Joining civil-rights organizations like the NAACP and labor organizations like United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA) has officially endorsed Measure 80.
"Oregon is now engaged in a great debate across the public safety spectrum to seek and adopt rational evidence-based policies that will make our state and people safer," said Lane Borg, OCDLA president. "The evidence in this case supports that a common-sense, sane drug policy would end the futile prohibition on cannabis and instead adopt a rational regulation policy that hopefully would end the dangerous conditions brought on by both illegal trafficking and aggressive enforcement in the war on drugs."
Measure 80 would effectively tax, regulate and enforce the cannabis industry similar to how Oregon regulates the liquor industry, with state-licensed stores, sales to only adults 21 and older, and tough new criminal and civil penalties for selling or providing cannabis to a minor.
"Beer and wine were once prohibited just like marijuana is now," said Measure 80 chief petitioner Paul Stanford. "Oregonians came to recognize that prohibition led only to organized crime and ruined lives. But regulation works.
"Measure 80 will take cannabis sales out of the hands of street gangs and violent cartels and give law-abiding Oregonians the opportunity to build a lawful, legitimate industry on par with Oregon's $5 billion legal, heavily regulated beer and wine industries," Stanford said.
According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, Oregon has in years past spent more than $60 million annually on marijuana-related offenses, from local police enforcement costs to court-room costs to the millions spent on incarceration.