in front of its entrance on distribution days, are addicts drooling, eyes either glazed over or rolled back, and some changing their clothing.
Not a scene where anyone feels safe walking by. Since Allied Health Services moved into the location on Alder, business owners subsequently hired full time security guards at their doorstep to prevent drug users from getting high in their bathrooms, and theft. The downtown area is now transformed with the appearance of security guards and drug addicts which didn’t exist prior to the relocation. Ask Office Depot managers about the high cost of employing a guard and the reduction of consumers as a result of the influx of drug clientele emerging onto the streets of their business. While Drug Enforcement Agents disagree with any lenient rule on illegal drugs, ex-undercover agents, and police officers expressed overwhelming guilt for prosecuting people for smoking marijuana that can land them in jail for 7-years. In a video testimony lieutenant Jack Cole , Founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition confessed that while he in his first years of being in undercover, he was trained to ask for drug trades and to be offered drugs and in that moment it caused the other party to be charged with distribution of drugs and potentially be sentenced to years in jail. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, believe that marijuana use and hard drugs are not connected, even though non-users have a hard time believing such. Even Tennessee House Representative, Steve Cohen , agrees and argued with Robert Meuller, FBI Director, during a hearing; that marijuana use does not lead to using hard drugs such as cocaine or any other drug and that nobody has died from marijuana use, but have from other drugs. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition members, Jim Gray , retired Judge of Orange County Superior Court, stated in a hearing that thousands of people are in prison today for smoking marijuana because they were on parole at the time. He disagreed with the act of prosecuting people for marijuana use because it doesn’t stop cartels or people from using the drug. He added that American court systems are going softer on rape and homicides because they are spending too much time getting tougher on marijuana prosecutions. Retired Judges Jim Gray, and David Nichols , of the Superior Court of Washington, agree that the only way to get rid of drug cartels is to undercut the price as with California Senate Bill 390, which legalizes marijuana.
Judge Gray, stated that it is easier for kids to get marijuana than it is to get alcohol because you have to ask for identification. The approach that retired law enforcement suggest, to reduce the drug distribution problem is to deal with the drug use problem similar to alcoholism. Alcohol is regulated and requires identification to prove that the buyer is of legal age. It is also forbidden by employers during work hours. A person is only charged with a crime if they distribute alcohol to minors, or are endangering others. Although non-marijuana users can imagine the gamut of outcomes of marijuana farming and legalization, according to former Judge David Nichols; marijuana consumption is similar to smoking and alcohol problems, in that it is a social, cultural, health matter and it shouldn’t be a criminal justice problem. According to Rick Steves , a member of Commonwealth Club of California [America] “locks up eight times more people than Europe. We are either inherently more criminal or something is screwy in [our] society. Prohibition law is causing more problems than the drug itself. In year 2008, 80,000 people were jailed for marijuana and 800,000 people on drug charges. There isn’t a reservoir of people [non-marijuana smokers] looking to ruin their lives with drugs, if only it were legal.” As America tries to figure out what to do about marijuana federal agents continue to raid medical marijuana clubs. It may take more than just the next 4-weeks to convince the general public to decide on legalizing marijuana in Oregon, even if Willie Nelson is the spokesperson. The associated fears surrounding marijuana farming and distribution are not in stone yet and it may be a long time after legalization that problems begin to get regulated. A concern that isn’t addressed is public second-hand smoke; most people don’t want to consume marijuana or consequently have it affect their plans. Furthermore, the black market drug peddling attracts violent distributors that would be eager to steal large crops of drugs. While many Oregonians agree that marijuana smokers shouldn’t serve jail time, residents need more assurances that the social problems associated with marijuana will be managed if it becomes legalized.
via : Examiner
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