An interesting Attorney General Race is heating up in Oregon State between two very different Candidates. The job is to oversee the thousands of laws in the state of Oregon, but one law in particular has been defining the difference between the two candidates from the same party. Ballots for the Democratic primary have already been sent out and the race is essentially between the two Democrats, since no Republican is seeking the position. All alone, Democrats will get to choose the state’s top lawyer in the May 15th primary in Oregon.
The choice in the race could not be more clear for the cannabis community – Dwight Holton was the US Attorney for Oregon and approved raids of marijuana grows that were legal under state law. He has publicly called Oregon’s Medical marijuana law a “train wreck”. Bob Wolfe is the head of the Citizens for Sensible Law Reform, a group that is currently gathering signatures to try and get marijuana legal in the state of Oregon through a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution. He called Dwight Holtons stance on medical marijuana out of step with his own party on the issue. Holton has established himself as a tough-on-crime supporter of law enforcement, and has indeed won the endorsements from most of Oregon’s sheriffs and district attorneys. He has been on record numerous times complaining that Oregon’s lax marijuana regulations make it too easy to get a card and give traffickers cover to grow marijuana that ultimately ends up on the black market.
Holton’s opponent seeking the same position of Attorney General is retired Court of Appeals judge, Ellen Rosenblum who has said recently on a public debate between the two that she thinks the 55,000 citizens that use medical marijuana legally deserve a safe place to get it. She has also stated that marijuana enforcement in general would be a low priority under her leadership if elected. Holton slammed that position, saying that he would, “welcome a conversation about how to do this better, how to meet the will of the voters better,” but then added, “But I’ll gladly enforce the law.”
Some background on the two Democratic candidates, Holton who is a 46, has been a federal prosecutor for the last 15 years, first in Brooklyn, NY, and then transferring to Portland, Oregon in 2004. Holton’s father, Linwood Holton, was a Republican governor of Virginia, elected in 1969, and his brother-in-law, Tim Kaine, is a former Democratic governor of Virginia and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Rosenblum, who is 61 joined the Oregon Bar in 1975 in Oregon, and has painted Holton as an outsider pointing out that Dwight Holton only joined the Oregon Bar Association just three years ago.
Here at NORML, we can’t tell you who to vote for, but larger turnouts usually favor our cause, so I will just encourage you, if you live in the state of Oregon to please mail in your ballots by May 15, every vote counts, especially in this very important race, please send in your ballots now.